on time

grain spilt on roadside
train rushes past fresh cut corn
harvest dust clouds air

~

n.b. It’s begun! Is this the best season of the year?

CLP 13/07/2022

on time

through the arch window
heart of pepper-pot windpump
green power returns

~

n.b. Just a few miles from this C19th windpump, built to keep the marshes accessible for farming by pumping floodwaters back into the tidal reaches of the Yare, there are now the wind turbines generating the power to fuel the electric pumps that do the same job today. It is said that over time all things go in cycles, much like wind-power.

CLP 09/05/2022

on paws

just for a moment
remembering a spaniel
the four leg, Clover

~

n.b. I feel lucky to have met and worked along side this loopy hound on a number of occasions. It will feel odd visiting that farm sometime in the not too distant future (hopefully) and not be greeted by this lovable character. Life goes on.

CLP 14/02/2022

On Time

grass mown and tedded

wuffled to speed its curing

awaiting baler

CLP 18/07/2021

Sheep

when we appear at the gate

their bleating starts

calling of ewes to lambs

lambs to ewes

locating each other in panicked calls

so anxious are they at our arrival

~

a pair of sturdy lambs burrow under a ewe

knocking the flighty beast off-balance

pull hard at her teats for comfort

lambs who already feed happily on grass

who merrily join patrols of this pasture

party to a gambolling gang

who normally ignore the stark-shorn ewes

lined by tines of electric shears

that have scored their skinned fleece pink

~

When our red quad-bike appears

these adolescent lambs cry

for more mother’s milk

perhaps instinctively aware

of what drives our human kindness

~

CLP 27/06/2021

On Water XLVI

makes up eighty-five

percent of grass, around sixty

percent of humans

~

CLP 23/05/2021

On The Table

Security is

required to ensure birds

make it to dinner

~

n.b. What goes on in these pristine sheds, behind this steel fence, in what passes for turkey farming in parts of Norfolk?

~

CLP 18/03/2021

L3(Day 51): Norfolk

Out into the broad expanses of Norfolk north of the city where the land is flat and the rivers are still young, we went. There vast swathes of open land devoid of hedge rows to protect the lanes from cold cross winds.

There are lines of ancient oak trees along some field boundaries, some showing signs of age, some of weakness, but the majority grey, stolid witnesses to the continuing changes in farming practise.

In one field machines were planting potatoes, in another despite the strong wind, spraying was taking place.

Where there was protection from the cold wind, the Sun was able to penetrate the February air and make it pleasantly warm.

At a stop for drinks, I queued behind behind a rotund man who spent nearly £50 on tobacco. Behind me a man had come in to buy lottery tickets. Outside at the chip shop a queue was forming along the village street. Friday for fish and chips?

On the way back a farm has reclaimed an area that had chainlink fencing and large areas of concrete aprons and old runways from the time of the Second World War. The nearby church of St Peter’s, with its round flint tower, had a sign stating that it was a site of Commonwealth War Graves. Here lie the remains of air crew from that conflict.

Passing through Norwich city centre on my way home, I was not surprised to see so many people walking in the bright February sunshine, but I was a little taken aback to see that several people seemed to be walking in groups, rather than alone, or in couples. There seems to have been a relaxation of the physical distancing rules all of a sudden. Have I missed something about Covid-19 not being able to infect people in this city?

I am increasingly aware of people being affected for significant periods of time by the symptoms of Long Covid. I am also aware of an attitude that some people who now having been vaccinated losing interest in what is going on with pandemic. Meanwhile teachers and school staff, police, prison officers and supermarket workers are being asked to work on without being repaid for their year-long public service by early vaccinations.

Teaching staff in the UK have suffered a death rate from Covid-19 of around a quarter more than the general population and still The Great Clown wants to make them wait by age for vaccination. Bad mouthing the teaching unions as he goes. If children’s education is so important, why has he not working with the workers’ unions to get a decent plan? Dead teachers can’t teach.

It is late. I am tired.

~

CLP 26/02/2021

On Numbers 3.8

Old Mister Brock shot

Bovine tuberculosis

It’s not black and white

~

n.b. Mass slaughter of badgers to inhibit spread of Bovine TB is a nonsense. Of 89 badger carcasses examined only 3.8% were infected with the illness.

There is no justification for the continuing programme of mass slaughter of badgers (an otherwise protected species) being carried out in parts of the UK in a vain attempt to reduce infection in dairy cattle.

The DEFRA official website is currently “Closed for updates”, but here is the link to the link to The Badger Trust charity for its stance on the matter.

~

CLP 09/11/2020

Following the Tractor

When the combine has cut through the wheat,

The bailer tidied all loose ends

And The Downs have felt the drag of plough and harrow,

Swallows and martins scour the chalk field in hundreds

A restless gathering, swooping, sweeping low

From roadside wires and hedge tops

Assembling their collective will to flee

Our gloomy, damp, autumnal land

~

One flits by, teasing my unleashed hound

Another, passes that close to me

I hear its fine wings feathering the air

~

This strange summer’s end comes nigh

Marked by the breath of hirondelles brushing our crumbled turf

Their fleeting farewell kisses of Northern earth leave no mark

When they take temporary leave for Southern skies

~

CLP  30th August, 2020