Sonnet: Green field site

They broke me in the morning of the world.
With iron axes, oxen, fire and toil
They stripped me of my trees. A dark smoke curled
Into the sudden sky. My restless soil
Awakened by those ancients has not slept
These thousand years. Each autumn I’ve been torn
By plough and harrow; every winter kept
The new seed safe; in summer felt the corn
Stir with the wind, but never will again.
The concrete pours, the excavators bite:
My acres, seamed with sewer, duct and drain,
Will yield two hundred houses, packed in tight.
They’re breaking me again, and in a year
You’ll see no sign that I was ever here.


End of season

All that remains

The campsite is empty now:
The caravans and motorhomes are gone,
The tents and awnings are packed away.
All that remains is the sea.

The caravans and motorhomes are gone,
Across the Breton border, the Channel and the Rhine
Full of sand, baguette crumbs, and memories.

The tents and awnings are packed away,
Those magic spaces, homes that vanish so completely
We wonder they were ever there.

All that remains is the sea.
Indifferent to our human tide that flows in May
And, with October and summer’s end, quietly ebbs away.


My first attempt at a trimeric: thank you to Ina for inspiring me.

Breaking new ground

My own furrow

The man with the five-furrow
Reversible rig ploughs twenty acres
Of bristling, thistling stubble
Motley with pigeon, rook and gull,
Releasing soil-scents
Sharp as horse-sweat, apple-fresh.

At the gate, watching,
I must beware,
Not wish myself behind the wheel
Watching the clay pour over silver mouldboards
Behind me, burying a summer
That died before its time:

The jolly ploughman never lived
Except in songs
That few can now recall,

And were I confined
To that big New Holland
Four wheels would soon a prison make.
I must settle to my allotted labour
Till my own ground
Raise my own dust
With such implements as I have,
And hope, one day,
To bring a harvest home.