What Is Left Undone Must Be Carried On Or Forgotten #DVersePoets #Prosery

The house bursting and yet empty.

This is a bareness of harvest or pestilence. 

Tilly put the book down when her Aunt asked what she was reading.

She made an excuse and escaped through the kitchen. Hurried along the pockmarked lane.

The keys were cold in her palm, which was odd, seeing as they had been hung by the Aga.

When she climbed the gate she heard him muttering about townies always f’ing over good gates by not climbing over hinge end.

The tractor won’t start at first, takes a little coaxing.

Great Old Lady, done more than her fair share of things and would carry on longer than he would no doubt.

She eased it into gear and checked the harrow out of the back window.

He’d liked things finished, seen through to the end.

Today was as good a day as any.


All To Market #DVersePoets #TuesdayPoetics

When the backboard drops they spill like water over a fall,

woolly bodies frothing from the flight decks,

feet upon each others’ backs.


There is a boy behind the hurdles,

already knee bent in anticipation,

fingers spread for the catch.


Outside, a woman is selling cauliflower.

Holds the head of it like a newborn

between the palms of her hands.


A farmer rattles pounds in his fist,

counts his luck,

passed it on to the winning bid.


In a corridor there is a circle

of bowed heads and five pence jumps,

till the circumference is a singular.


A lone man is loading up,

clicks the gates on what he brought,

tries not to fumble the catch.


Someone whispers at an absence,

shakes a head at suspicion,

does a math of miles inside their head.


They wait to hear the hammer fall.






Countryside Wisdom

I always greet red dawns with caution.
Farmer’s daughter,
I turn over countryside sayings
like hard-boiled sweets
in my mouth.
The syrup long since sucked
from the center,
now all crunch and brittle,
the shards pricking my gums
in warning.
No amount of scoffing,
can keep my grandmother’s voice
from speaking to the dawn.
Soft, and familiar,
chanting the same words,
now made fact.
Red mornings are both beautiful,
and dangerous.
We should watch
for a change in the winds.


Along The Headlands

In some places the growth regulator has worked.

The barley perches waist height,

perfect cover for the pigeons that dive-bomb

grey feathers all a flutter,

deaf to the crow banger’s crack, crack, crack

as they land in the elsewhere places

of stems grown too tall not to loose their balance.

In the shadow of the sheds there’s warmth yet,

the sun is sunk but not quite set

and the sky has turned to rust beyond the track

where the tractors wobble outwards

for one last relay before dusk can claim day.


I’ve mixed two prompts tonight. DVerse Poets Pub’s challenge to write a poem about landscape while using verbs in an unusual way (I’m hoping I managed that) and today’s Daily prompt: Traditional. So here you have traditional Shropshire scenery with a twist.

NaPoWriMo Day Four

April is the cruellest month, breeding

lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

memory and desire, stirring

dull roots with spring rain.

T.S. Eliot – The Wasteland – I. The Burial Of The Dead

I love T.S Eliot.  My collection of his work is currently leant out to a friend which meant I had to google this poem, but his writing is something I find myself amazed at over and over again.

Today’s prompt for NaPoWriMo was to take the first line of this poem and write our own about which month we think is the cruellest. At the moment I would say that April is perhaps the cruellest month. Now normally I don’t bring politics into my poems, but I thought I would give it a go today.

Facing The Spring

It’s an undercurrent,

a muttering,

a rip-tide lurking beneath the surface.

This talk

has been around for months.

Spring brings up

more than just the daffodils.

This job was his life.

This job his father’s life.

His grandfather’s, his great father’s,

those men who came before

and worked to the bone

to build something for the next.

He must now face the Spring.

The possibility they might not survive

to see the milk prices rise

or his children take his place.

And all that will left

are empty parlours and empty fields

and empty hearths

where generation, after generation

came in to hang their hats

and laugh by the fire

once upon a time

when days were better.