Day Five – ‘Golden Shovel’

Day five brought the challenge of the ‘golden shovel’. Found this one quite tricky but persevered.

I chose William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow”, as it was the first short poem I thought of! Like all these sorts of exercises it seems to encourage you to paint yourself into a corner at certain points. Can’t say it’s my favourite thing to do but challenges do make you think, at least, and strive to be creative. As my day four was a cop-out, felt I should make more effort!

Planting Peas

They planted the seeds in tidy lines, just so,
tried not to disturb the ground too much,
lest they disturbed the fine balance on which such fragile growth depends.
Once the perfect spot was identified, agreed upon,
it was carefully marked out with a
square of twine and twigs, stuck firmly in the rich red
soil. From the centre they added canes, radiating out like spokes from a wheel.
Beside the plot they piled loam, formed a tumulus, an ancient barrow.
Its form lent an air of reverence and the shrubs bowed low, leaves rain-glazed.
A robin seized a worm that had forced itself free, and filled the air with
it’s melodious song. When the ground was prepared, once again the rain
fell with a ferocity that halted progress, filling the trenches with water.
They sought shelter in the summer house which nestled in the border beside
the old pond. Another long wet spring might rot the seed or slow the
germination, bringing forth a pitiful crop of white,
stunted stalks, fit for nothing more than a tasty treat for the chickens.


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