Ray Miller

Gone to the Country

A half-ploughed field haunted, two tractors abandoned

beckon the future. Agricultural labour

has paused for a cider and a piss in the ditch;

a puff on a pipe to turn matters over,

late afternoon slumber in the shade of a hedge.

Light dapples a tree stump and lends the appearance

of fairy enchantment or deer at a distance;

the cadence of branches, the rhythm of swaying,

melodious birdsong flatters the forest.

Our children and dogs heckle notes of discordance.

Fair-weather features will be tacked to the borders;

defacing the country, they shall in due order

grow beards and moustaches, pimples and glasses,

alter complexion from top to the bottom

for the crosses that count - the plight of the commons.

Tomorrow this birdsong will be too intrusive

or pass us unnoticed like shopping mall music

and trees, grown too tall for bowing and scraping,

snatched from the breach between earth and its ceiling,

will groan for the good of the greatest number.

Ray Miller © 2015