the glass sun, drained of strength, blushes.
The Howgills are ice-gold and pummelled, like baker’s dough.
Roads are soundless, footpaths hushed.
Crows squawk just occasionally.
A Cumbrian Christmas morning is a wordless world.
A farmer strides a quad bike, sheepdog on the trailer.
Its ruddy tongue trembling, its hazy breath bulging
like ghostly grey balloons in the day’s true air.
A runner pads past, streak of yellow, gloved but hatless.
His steady pace matches his measured, easy breathing.
His single cough frightens a heron into flight.
Farmer, dog, runner – alive and active on Christmas day;
no other but those among us who demand to be
forever gripped by earth, grasped by sky.
And I nearly forgot:
two lambs were born this Christmas morn.