Poem – The glorious sheep years

| September 5, 2013 | 0 Comments

After a short summer break, Brighton and Hove Council’s conservation flock are back on the Downs, munching away at the worst of the grass so local wild flowers can thrive.

It’s my third year as a Lookerer – a volunteer shepherd – and yesterday afternoon I tramped over the hills for the first time since June, to the Kemptown end of Sheepcote Valley, to check and report back on the girls, their water supply and the electric fence.

To mark the occasion, here’s a poem I wrote in my first year as a Lookerer. It’s dedicated to Dan at Fresh Egg, who coined the phrase ‘glorious sheep years’ at Jaamit’s barbecue, and to the memory of Jaamit himself, who will never see his glorious sheep years.

My latest poem

The Glorious Sheep Years

If someone suggested,
ten years ago,
she’d get a kick out of hearing sheep calling on the Downs
from her garden
she’d have denied it with every ounce of energy at her urban fingertips.

When there are clubs to go to?
Are you mad?

Now she sits absorbing the warm, loose calls of contented sheep
and the sparkling waterfall shriek of skylarks
as they blow on the fragrant, chalky breeze
straight off the rounded hills of Sussex
into her home.

Entering her Glorious Sheep Years,
she never imagined it’d feel so right
to shed youth like last year’s fashion,
and head for the high ground of age, where the view is bright and clear and the sounds are true.


Category: Diary

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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