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winner, Cardiff International Poetry Competition, 2008

 

The Field

 

I want the field to be good for nothing

except itself.

 

I want the field to be random,

exploding with glittering spider gauze

or studded with swoops of starlings

in their black sudden chatter and fizz, then gone.

 

I want the field to delight in its giving,

offering owlsong to night, honeysuckle’s sweetness

to summer shadows hock-deep under oaks,

a stream’s rest and deliverance.

 

I want the field to care;

to shuffle itself around to make space

for new calves, a million beetles, thousands

of buttercups, a hundred bees, slink foxes,

picnics, two May cuckoos.

 

I want the field to be green with

clover and plantain and orchid and selfheal —

not emerald with ryegrass and nitrogen.

 

I want the field not to have to prove anything

by statistics of wheatweight.

I want the field to have its own quota

of roe deer, walkers, horses, flies, vetch.

 

I want the field to be able to borrow a free month

of bright dresses — chicory, moonflowers, poppies,

hedges of damson, cherry-snows, dog-roses.

 

I want the field to work honestly

striving each season to fullness

of hay or beets or corn, its hedges weaving

a winter-living of berries, thoughtfulness of hazels.

 

I want the field to have wild times

and grace notes, fallow dreams.

I want the field to be cherished, loved as family.      

I want the field to be good for nothing except itself.

 

 

Rose Flint

 

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