Stray into foreign territory

Jenny Mouland’s withering survey of the effects of last year’s appalling weather on local farms prompted me to stray into foreign territory.

So all proper poets should now evade their eyes...

I wish to God I’d never delved

Into that year where twenty twelved

And fortified myself instead

With every other day in bed

I wish that I had never spied

The rain bursts that denied the sky

And ripped the blossoms from the trees

And dumped spring mud at five degrees

I wish to God I’d never witnessed

Chicks that drowned of morning sickness

And ever walked the meadowed dew

Where swallows never keeked or flew

All Maytime long I yearned for hawthorn

When all I got were slugs with horns on

The forlorn sight of hazel trees

That bore no nuts that stood a breeze

I sometimes thought I heard the moans

Of wet queen bees that lived un-droned

And how I raged and cried aloud

At apple trees that went unbowed

I hope and pray we have the protein

Just to get through twenty-thirteen

And trust we never get the same

Where ears of barley die of shame

John Dodd

South Harting