white horse

by | May 8, 2022

[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.