Farming Today

Under Glynde’s grey turbine
I know I am irrelevant

It is as if my chest’s creaks
are now unsure ship timbers

set grinding by lifts and turns
of blown low pressures

Her blades swoon over us
in that signature revolution

She asks of me a greater effort
to stand for any time in her shadow

Can you find a name for her grab
and snaffle of another westerly?

Words hurt you – they are your
turned blades in your turned head

And this act of standing upright –
above Gote Farm – is my anchoring

on these Downs of compromises
made between giving and taking


Drive east out of Ringmer,
then turn left, before Earwig Corner,
accelerate on hedgerows’ chase
– parallel to Will Craig’s place;

there, on the driver’s side,
fields turn to skipped Caburn,
and your breath, to then be taken,
by the county’s only rotations

of three-armed grace,
under over-blown blades:
You now accelerate, drop-thrilled,
past the singing windmill’s hill,

and over, and down,
beyond the tilted crown,
across the bucked landscape,
on lanes, bough-scraped:

The hard-driven route,
gear-stick, de-clutched,
but then slowed by the stopped
that wide-load between weather.