Pare the bank and lift the sod
Firm it on the ground
To reconnect with the peat
Push the spade into the black
And make the first cut
One of many to come
The fillers arms await
And barrow or box
Lie empty to be filled
Work all morning
Til sun is at it’s peak
Rest, relax, rehydrate, eat
And back to cut and fill
A rhythm that warms now
And warms again in winter
The spreaders attack each
Barrow load like ants
Hungry for food and labour,
who scatter with their spoils
And lay the wet turf down
In row on row on row
To dry in the mountain breeze
Only to be turned again,
And again til all sides are dry
And wizened up like the ancient sticks
Which were its source.
Travel home weary
Under a clear star-filled sky
That offers free wishes
To the gazer below
I wish for warmth in the winter
And it will be so