as a child i grew up with blackberry hedges at the end of our suburban garden. as a father i often took out my two young boys to pick blackberries. i like the fact that they are free to pick but at least one of my boys put more in his stomach than in his empty ice cream box!
Chill-sharpened autumn, browning edges,
brambly blackberries asterik hedges;
I set out on bike, cycle toward fields
- what bounty will wild berries yield?
Will i fill empty plastic tubs full?
Will there be thorns to pull
from foraging fingers after finish?
Will wild crop be soon diminished?
Fingers tattooed, dark purple stains,
taking care to not slip in deep drains
- but why sly nettles grow so near
to the very berries that I endear?
Bird rustle well-hidden by leaves,
hallowed harvest from maker received;
hazel-nut husks crunch under tyres,
cold hands dream of warm log fires.
Mugs of tea, berry and apple pudding,
through window see grey clouds scudding,
stomach satiated, perhaps book to browse
in front of fire, possibly to drowse…
image credit: Dianne Sutherland