The sheep are grazing on the Downs;
one stops for me to photograph it.
Close up an earthy smell of dung,
and black eyes stare at me alert.
It turns with a quick skip and trots off:
a woolly behind on deft hoofed feet.
Cumulus cloud drifts over verdant hills,
a steep descent to patchwork fields, and
a ribbon of river to the coast. Sudden
breeze brings an autumn nip to the air…
Eons later I find the image on my phone:
a sheep with glass-black eyes
how an Italian might paint;
three-quarter profile, upright pose, ample bodied.
The eyes lock my focus,
but the background is blurred like mizzling,
the day has dropped
from my mind I am mesmerised
by the otherworldly gaze
of glass-black eyes.
This is a notional ekphrastic poem.
1 March 2017