Saturday 23 September 2023

A Man of Few Words

 Do you dream?   I dream most nights (that I can remember) but it is said that we probably dream every night and mostly our dreams fade quickly.  But what I rarely do is dream about either of my very dear husbands - one gone thirty two years ago and one gone six years ago.

I used to write what I will loosely call 'Poetry'.   It fulfilled a need at the time I suppose.   But I enjoy reading or listening to poetry, have a lot of poetry books (many inherited from my father) and often read particular poets last thing before going to bed, especially if my mind is in a bit of a whirl and I feel I am not going to sleep well.

I stopped writing 'poetry' because I had to face up to the fact that I am not a poet.   I began to feel that what I was writing was so unsatisfactory (I was going to say 'rubbish' and then realised that it was the wrong word because it served its purpose at the time (ie to get me through a bad time).

For some reason I have signed myself out of my URL - don't know how -  must have accidentally pressed the wrong button and my computer will not allow me in in the normal way.   I got in in a roundabout route and came across a saved folder marked 'my poems'.   This was the first poem in the folder - about my farmer of course.

                    A Man of Few Words

No smile.

No word of greeting.

Just a raised finger

on the steering wheel.

No praise

or complaint.

Just tacit acceptance.

No eulogies.

No promise of undying love -

just a cuckoo flower

or a  hand of hazel-nuts

or a subtle tail-feather 

of the grey partridge

brought in the afternoon

and given with few words.

But saying more

than any gaudy bunch of roses.


I read it aloud as I sat at the computer.   I went to bed but I didn't sleep well.   The tears came and for a long time I wept quietly to myself.    Bottled up grief?   I don't know.   But this morning I feel clear headed and somehow different.

You who read my posts didn't know my farmer of course - most of us will never meet (but that doesn't mean we don't have a relationship with one another).   You only know him through what I have chosen to tell you.  So I am pleased you have read this 'poem' because now you will know my farmer a little better than you did before.

And when you have read it look again at my Header.   He took that photograph shortly before he died.   It is a photograph of Wensleydale - a Dale he called Home.


the veg artist said...

I don't know enough about the 'rules' of poetry to say whether those words qualify or not, but, whatever, they are absolutely beautiful. Your love shines through, as well as his.

Jane from Dorset said...

You have painted a portrait in a few deft brush strokes with your words.
We all know poetry when we find it and I would like to read more of yours

Don’t ask me;

I have no recipe

for a poem. You

know the language,
know where prose ends

and poetry begins.

There should be no

introit into a poem.
The listener should come

to and realise

verse has been going on

for some time. Let
there be no coughing,

no sighing. Poetry

is a spell woven

by consonants and vowels
in the absence of logic.

Ask no rhyme

of a poem, only

that it keep faith
with life’s rhythm.

Language will trick

you if it can.

Syntax is words’
way of shackling

the spirit. Poetry is that

which arrives at the intellect

by way of the heart.
R S Thomas

Country Cottage said...

Lovely words. There are many ways to show love that speak to the heart without the use of the usual flowers or chocolates.

gz said...

A wonderful description and beautiful writing.

Anonymous said...

A lovely tender post Pat. Thank you for sharing your poem with us, as a line above stated, 'by way of the heart'.
- Pam.

Tom Stephenson said...

That was a beautiful poem, Weave. I am being genuinely honest when I say that. You say you are not a 'poet'. Yes you are! Keep writing please.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Tom! Ask yourself, if a student wrote that poem, what would you think and what would you say to your student? We are often too hard on ourselves. I also need to add that it brought tears to my eyes because, as I have shared with you before, I married a farmer (Indiana USA). I see my farmer Father-in-Law as well as my Husband in your words. Thank you for sharing this with us. Jackie

Heather said...

That is such a beautiful poem, and describes perfectly a man of few words but with a heart full of kindness, love and integrity. I think I would have liked him very much. How can you say you are not a poet? Maybe not a prolific one but it's quality that counts, not quantity. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Jean Winnipeg said...

Beautiful. Heartbreaking too.

Ellen D. said...

Thanks for sharing that, Pat. It's lovely.

Cheryl Seaman said...

You may not be a POET but you are a poet! I think we all are or could be if we gave ourselves a chance. Like painting - it doesn't matter if anyone else sees value in it if you like it and it expresses something of you.... then it is art.

Marcia LaRue said...

It is poetry and so simply, yet acutely, stated!

Rachel Phillips said...

Definitely identifiable as a farmer, could have been any one of my family. It is certainly a good poem and if I can achieve anything half as good I will be happy.

thelma said...

Your farmer is captured in words and breaks your heart, that is what a good poem does.

Anonymous said...

Did you or your farmer know the walkers in the photo? Bonnie

The Weaver of Grass said...

The two walkers with the farmer - they always walked together.
Than you Rachel - I suppose the fact that it made me so tearful means something.

Thank you for your kind words. I feel good today - six years is a long time but the love doesn't go - and that goes for my previous husband too although he was a talker, a discusser, a man to show his feelings. I have been so lucky both times.

Susan said...

Your poem is beautiful and heartfelt. Thank you for sharing. Keep writing, your words paint a picture.

Regina M. said...

Very precious poem triggering loving memories of your farmer and tears to refresh your heart. Indeed, you have been fortunate to have had such good marriages twice. Hugs from the base of the mini-mountain in Maine. Regina

Librarian said...

Dear Pat, your poem is a touching tribute to your husband; very personal, very expressive.
I get those bouts of sadness, too, even though my husband died almost 14 years ago. Of course, I still grieve for my Dad (the first anniversary of his death is only 3 weeks away) and the friends I have lost last year. As you say, the love (and friendship) doesn't go.

Lini said...

What a beautiful poem about your farmer. You captured his essence so clearly. Thank you for sharing it with us.

gmv said...

This poem you wrote of your farmer husband is very touching. I can almost see the man and the love you shared.

Debby said...

Again, my comment did not take. ARGH! I can tell you that you are surely wrong about one thing: you ARE indeed a poet.

I always meant to ask and never remembered in a letter, but I always wondered. What is the castle/ruins in the backgrownd. I apologize for my lack of letters, and hope to be able to get back to it once things slow down for the winter.

Barbara Anne said...

Beautiful poem, Pat, and it speaks of the quiet, kind, caring love that is steady and true and that you knew with your farmer.

Love is forever.


Chris said...

As I read your post and poem I was over whelmed with sadness I'm not surprised you wept, I'd have too.. Some times life is unbearable but then we see sunshine, smell the flowers, hear the birds and all is right in the world again and we feel blessed and go on with our memories tucked inside our hearts. Thank you for writing this, brought some memories back to me too.

John Going Gently said...

Lovely weave….your best writing yet

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you everyone for your understanding and your kind words.

Mary Bolton said...

Happy to know more about your header photo. I have allways admired it. Reminds so much of the land in New York State where I grew up. My parents farm looks north over the Mohawk River Valley. Your poem is lovely and sounds very much like my Dad. Thank you

Pixie said...

Your poem made me cry. It's lovely. I had a horrible dream this morning before I got out of bed, I was driving people around who basically treated me like a maid. It was long and involved passports, birth certificates, my son, another friend's grown daughter, a school bus, my ex husband, a mercedes and luggage. It just went on and on but I've felt grumpy all day because of it. It felt like I went out of my way for everybody else and nobody cared about me one bit. Now I'm crying again.

You are a poet by the way.

Red said...

I really like you poem with it's description of the farmer. From time to time we do think of our losses and it's alright if some tears come. I always wondered who took your header photo. I was guessing it was a photo of the farmer.

The Furry Gnome said...

I've always liked that photo.

Joanne Noragon said...

A beautiful poem, like the photo.

Anonymous said...

Like Red, I thought the header was the Farmer walking with a friend. I thought you took the photo. - Pam.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I shall look out a few more of my poems (if I can find the folder again; )so much of the stuff in my computer comes up quite by accident (don't blame the computer - it is the computer operator!!(

Have a good day!

lynney62 said...

Hello Weave...I will be 80 yrs. in January 2024...I dream every night, sometimes about my 40 yrs. as a nurse, ususally I'm wondering why I forgot to give out all my meds to my patients..LOL! I've lived the life of a widow since 1971 when my high school sweetheart, who I married in '66, died of cancer; our baby daughter was 4 then. I married again, a wonderful man and we had 10 yrs, but then he died also (hemmorhagic pancreatitis)...I was 38 then. My 14 yr. old daughter and I moved forward and life has been very good to us both, thanks to my nursing career. But dreams, that I'm old, I dream nightly and so often of my former husbands, always sort of in the background of the dreams. I guess many memories are just coming through to me when I sleep? I would think my brain would get tired of so much activity in dreams...but it doesn't seem to. I follow along with your blog and so enjoy reading about life in Yorkshire Dales. So "Hello" from the US. Take care and be well.

thousandflower said...

I'm so glad I got to meet your Farmer. The poem is lovely.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thousand Flower - I have happy memories of that day.

Thanks to you all.