This poem is based on my April lockdown experience in ‘splendid isolation’ at Navasola in Southern Spain and working outside close to nature. I also wrote poetry and responded to a poetry competition on ‘Winning’. I didn’t expect to win but it was worth penning this poem. I have adapted it to my form of 26 lines for my 26 poem poetry challenge.
Here it is for Open Link Night at https://dversepoets.com/. Linda presents this prompt with the reminder that this was the day the Rolling Stones released their single ‘I Can’t Get No Satisfaction’ in 1965. Great memories!
‘You can’t always get what you want,but if you try, sometimes, you might find, you get what you need’ The Rolling Stones
I thought I wanted wild flower meadows instead of tall bracken but I got much needed exercise and distraction from pandemic anxieties!
I will never beat the bracken.
The bracken has grown taller than me in just two days.
It seems that now my role in life is to beat this thing,
That leaves little space for wild flowers to grow.
A man fangled machine, at first, refuses to start.
Will I ever beat the bracken back with just a scythe.
A spluttered choke and I begin but will not win
Against the roots that run so deep within
Wet, red, leaf littered soil where chestnuts grow
So well, till drought dries out, and then
Another battle begins.
Who wins when no rain falls?
I control the blade
To not cut down in prime of life,
Stars of Bethlehem and Solomon’s Seal
Along this track to some forgotten Calvary
Where nature is the sacrifice.
When I retire at close of day,
I know who will return.
The owl for sure as now the way is clear
To kill the mouse with no shelter near.
The spanish robin too, just like our own
Keeps an eye on what is now laid bare.
The wild boar will come and plough
Without the thorny bramble there.
With these thoughts I win acclaim
But lose the game.
I did not want to be so far from family during the lockdown but there was little choice so I enjoyed the time spent working outside and trying to cut back bracken and brambles in order to have some fire plan in a wild and overgrown valley. In my head I wanted to protect old chestnut trees and the house, but I did not want to cut any flowers already growing as these would help in creating a wild flower meadow. Clearing bracken and brambles makes it easier to pick the chestnuts that fall in late October.
Some win and some lose in this conservation game.
The link to sponsor my poetry challenge is on the previous post if you would like to donate to conservation charities that help restore nature.