Flocks of seagulls are flying with the rooks and starlings
white plumage makes them visible.
The grass has not grown,
would hardly hide a mouse.
The smallest bird injured by
how bitter the weather is.
Sharp against the sky
four oxen draw the ancient wheeled plough
to and fro on that open ridge
like ploughing on the dome of St Paul’s:
nothing for the rooks.
Now and then a lark sings in despite of
the bitter wind shaking to pieces
while the house is falling.
From Field and Farm by Richard Jefferies (Phoenix House, 1957), chapter V ‘On the Farm’. Submitted by Rebecca Gethin.