Friday, 17 June 2016


This poem came from reading the extract below:

…I listened to the ancient, familiar, immortal, dear cricket sound under all others, hearing at first some distinct chirps; but when these ceased I was aware of the general earth-song, which my hearing had not heard, amid which these were only taller flowers in a bed, and I wondered if behind or beneath this there was not some other chant yet more universal.

Henry David Thoreau, ‘The Journal 1837 -1861’


Ethereal as emanating mist,
the earth-song is exhaled
by the fundament beneath old trees
where leaves have lain decaying
for a thousand years.
Its melody recalls
the whispering of wind
in forests on a summer night;
its words, the cry of hunting owls
and the winter creaking
of an old oak’s boughs.

No god or man or spirit
could ever make this song.
It was its own creator,
born of a long continuum
between the earth and sky,
and everything that’s lived here
has added its own note:
foxes, moles and badgers
who dig deep into the mould
where man was never buried,
and the subtle hare
who, living overground,
dances in the frosting hoar of March
beneath a smiling moon,
as the song comes seeping gently
from the woods and hedgerows,
through sodden furrows of the plough
and grassy meadowland
that never nurtured corn.