Thursday, 24 July 2008

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
into the south meadow.)
But a stillness
from long ago
when the stone walls were built,
when the grass was sown
and peppered with wild flowers
in their season.

One day in July
the stillness 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 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,
hung on the electric fence.

Either way, you will know.....


Loren said...

Very nice.

You've even gotten me to learn the meaning of "beck" since this is the second day in a row that I've run into the word.

The Solitary Walker said...

I have enjoyed very much all your poems - thanks for sharing.

It occurs to me there might be an interesting post on all the variations around "beck" and "burn" and "gill" and "syke" and "force" etc. How about it?

Sean Jeating said...

Wondrous are the paths in blogosphere. :)
Haply dropped by, read and liked this, especially the last ten lines which I find are a poem within the poem.
Thanks, poeta.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Interesting that you should pick that up,Sean. The last ten lines were written as a poem and this set me thinking about the mind of the farmer and so I wrote the first piece. Then I put them together. So pleased that you like it. Do keep reading my poetry.

MFH said...

Dear Weaverofgrass,

I'd like to send a copy of Zach Hiveley's *Desert Apochrypha.*

Would you, could you, with a goat? me an address to mail it to?

Mine is: (also at the bottom of my blogger profile)