Ridge and Furrow Retraced

Afar, a thin lichen blotched steeple
Knapsack brown
And badged with green
Like a lanky Boy Scout.
Ahead, a blackthorn hedge
Cleaved near the root 
By billhook and determination;
Muscled over, sloping branches,
Silhouetted like nature’s tally-marks.
Up close, the ridge and furrow:
Broad ridges, a yard across;
Furrows, a yard wide, and half that deep – 
Fixed in earth, these fossilised waves,
Collecting the winter sun,
Refracting light, vivid outlines.
They do not crash or break 
They billow only over a lifetime’s course 
There is no wash or rip 
Every seventh is the same not higher.
The pull of the moon does not mould
These ripples of turned and re-turned earth.  

The sound of the oxen still echoes here
And the Medieval plough casts ancient shadows.

Ridge and furrow

ridge and furrow_fotorAfar, a thin lichen blotched steeple, knapsack brown with badges of green. Ahead, a blackthorn hedge cleaved near the root by billhook and determination; muscled over, sloping branches, silhouetted like nature’s tally-marks. Up close, the ridge and furrow: broad ridges, a yard across; furrows, a yard wide, and half that deep. Fixed in earth, these are fossilised waves, collecting the late afternoon winter sun, refracting light, creating vivid outlines. These waves do not crash or break, they billow only over the course of a lifetime. There is no wash or rip. Every seventh wave is the same not higher. The pull of the moon does not mould these ripples of turned and re-turned earth.   The sound of the oxen and Medieval plough still echoes here, casting ancient shadows.