I was tasked with finding a poem not longer than 12 lines and thought I had only found one in 1987! However in sorting through old first draft folders I found a ‘coda’ type poem which for some reason I had left off the sequence from 1999 collected here as ‘Skeleton at the Plough’.
I really do not know why I left it off..maybe because so short..maybe did not make sense. Maybe I thought it was rubbish at the time..who knows.
Here it is in its brevity anyway..all 6 lines so well within the limit and a strange thing it is…maybe the perfect opening or final poem in the ‘Farm-Hand’s Radio’ collection
In twilight, stooping to read unreadable words
Rain hard leached from the stones
I felt the country of my mind fall into place
And the country I was stood upon become unknown
As a parched desert, a rack of bones
At last I have returned to sing a silent song.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing..at the time I probably thought it referred to my father’s village and that all. Looking back it written barely a year before my long-term relationship with a Spanish lady was about to disintegrate in November 2000 and set me careering away from Oxford probably forever in March 2002 to end up in Nottingham just as my father was diagnosed with cancer…
I had stopped singing that was for sure…