Weekend Discount On #Poetry Collection!

This Saturday and Sunday I am selling signed limited edition (there were a couple of typos on the blurb, and the world century instead of millennium in one poem) copies of my collection ‘It’s All In The Blood’ for £5.00. (UK Postage included.)

There are 35 copies available at the reduced price. The discount ends Sunday at midnight.

If you would like to buy a copy then please let me know in the comments below, or email caroljforrester@hotmail.com

For anyone wishing to purchase outside the UK there is a slight increase to cover postage:

USA: $9.92
Australian Dollar: $13.46
Euro: €9.06

Spring Washing – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

Today is the first day we have risked the washing line.
The sheets go out first,
pale faced in the morning brightness,
skirts scattering about wind born legs.
The sweaters are more resilient to such weather,
they slouch from their pegs
warming slowly 
arms raised like they are reaching
to pin themselves in place.
Caught by their knees, dresses fold over
hang like school children from trees
laughter in their fluttering. 
The garden becomes a gathering,
loud in their wet chatter.
Today is the first day we have risked a washing line,
hope goes out first. 

Franz Marc, Flatternde Wäsche im Wind (1906)

When You Can Taste The Salt – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

Now you have evaporated,
I can see markers clear as crystal,
so damn sparkly in retrospect.
if you had added salt to the veg
was as small as any mistake
chalked up to forgetfulness.
By the time you taste it
you’re too late.  

Unearthed Abundance – We Repeat Our Tasks Of Preparing

Tonight’s poetics challenge from DVersePoets is to create our own major and minor seasons using the traditional format of Chinese and Japanese micro-seasons. Growing up in a farming family means that your sense of the year is always tied to the land, and I thought this might be a nice opportunity to share what January/February means on a farm in North Shropshire.

Sekki: Unearthed Abundance

Store lambs are bought in the Autumn, and sold on in the Spring. During the months in-between they need a source of food, and a good way to provide this is by grazing them on stubble turnips. The sheep will graze the leafy green tops off the crop first, leaving the field looking fairly barren, but the pink turnips that actually contain most of the nutrition remain below the surface. Without the easy to reach leaves to snack on, the sheep turn their attention to these. To represent this I chose ‘unearthed abundance’ as the name of my major season.

I was a little stumped as to what to name my minor season for this challenge. I decided to go with ‘where we repeat our tasks of preparing’ as my family are still in that point of the farming calendar where they are preparing. Lambing is a few weeks away since we don’t lamb as early in the season as some, and the day-to-day tasks revolve around fencing off new patches of grazing for the store lambs, getting reading for lambing, and keeping an eye on the cows close to calving. While the crops have been sown, in places the fields still look empty, and it is easy to be fooled into thinking this is a quiet time in the farming calendar. There are no quiet times.

Green leafing forage
shifts in sections of fleeces
one patch to the next

With new calves being born, thousands of store lambs grazing in the fields, and new pedigree lambs on their way, my parents’ farm is currently busy with livestock. Winter may not be quite over yet, but new life is there just beneath the surface. In my own garden, removed from the farm I grew up on, I can see this in our koi fish. Sunk to the bottom of the pond, they are waiting out the cold weather and look almost dead in their stillness. This is the way of this season, the barren hiding the plentiful.

Pencil sketches of the top of a fodder beat plant, a lamb, a cow, and a koi fish
Evening doodles – 01/02/2020