Cardiff International Poetry Competition, 2008
I want the field to be good for nothing
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.