The Organic Poetry Farmer by John Dawson / by John Dawson

I misheard the radio news, I thought they said poetry farmer, instead of poultry farmer. So I sat down and wrote this poem over one night. My first poem in 30 years. Written in early 2018.


The Organic Poetry Farmer
Some years ago, we sold our sheep, cows and hens
And bought a herd of words unseen,
They arrived in an envelope,
postmarked Aberdeen,
Hence the cost of shipping.

‘Look at the vowels on them’ we said proudly.
‘Ah, but them consonants could do with a clipping’
We blew those words out onto the land,
I have to say, they’ve turned out fine,

And now, each cold dawn, I stand in my wellies
and milk hundreds of breath steaming words,

And on the foot hills, we round up pauses,
herding them silently, into pens,
whilst my dogs, Gerrel and Stanza scamper around.
‘Til they come to a full stop.

For we are stewards of the natural word,
the gentle guardians of the alphabet,
we don’t spray verbicides, nor force feed our letters,
Our words are not caged,
they are free to

tumble,

rustle,

nudge

and peck,

And when its time for market,
we select the best words,
We brush them down,
and we put them in their best order.

Some poetry farmers will tell you
“Farming, it gets verse as the years go on’
But we are not down hearted
Give us a year and we will grow enough letters to fill our first book,
Then we will publish,
You have my word...