There are countless reasons why we love horses. There is no way to imagine life without them. One of the earliest discovered cave dwelling featured a man, a woman and a horse carved on the wall. We owe them everything. As the saying goes, civilization was built on the back of a horse.
We are in awe of their strength, speed, power and agility, and admire them for their beauty, grace, honesty and spirit. The greatest gift they give us, if we are willing and capable of receiving it, is the ability to trust enough to love completely.
On this day we share a poem, and a sweet video made by the Editor of Tuesday’s Horse.
by TED HUGHES
I climbed through woods in the hour-before-dawn dark.
Evil air, a frost-making stillness,
Not a leaf, not a bird—
A world cast in frost. I came out above the wood
Where my breath left tortuous statues in the iron light.
But the valleys were draining the darkness
Till the moorline blackening dregs of the brightening grey
Halved the sky ahead. And I saw the horses:
Huge in the dense grey ten together
Megalith-still. They breathed, making no move,
With draped manes and tilted hind-hooves,
Making no sound.
I passed: not one snorted or jerked its head.
Grey silent fragments
Of a grey still world.
I listened in emptiness on the moor-ridge.
The curlews tear turned its edge on the silence.
Slowly detail leafed from the darkness. Then the sun
Orange, red, red erupted
Silently, and splitting to its core tore and flung cloud,
Shook the gulf open, showed blue,
And the big planets hanging
Stumbling in a fever of a dream, down towards
The dark woods, from the kindling tops,
And came the horses.
There, still they stood,
But now steaming, and glistening under the flow of light,
Their draped stone manes, their tilted hind-hooves
Stirring under a thaw while all around them
The frost showed its fires. But still they made no sound.
Not one snorted or stamped,
Their heads hung patient as the horizons,
High over valleys, in the red levelling rays
In din of the crowded streets, going among the years, the faces,
May I still meet my memory in so lonely a place
Between the streams and the red clouds, hearing curlews,
Hearing the horizons endure.
NOTE: ‘At Grass’ sees Larkin reflecting on old racehorses which are ‘put out to grass’. Do memories of the races they won fifteen years ago ‘plague their ears like flies’? Well, these retired racehorses have ‘slipped their names, and stand at ease’.
The Fund for Horses, the publishers of Tuesday’s Horse, can be found at fundforhorses.org. It is chockful of information, and has every Jane Allin report the stellar research/writer has ever done. She is a treasure and a very dear friend to us and the horses. Happy I Love Horses Day Jane.
©FUND FOR HORSES
Revised 7/16/2021 / 12:17 am