Before the human mind could warm to itself, The hands of the farmer had first to work, Creating clearances in the earth’s thicket: Cut into the thorn-screens of wild briar, Uproot the clusters of scrub-bush, Dig out loose rock until a field emerged Whose clay could be loosened and softened To take seed and bring forth crops.
The earth was able to trust The intention of the farmer’s hands, Opening it, softening it, molding it Into a domain of shelter and nourishment. It waits through its secluded winter For his imagination of springtime To feed into its darkened heart New seeds for it to work it’s mind on Until the harvest gathers and thickens With golden corn, honey-scented hay, Ripe red and dark purple fruit.
In his mind, his fields become presences; The feel of their colors, the brace of their walls Have greened his thought and tempered his heart.
His eyes can read the animal atmosphere; And see through their silence to sense their minds. His skilled hands can guide calves and lambs to birth. Out among his animals, in rain, cold, and snow, Talking to them in affectionate callings, Something in him tuned to their rhythm.
In these times when geography becomes virtual And developers urbanize the earth, May the farmer continue to hold true ground, Keeping the intimate knowing of the clay alive, Nourishing us with the fruits of the earth, Serving as custodian of that precious threshold where The rhythm of nature with its serene pulse And sublime patience restores our minds.
Poem “For The Farmer”, by: John O’Donohue