Poem of the week Set-Aside

EITHER side the minor road

Seldom ever used

Two lonely trees in leaf

Silently bemused

Facing east and facing west

Shade an ancient cattle-way

Coming from, going to

Nowhere in particular.

Since the farmland set-aside

No tractor, no car,

No cows beneath the tree

Hay-meadows ceased to be

Wheat and barley never grown

Emptiness where seed was sown-

A landscape left unused.

Either side the minor road

No longer lonely trees

Facing one another shade

Wild flowers, honey bees,

Birds within the briar hedge

Where whispering breeze and birdsong cheers

The casual passer-by who hears

The gift of joyful silence.

Mary Hale