Battle Cry - Land Poetry

Writing as a form of expression is something that I'm learning to do more of every year. It takes me time and relative quite, which I have days of as farming picks up. Land poetry is an activity I do with myself and groups where I spot, draw, and reflect on forms in nature to help pull out stories of my life.


When I 'finish' a piece, whether visual art, poetry, a garden, I have a period of time when I am taken by admiration for my work. It inspires me and affirms my experience in a way that is always quite motivating. Yahuuuuu! I share because I'm inspired by art of my community (thanks for sharing, ya beautiful beasts) and I am glad to be a part of the creative mess.


I hope you enjoy! If you can relate, I'd love to hear about what stands out for you.


Bird songs and silence interrupted by crows cawing hawk overhead,

Man kneeling for hours planting celeriac by parsnips by garlic bed after bed.

Battles in the sky for territory, maybe.

Protecting food, nesting grounds, perhaps their baby.

Neighbouring land rumbles and I imagine I can feel the start of an engine in my bones.


The wind is gently blowing from the West, cut each time the crow takes a dive.

Sun setting hot, casting shadows of hands teasing roots of seedlings hoped to stay alive.

Hedgerows filling in, separating land from land

Maples, poplars, dogwoods, and more, form a motley stand

Through the immature filter of leaves, my eyes catch cumbrous mechanized labour


Top of the tree three crows return as the hawk soars beyond the mire

Reaching arms to stretch his back, his ears are perked by what sounds like a snake-full choir

Thousands of tiny sprinklers far away

A big tank disgorging some unknown liquid engenders dismay

This sound is the sound of one kind of farmer taking a stab at life, attempting a livelihood


Cawing fills the evening once more as the sky is scattered with countable birds

Few can remember, or still see, animals in their once abundant state, myriad herds

Row by row the tractor criss crosses closer

Mother Nature drenched, that spray now clothes her

Fear stings at my heart, thoughts of losing newly planted cedars, lilacs, and drifting poisons


The azure now dusking throws light sideways to catch the remnants of a once-forested tract

50 acres of denuded soil glisten as if a treaty dish polished clean of all historical acts

However this land and the people remember

Seeds, spores, and rhizomes linger like explosive embers

Ache ‘n’ ease settle in to my settler body as I climb my tractor with leftover compost to retire.


The many steps we all have left to take humble my head as I bumble home to my little Nook to co-conspire.

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