Sunday Writing Challenge

This week Poet, Viv Parks, (also  known as Gerry.du) returns to ‘Patricia’s Pen’ with her lovely poem titled Set-Aside.


Set-Aside – Viv Parks

Tufts of grass at the edge of the field
grow thickly undisturbed.

Weed killer sprays passed
them by, their growth not stunted
by insecticide.

The combine harvester did not behead
them nor were they crushed under heavy machinery
they are spared to seed and regenerate.

Growing strongly they interweave
tough sedge roots tangled with rye grass
alongside nodding heads of escaped golden corn.

Strong grasses intermingle delicate wild flowers,
red cuckoo spittle, clash against pink ragged robin,
chickweed so blue, all create a wonderful view.

The delicate understory shaded by tall cow parsley
swaying among majestic towers of thistles dark
and thorny contrasting the lower paler soft cow thistle.

Summer mornings reveal beads of dew glistening on cobwebs,
winter covers with diamonds of sparkling frost,
both disguising their deadly purpose.

Dried tufts become raw materials
as birds flock to build nests deep within the hedge,
home for their young until strong enough to fledge.

Spring and summer nectar feed bees,
essential for the survival of crops
needed to feed the human race.

Autumn seed heads stand proud,
inviting birds to feed and scatter
their seeds around. Once ingested
and upon the wing
deposited on distant ground.

Deep within the hummocks tiny dormice play and feed
before curling up to hibernate, avoiding cold winter days,
sleeping safely protected from winter’s deepest freeze.

These precious set-asides are virtually all that now remain
of our ancient meadows allowing them to beautifully frame
the stolen acres where sterile fields of rape and linseed grow.

N.B Definitions from Viv Parks (Gerry.du) 

Red cuckoo spittle – A bright red plant often found in hedgerows. It has lots of small red beads clustered up its short thick upright stem. It is almost always covered in a white froth substance.

Pink Ragged Robin – The plant – which I have always known as Ragged Robin has taller flimsy stems and fluted edged pink flowers.

Thank you, Viv Parks (Gerry.du), for your lovely poem with wonderful imagery. 

Picture from Pixabay 

Submissions are still open to ‘Patricia’s Pen’ for upbeat good quality writing. Please READ FULL guidelines on the following link and submit via the online form.

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