The cows graze in the green valley
on grass studded with wildflowers,
drink from a river where trout play
voles dance on through its banks.
They walk to parlour when they want
when their bodies say they need to be milked
hitch themselves to the robotic machine
that cleans udders, sucks the milk away.
There’s little labour for the farmer
no need to round-up, milk or carry
or spray pesticides as his father did:
he’s alerted to all twenty-four hours
for the land looks after itself, rain or shine.
He’ a happy man for his milk sells
for premium prices, he exports it
for its value for its great goodness,
filled with nature’s gentle bounty
and tuned to the season’s rhythms.
The cows, and the productive land
he’ll pass in perfection to his children.