The treacle-black shadows are streaked with silver,
As the moon peers from behind clouds
Shredded and ribboned by the gale
Tearing through branches, nipping at rooftops,
Bullying plastic, bowling with flowerpots, sighing in corners.
Between gusts, a cow bellows for her calf,
The dog runs rabbits in her sleep,
A cat, fat as butter, licks dainty moonlight paws.
The bats scratch their toes on the plaster as they hang
Liked smoked herrings, in the wall above the window.
The stream hurls itself in solitary confinement,
Straining for release from its banks.
The North wind plays the sash window,
Squeaking it like chalk on blackboard.
Fusilades of hailstones rattle against glass like musketfire,
And the giant fir trees on the hillside bend pliant fingers
In obeyance to the storm.
Ivy leaves stutter against bark
And owlish eyes peep from gloomy fissuresAs mice creep in the prancing bramble brakes.