Harvest at Morwenstowe

All must be safely gathered in.  As the villagers
Push shut their buffeted doors, their vicar,
Flapping, motley in primrose and purple, zig-zags

Down the cliff path, lurid in the leering,
False light that jags between the roiling
Slate-clouds and the slant-edged rocks.

At this outpost of the eternal, no-one
Is given up for lost.  The sky clears; the bell
Is rung on the hill top; and the gleanings

Of the storm, the mortal flotsam, cradled
And folded, is sown in the fresh furrow
Beside the church.  ‘For the earth,’

He reads, ‘bringeth forth fruit of herself.’
At dusk, he is seen through the vicarage
Window, writing letters of condolence,

By the blackbird, who cocks her tail
In the hedge, splashing the undergrowth
A warm maroon; and tears through the brambles.

Elaine Ewart, Fenland Poet Laureate
Horningsea Church Harvest Festival, September 2012

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