Highland Morning

A savage dawn: bruised
heather hides scree gash; howling
burn bleeds peaty clots
onto wind-lashed welts of bog;
clouds cower behind brute hills

Sick with rage the grey
sky spews gobbets of sour sleet,
curdling fleece on clumps
of huddled sheep, whose sharp bleats
pierce the thin membrane of mist

The ravaged forest
aches: flayed branches fracture, bone-
white; exposed roots throb;
bare or moss-scabbed stones lie mute
awaiting gentle sun salve

© Moira Ashley
2nd Prize, Maryfield Writers Group Open Poetry Competition 2011
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