They’re here, at last. I’ve missed them. As the days
Grow longer, so, like migrants, back they come
To bare, long-empty fields; the heavy hum
Of diesels drifting with the dust they raise.
The clay will not endure them with the rain
Of winter in it; dried by wind and sun
It welcomes them. Now there’s work to be done;
With share and tine they wake the land again.
The skylarks’ song, birds nesting in the wood
The lambs and daffodils, the flush of green
As buds appear – conventionally seen
As certain signs that Winter’s gone for good.
Me? In the rumble of a big John Deere,
The sudden stink of hot hydraulic oil
And sweet, sharp scent of rippling, fresh-ploughed soil
I feel the first deep stirrings of the year.
The teams of Shires and Clydesdales are long gone
And I lament their passing; but these new
And great beasts of the field complete my view
As underneath their wheels, the world rolls on.