But up on the ridges. Across the valley.

Over the fen. The fields churned after the harvest, waiting, sunk, mud hardened by frost. Wind drives the poplars at the edge.

There. Along the ditch. The sedge lifting, waves pulsing in the feathered silence.

How do I understand it? My fingers cold as I press them into my palm. A thousand deities scattered along the lode. The gods of turf, of the bend in a willow, the noise in the reeds, the crack of graphene-thin ice in tyre tracks.

And you think the same, the same things they thought. You catch the cold in your throat, gasp at the Harrier above the ebbing flowing grass, its golden grey current rolling and surging.

And their voices. Think it. Let it come in.

Watch the clouds fiercely travelling. They watched them.

Life is only real seen like this, surely, the past buzzing, humming, chanting, bellowing. Listen to it. Let it disturb you. Let the past stand there and shout.

for Sheila Sim (5 June 1922 – 19 January 2016)