One Poem by Viv Parks

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

Set Aside

Those tufts of grass at the edge of the field
grow thickly undisturbed.
They are the lucky ones.

Weed killer sprays have passed them by.
Their growth has not been stunted
by insecticides.

The combine harvester did not behead them
nor were they crushed under heavy machinery.
Spared to seed and regenerate.

Growing strongly they interweave.
Tough Sedges tangled with Rye Grass
alongside odd heads of escaped golden corn.

Strong grasses intermingle with delicate wild flowers.
Red Cuckoo Spittle clash against pink Ragged Robin.
Chickweed so blue all these create a wonderful view.

This delicate understory shaded by tall Cow Parsley
swaying among majestic towers of Thistles.
Dark and thorny they contrast the lower paler soft Cow Thistle.

Morning summer dews reveal glistening cobwebs.
In winter they’ll be covered with diamonds of sparkling frost.
Both beautifully disguising their deadly purpose.

Dried tufts will become raw materials
as birds flock to build nests deep within the hedge.
Home until their young are strong enough to fledge.

Spring and summer nectars feed the bees
so essential for the survival of crops.
Crops needed to feed the human race.

Autumn seed heads will stand proud.
Invite birds to feed and scatter close around.
Once ingested then upon the wing deposit again on distant ground.

Deep within the hummocks tiny dormice feed and play.
Then curl up to hibernate, avoid cold winter days.
Sleep safely protected from the deepest freeze.

These precious Set-Asides are all that remain for nature’s retreat.
Now framing the fields of yellow sterile Rape.
So many many acres stolen from the ancient meadows.


Having retired Viv Parks is enjoying time nurturing her garden and now writes prolifically. She is very proud that several of her poems have recently been accepted for inclusion in three anthologies.

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