Posted on June 14, 2017 by The Bardo Group Beguines Remembering the Farm

I remember a farm where grasses grew
wild flowers scattered over their jewels
enriching the meadows where cattle grazed
and every August with horses we made hay.

The land was productive and the cattle thrived
and gentle the rain that watered the soil:
the summers were long and the children swam
in the waves lapping beaches of silvered sand,

for the cattle provided pure milk by the gallon
that was milked every morning and collected
in churns, it tasted so sweet fresh from the udder.

The grasses provided sweet hay for both horse cattle.
I remember the haymaking, pitching grass on the fork;
the haycocks rising their mounds on the fields
to dry in the long days of summer’s sure sun,

but that was before the farms turned to spreading
chemicals promising ever increasing production
the flowers vanished together with the bees and
the meadows no longer held cattle and horses,
for the cattle are housed in great lines of production

and their milk is pumped into vats for pasteurisation.
Its delivered in plastic that needs recycling or lands
in the sea we once swam in so freely but now is awash
with fish that are dying and fishermen’s catches grow

ever smaller as the boats that caught mackerel no longer
tie-up at the jetty we walked to on Sundays, to buy mackerel
for dinner – they’re gone with the summer and the pure spring
water we drank by the bucket from the clear mountain stream.

© 2017, Carolyn O’Connell

This Poem was Published in the April edition of Reach Poetry 223 Thanks to Ronnie & Dawn

Consultation

She sat at her desk
stern, yet welcoming
almost a mother but barred by time

as the watery day threw pebbles
on the dirty window
matching the mood

she listened as we described
the chines we’d encountered
cliffs, drifts, rocks
of the climb, before the final fall

into the unknown air
of this unspeakable mountain
to a space of no return.

She offered no resistance
but like a mother
tucking her child to sleep
offered her helping lullaby

a small song of comfort
lightening the fear of sleep
welcome as hope of rescue.

Carolyn O’Connell
February 2017

Published Reach Poetry 223 April 2017