Sonnet Cycle: The Field – Part 2

JD ploughing

 

SPRING

The first bite of the coulter wakens me;
Five mouldboards turn my face to greet the sun
That climbs above the wood. Work has begun.
Gulls flock my furrows; on the easterly
Crows ride like witches. Celandines appear
In my hedge-bottoms; harrow, roll and drill
Pass over me with steel and noise until
The seed lies warm and deep. Another year.
Then ancient war breaks out. In elder days
I gloried in my arsenal of flowers
And weeds: now men have new, undreamt-of powers
And subjugate me with their soundless sprays.
The urging in the warming earth grows strong;
My young shoots rise up with the skylark’s song.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Sonnet Cycle: The Field – Part 2

  1. Nick, I love both of these terrific poems!

    Such a fabulous change if mood from a stark sadness through to the optimism of spring. I really feel for this field!! 🙂

    And a sign of spring is what I need right now even though we are still awaiting Xmas. I do hope you have a good one. And my book will be with you in a few days as long as it doesn’t get caught up in xmas post. But in any event it will arrive!!

    I am a little excited today. Although I am not quite well enough to attend, it’s my daughter’s graduation at Manchester this morning and I can watch it live online!! I know the “soundless sprays” are probably full of unwelcome chemicals for the field, but technology in some areas is wonderful! 🙂

    Christine xx

    • Thank you Christine – glad you liked these two pieces (I’m afraid you’ve still got two more to get through yet, though!)

      Very much looking forward to receiving your book: mine has been held up, so probably won’t be ready till the New Year now. I think/hope it’ll be worth waiting for. And many congratulations on your daughter’s graduation: I still have some years to wait until my girl gets to that stage (sigh), but I can imagine how proud you must be. What a great early Christmas present.

      Anyway, lovely to hear from you as always. Hope you’re keeping well.

      N.xx

  2. This, like the first sonnet, is so well done, Nick, that it sings of both craftsmanship and art. What wonderful language!
    Gulls flock my furrows; on the easterly
    Crows ride like witches. Celandines appear
    In my hedge-bottoms; harrow, roll and drill
    Pass over me with steel and noise until
    The seed lies warm and deep. Another year.
    This is protest poetry at its absolute finest, transcending the particular for the universal, but still striking a clarion bell for the particular.
    I hope you are getting out the sequence locally. Most people won’t pay attention, of course, but a few will, and, more importantly, the act of local publication strikes your voice against unyielding stone and the storm of slick words that justify actions not always wise.
    You are a poet indeed.

    • Thank you Tom. I hadn’t thought of publishing it – and certainly didn’t write it with that in mind – but maybe I’ll give it a try. The ‘unyielding stone’ is an apt image for our local authorities; the ‘storm of slick words’ is, unfortunately, a vast weather system that’s been sitting over our benighted country for years, and it blows right from the very top of society. Poets don’t have much power against the colossal vested interests at work, but it does my heart good to have you think I AM a poet. N.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s