wintry rural bike ride

sunday cycle

purposefully pushed pedals, cog-ratchets crisply click,

on bumpy roads balloon bike-tyres hum happily quick;

tractor-treads decorate malleable verge edges,

cycle-saddle height affords farm views over hedges.


road-surface show little evidence of any bovine splat,

absent wheel-crushed papier-mache cow pats;

primal-perfumed scenes, distinct rural aroma,

slurry-pong permeates sanitised suburban persona.


country quiet broken by farm machinery driven along:

tractors trundle past, briefly obscuring birdsong;

uplifted loader buckets, or shiny straw bale impalers,

slightly-dripping slurry tanks, tuneless rattling trailers.


turf smoke tenuously tints, subtly scented landscapes,

many fields winter-flooded, few manage escape;

much grass declines growth, water-logged the earth:

seed needs to be sown, soon ewes will give birth.


farmers and fields, cattle and crop: ancient land-linkage,

expenses expand but payments show much shrinkage;

mart is only meeting place, small shops long-closed,

sheepdog lies patient, muddy paws cushion wet nose.


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