Tuesday, 22 November 2011

My wonderful farmer.

Today has been a really busy day - Tesco this morning, as usual on a Tuesday. Then out for coffee this morning to friends in Richmond - a lovely chat and a chance to meet (albeit just a peep round the corner at the top of the stairs!) their new Bengal cat. Friends after lunch and then the washing out of the fridge and the putting away of the food.

Tomorrow will see the first of my Christmas cakes being made - I make a series for various friends and relations. The first one tomorrow will be a cake full of glace fruits - pineapple, ginger, mango, apricot etc. I had forgotten about it until I came across the recipe in my book and found I made it last in 2005 - so tomorrow it will be resurrected.

So, that means there has been no time to think of a blog for today. But - as you so enjoyed my poem of yesterday I thought I would post another one today. Before I post it I will tell you a little story (although I do know that any poem which needs an explanation is by its very nature a bad poem).

When the farmer and I first met, twenty years ago, I was a widow and he was a bachelor farmer who farmed and lived near to where I lived. The local footpath went through his land and each day I would take my dear little pug Algy (now long gone to that lovely pug heaven in the sky) across these fields on our walk. Often I would meet the farmer and we would have a chat - usually about something to do with the bird life, or the wild flowers, or the stock in the fields.
Eventually we began our 'courtship' and I would still walk and we would meet and talk. Sometimes he would be busy elsewhere and I would not see him. But so that he knew I had been round the fields I would leave him a message. I would gather some wild flowers, wrap them in grass and hang them on the electric fence wire, where I knew he would find them when he fetched the cows in to milk. Here is the poem:-

Message on a Wire.

There is a stillness in your field.
Not a silence -
(for the mistle thrush sings
on the topmost bough
of the hawthorn).
(And the beck finds its voice
as it slips over the stones
in the South eadow).
But a stillness
from long ago,
when the grass was first sown
and peppered with wild flowers
in their season.

One day in July
that still ness would be broken.
The grass would be mown,
tossed, dried in the sun,
smelt and carted away to the stack.
Then the stillness would return.

Men who care for fields
feel that stillness,
soak it into their bones,
become that stillness,
protected, cocooned
within the confines of their walls.

I walked across your field today.
I could leave you a message
on your answer-phone.
Or I could leave
two buttercups,a herb robert
and a cuckoo flower, tied
with a strand of grass and
hanging on the wire.

Either way and you will know.

23 comments:

Toffeeapple said...

Lovely, absolutely lovely.

Gwil W said...

At last I've got in first. I think you should collect your farmer poems together. And if you have enough get them into a booklet. Lovely they are!

Gwil W said...

Drat I was 2nd!!!

Bovey Belle said...

Oh how beautiful and what a romantic way to leave your beloved a message.

The Bug said...

I agree with Gwill - these are just so lovely - the kind of love poetry I aspire to. Sigh.

John Gray said...

pat,,,
the time flys does it not?
it seems only yesterday that I remember reading that you were preparing last year's christmas cake

It's me. said...

wow! I think you have enough romance for the two of you---that was so romantic..

Heather said...

A beautiful story and a beautiful poem. Lucky you, to have your farmer, and lucky farmer to have you Pat.
The Christmas cake sounds delicious.

Rachel Fox said...

What a romantic story!
x

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a romantic story and what a lovely poem!

Cloudia said...

such heart infects us with your joy!


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Penny said...

I think you were so lucky to find your farmer.Love your courtship poem.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

The sweetest love story ever.

Dartford Warbler said...

Your poem is absolutely beautiful.

That feeling of stillness and connection with those who cared for the land long ago. Something I can understand so well.

ChrisJ said...

Lovely poem and an even lovelier sentiment to leave your message that way.

Elisabeth said...

This is such a moving poem, Pat, filled with that strange quality that makes my heart skip a beat in expectation. Thanks.

angryparsnip said...

Lovely story and wonderful poem.

cheers, parsnip

rkbsnana said...

The prologue to the poem was touching in itself.

George said...

Lovely, charming, and romantic, Pat. We need more of that kind of tenderness in the world.

Pomona said...

That is such a lovely, romantic story! What a wonderful, fateful way to meet.

Pomona x

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for the nice comments. Much appreciated.

Jenn Jilks said...

I agree! You could do a chap book of farm poetry. I'm sure it'd be a hit over on this side of the pond, too!

Cheers from snowy Cottage Country!

The Solitary Walker said...

Perfectly lovely, Pat. The farmer is your inspiration.