Early spring ice melts channels
in mountains, fields and hills,
loosens hardened sods under
the metal plough’s thunder.
Grey crusts and clods break
in the furrows’ crumbling wake,
surfed by flocks of gulls and crows
pillaging carefully crafted rows.
Later in the ripening year,
earth fulfils the farmer’s prayer;
tender growth greens the plain,
rapeseed sprung from richest rain
and boundless harvest crops,
golden corn, wheat and hops.
Kim M. Russell, 22nd June 2020
This week, Brendan wishes us a happy summer solstice to us residents of the Northern Hemisphere and reminds us that it is the beginning of our astronomical winter.
He has shared words by Wendell Berry that remind us that we are inextricably linked to nature and the wild, even though we are domestic creatures who need balance and harmony as much as the earth does. I love the extract Brendan included from ‘Prayer after Eating’, one I have read before, and was struck by the poem he shared from ‘The Timbered Choir’, with which I was not familiar; I love the way he conveys the closeness of a farmer with his land, they way he knows every bit of it, while acknowledging that it can never really belong to him.
Living in the countryside, surrounded by farmland and wild nature, I love this week’s challenge: to write about the intersection of culture and nature.