Richard Moorman, you wouldn’t understand…

Snow this morning…just a dusting!

The ground is frozen and the air is still.

Working over by the compost heap, where the ground does not freeze(trapped heat, methinks), I noticed one of the garden robins following my digging, intently, waiting for edibles to be earthed up! 

Dormant plants take on a beauty all of their own on a day like today.

We often complain about the weather and the winter and the cold and the wet, but once out and walking it’s easy to appreciate the beauty that lies within each day…

The water barrel, frozen in suspended animation…

One of my favourite poets is, and has been for a long time, Seamus Heaney. We both emanate from the same part of Ireland, so I came to his writing early on and have stayed with it since. Each poem has a lyricism all of it’s own and pulls me back to Country Tyrone…

Digging captures the day that’s in it…

Digging by Seamus Heaney

Between my finger and my thumb

The squat pin rest; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.

No, Richard Moorman, you simply would not understand!

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