Be Mindful of Mud – Rachael Clyne

Be Mindful of Mud

Step warily my dear,
on slippery earth-paths
that thread uphill
past ivied trunks
away from a world
of dull-crack gunshot
and quadbike roar.
Lift your head instead
to light that catches
silver on hazel bark.

If, my dear,
you find yourself
wire-barred –
backtrack down,
bottom-slide, clutch
each handhold branch
offered by
soft-eyed strangers.

Learn, my friend,
to avoid the glisten
of sticky opinion.
If its mire sucks you in,
wave your wing tips
and let the pull of air-tides
uplift you all the way
to the hillfort crown.

Rest there, my love,
on an old horse-trough.
Gaze at dainty deer track
by your feet, scrutinise
badger sgraffito.
Listen to rook chatter
and feel your body fizz.
Now you are human-imal,
mudful of mind.

Rachael Clyne’s collection, Singing at the Bone Tree (Indigo Dreams), concerns our relationship with nature. Her pamphlet, Girl Golem ( explores her migrant heritage and sense of otherness. She is currently expanding this work into a collection.

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