[inspired by White Horse Hill in Folkestone, Kent]
on the hill with the wind in my face:
the hill where the white horse shines
where they stood long ago,
saw the rock, and began to carve
where today the hiss of steam trains
washes through the valley and lambs
lie in the fields like dandelion tufts.
this horse –
a token from whoever once sat here,
once combed the hill for flint,
found fire in its shelter,
warmth in its bushes and its trees.
I look out at the view as though
tracing paper, savouring
the masking tape colour of the sky, how it is
mottled like a duck egg.
the cold of the early spring morning
brings pinpricks to my fingers when I
take off my gloves and my feet
ache from the frosty ascent.
the smell of wet grass, glassy beads on the cobwebs;
the clouds lie swollen over the hill.
later today the sky may open with a crack, it may rain
and the muddy hillside may run.
with hands in the earth, I will hold the white horse,
stoic in its timelessness,
by the flank, the head, the jaws, and
I will tip my face towards the rainstorm.
Words by Rachel Jung. Photography by Niamh McBratney.