A Gentle Nudge

A Gentle Nudge

     Sammy pulled up the zip on her bright yellow coat, as the wind pushed her with its ice cold hands, making her body shiver.  The down-pour of rain was so fast and heavy it slapped her in the face.  Her booted feet ploughed through sludge, with each step she felt her feet being sucked into the ground.  Joe, her colleague, was slightly ahead of her, he turned round to face her.

“Come on Sammy, get a move on.  The sooner we get this sorted the sooner we can get back inside!”  She could barely hear him as the gale snatched his voice away into another direction.  She chose to ignore him; his legs were longer than her own so of course he was ahead of her – mud or no mud she thought to herself.

Their instructions hadn’t been clear so they searched the old farm yard first.  There were only two small barns, Joe searched one and Sammy looked in the other.  They had to be quick; the victim was running out of time.  Sammy dug her hands deeper into her pockets and felt slightly relieved when her feet touched the concrete.  The door to the barn had fallen off one of the hinges, the wood was rotten and it swung wildly in the wind, smashing against the wall and sending splinters into the air.  She was grateful to escape the rain for a moment.  Her torch worked its way around the building; there was nothing but straw and the sound of dripping water to catch her attention.  She re-joined her colleague outside.  He was shaking his head, nothing in the other building either.  They were in the main yard, close to the crumbling farmhouse.  Most of the windows were barricaded with decaying wood, there was no indication that anyone lived here anymore.  A cackling radio noise came from within her jacket.  She took hold of the radio and held it close to her ear.

“What you’re looking for is a white male, I don’t have much of a description to go by but he’s in need of medical attention.  Over.”  Sammy bit her lip, from what she had already been told, it would be a miracle if he was found alive.  She felt a surge of anger from within but forced herself to stay calm; she mustn’t get emotional on the job.  She had to find the wounded right away.

“Okay we’re on site now” she said, looking at Joe who nodded acknowledgement and headed for a broken wooden gate near the house.  He held his torch up over the gate and moved it from side to side,

“This paddock could be the place.  Have you got everything we need?”  She nodded, preying they wouldn’t need anything more than their small kit but he could be in a bad way, or worse still, dead.  Joe had to lift the gate and push it back against the wall, concern filled his eyes and Sammy’s face went white, the wood was stained with what appeared to be blood.

“Oh God,” she whispered,

“Come on, Sammy, you know the rules, stay focused and you can do the tears later. This might not even belong to him.” Her colleague touched her hand reassuringly.  They headed for the bottom of the paddock, leaving the sound of slamming doors and dripping water.  The two of them had come across this situation many times before but Sammy could never get used to witnessing the brutal cruelty of other people.  They scurried across the muddy field, being quiet in the process, not wanting to scare him away.  The heavy wheezing could be heard before they saw him.

Sammy took a deep breath and forced back tears.  She must remain strong now, he needed her.  His eyes flickered with fear and the rhythm of his breathing got faster.  Sammy held out her hand to him.

“Hush there, its okay; we’ll take care of you now.”  She let him sniff her hand first and then she gently moved her hand onto his face and moved it along, up to his long neck that was coated in mud, and he let out a weak whinny.  His breathing started to slow little, but he still looked wary.  Sammy gently patted the white pony’s shoulder, reassuring him that they wouldn’t harm him.  Joe was standing back, shining the torch on him and examining his physical appearance.

“I don’t think he’s had a meal in months, Sammy.  Lord knows how long he’s been neglected for.”  Sammy gently removed her backpack to retrieve a blanket she had in there.  Carefully, not wanting to spook the animal, she spread it over him, he didn’t move an inch.

“I think he knows we’re here to help him,” she whispered.   Sammy took a head collar out of her bag and put it over the creature’s bony head.    The creature didn’t spook a good sign he hadn’t been beaten or treated with violence.

“I don’t think we’ll have any trouble getting him in the trailer.  Do you think he’ll be able to walk?”  Joe ran his hands over his legs, picking up each of his feet, they felt bony but there was no blood coming from any part of his body.

“No reason why he shouldn’t.  Just take a few steps with him now, to make sure.” Said Joe.

The pony limped but he didn’t appear to be in too much pain.  Slowly, the three of them went back towards the farm.  Sammy kept stroking his neck and whispering to him, keeping him calm.  Now and then they would pause while he caught his breath.

“He will need to see the vet when we’re back at HQ but all he needs is warmth, food and TLC to get better.” Joe smiled.  Sammy looked at the pony, unable to understand how anyone could have neglected him.  He nudged her gently with his nose.

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Unicorns of the Night

Dark blue sky hovers over a wonderful scene,
A herd of unicorns can be seen.
A filly drinks from a pool of cold water,
Quenching the thirst of this mystical daughter.

The stallion’s coat shines silver in the moonlight,
But by dawn he will be white.
His ivory horn illuminates his beautiful face,
Oh this magic image is something I must embrace!

He looks over his mare with protective eyes,
Watching the land where she lies.
He hopes no goblins will appear tonight,
Because they will ruin this evening’s delight.

A cluster of flowers lie close to the water’s edge,
Sweet nectar they pledge –
To the hummingbirds who fly amongst the fairies,
Whose mischief makes the unicorns quite wary.

A thick mist sweeps over the enchanted land,
Hiding the volcanic sand.
Soon it will be dawn and the unicorns must go,
Or they will grow too hot under the sun’s glow.

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I’ve got to move things around
My phone is vibrating but I
Don’t know who it is. Ghosts
Keep walking around and I can’t
Get to the tables. I think I can
Hear water flowing from taps
And there are people laughing.
I can see balloons, a mouse running
And now I think I heard a fast car
Or was it a jumbo jet? When I
Sleep tonight, if I can go to sleep,
I’ll see flashing lights, little stars
And count the flying fish. If they
vanish I’ll picture giraffes leaping
over rainbows Instead.

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Little Bird

Little Bird

A little bird loses his wings.
He will have to live on the ground.
Harm is what it will bring.
He is too scared to make a sound,
And he will no longer sing.

The breeze will move the leaves,
Around him so he has some shelter.
Safety, the little bird achieves,
But trouble comes and he will welter,
And other birds will grieve.

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He can’t be bothered
going to work, to face
the tower of paper
that sits on his desk,

and spend half the day
on the phone to IT
because something
keeps beeping at him.

He wouldn’t be noticed
by anyone all day. They
think he’s too old to
say anything interesting.

But if he doesn’t show up,
his absence will be noticed
and his P45 will land on his
doorstep in tomorrow’s post.


“I’ll get a coffee,” he
says to himself and
he recalls a greasy
spoon nearby.

Nancy’s Cafe. You
take a seat, a lady
takes your order and
the coffee comes to you.

But Nancy’s has turned
into Starbucks – it takes
three people to make a
cup of coffee. Henry sighs.

He dodges pushchairs,
squeezes past tables
and trips over handbags
to join a long queue.

Mochas and Frappachinos,
where is the normal coffee?
Henry just wants a coffee!
Fair Trade? At £3.10 a cup?

A teenager asks for his
order in a monotone voice.
Another takes his money
and counts the change slowly.


Henry goes to the office,
his white shirt stained
with coffee because drinking
from cardboard is new to him.

Five of his colleagues have
pointed and laughed.
He sits down and hides
behind his paper towers.

The highlight of the day
is lunch. His colleagues
go to the pub. Henry is
left alone at his desk.

Henry is happy to eat his
cheese and pickle sandwich,
undisturbed by laughter
and ringing telephones.


The phone never rings,
he thinks the clock is broken,
it’s been half past three
for the last two years.


He walks home while
his colleagues go to the
pub but Henry hasn’t
got the invitation to join.

He can’t be bothered going
home. Most people can’t
wait to get home. But there
is no-where else for him to go.


Henry goes to the shop
on his way home. He buys
the evening paper, bread
and a tin of soup for one.

He gets home and changes
into his dressing gown and
slippers. Both are full of holes
but nobody will ever see them.

His house is empty, just
shelves full of books on
birds and wildlife. Why
would he read about people?

Henry feeds his two canaries,
who sit still on their perches.
They don’t care for Henry, as
he for them. They want food.


He has his soup and bread
sitting on a tray on his lap.
The evening news begins;
a man has been missing

for 20 years and the family
have given up on him. Henry
thinks it’s been so long since
he saw his. Have they given up?

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A red glove on a path

Wet from a rainfall

Does somebody miss it?

It has no place now

Useless without its

Other half its fate

Now left to the tarmac

The people walking by

Left to be kicked away

Be hidden by leaves

So it won’t be seen

And will be forgotten

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