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Rose Rent

Rose Rent


The closest neighbours are birds.
They are not pretentious,
mostly they bathe in puddles on the lane.
It is a private place
where you can listen to grass
rustling in its own hurry;
for growth shoots from blended earth,
bending over its height
in a blossoming wave.


A slow procession of cross the field,

captive here, as the belong to us,

we to them.
We keep the peace the rain gathers;

the sun shines on.


You stand in the field with my cows
as if it’s a dream.
In a couple of days we could cover

my ten years’ farming. 

You could tell me the rights and wrongs,

but I belong here.
I only give what it gives,

take what it takes.


I am not with this year’s jargon,
but I love this land, it is my lifecharm.
Flowers of the grassheads
twist in pairs on the wind;
every second as we watch,
nature reaches a climax,
and here is proof for your lapel;
a perfectly wild English rose.


Rose rent is an ancient nominal rental agreement whereby a single rose is tendered as rent on Midsummer’s Day.

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