I am on the verge of moving from suburbia to the countryside and have spent the last few days in a very rural setting. The surrounding farmland has been prepared for the next season’s crops with the inevitable stench of fertilizer being ploughed into the soil. This reminded me of a poem I wrote a couple of years ago at a similar time of the year.
The stench of rotted stems
and crushed and crippled roots
engulfs the field, where the harrow
drags the corpsed stalks
of a dead season to a new destiny,
renewing the energy-sapped soil.
Glinting discs sculpt the furrows,
while the tractor’s engine drums
the rhythm of the seasons.
A scatter of crows strut about the field
like a sleek posse hunting down a bounty.
A shotgun cracks and up they rise,
in a cluster of petulant calls,
and wait patiently, perched
in a glowering coven, ready
to descend again and peck
at the spoils of the newly turned earth.