In this valley which each year marks
a season with its own taxonomy
rotating with the crop, just one steadfast hand
on his powered steed ploughs, harrows, sows,
sprays, harvests and stores. Like a genie
from his own sandwich box. He has no need
for his father’s strong arms and legs,
only a good eye and steady hands. Alone
in the great field on his comfy seat,
mobbed by gulls and crows as the sun climbs
and falls, as the clouds bunch or fly, wind
or still air round his sealed cabin,
rain shot on his roof or the dead heat
across his shoulders. It’s a shifting world.
And when he takes his path back to the farm
leaving his beast to the watch until morning
there is nothing to give the cooling earth.
Only the sad paper which is no sacrifice
sits in his back pocket, folded and out of sight
to set him ready for tomorrow.
© John Stuart