Death of a Yeoman

In that dream, the listing moon
three-quarters black, a vessel
capsized by a buckled storm
of sullied dishcloth clouds
spilled light till it drained
bright scimitar blade dulled.

I stood, mid-ford, and looked
downstream to Coppice Plain
watched alder twigs scratch the gale
rook wings clawing at the void
and the river running backwards
up the valley to the Woodlands.

A story flopped on the doormat
a telling of hedgerows uprooted
ponds filled in, the moorhen ousted
by devilish artifice, infinite variety
evicted by an aluminium bunker
humming with trivial commerce.

Somewhere close a farmer sobbed
his child smothered by a hill of grain
milk soured in the cow’s udder
and one by one, without ceremony
from barn to bedroom to pantry
he was putting the lights out.


13 thoughts on “Death of a Yeoman

  1. Not a wasted word ~ nothing but emotion, great poem Julian. A beautiful way to bring in the New Year ~ and best to you with your writing in the New Year. Cheers to a great 2016.


  2. I got so caught up in the words creating such beautiful and lavish imagery that I forgot the title, and the ending caught me. Though a dream, and again, beautifully composed, it was heart rendering.


    1. Thank you, Anita.

      I wrote it after seeing a newspaper story that in the UK farmers are three times more likely to take their own lives than other people, which made for pretty bleak reading, especially for the son and nephew of farmers (both of whom died of natural causes, I hasten to add).

      I’m glad the poem moved you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That is alarming, but considering how stressful and in today’s climate often financially unrewarding together with bureaucracy, it can be – that discovery isn’t surprising me.

    – I read on another of your pieces a fellow blogger praising the north, in particular Newcastle upon Tyne, from where I hail. I didn’t want to jump in but appreciated the thoughts on our wonderful scenery and that you are just down the road. My husband who is originally from California loves it here and often follows the trail the length of parts of the Tyne, he knows more about the area than I do now.

    Liked by 1 person

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