Even The Badgers Found It Strange

by Ben Pickard   Feb 5, 2018


The crunch of frost gave way beneath my feet
As the morning sun fought off the stubborn mist.
How odd! to see the pregnant fields and wheat
Transformed so soon and by this icy twist.

September had not yet dawned but that
Could not quite warm my breath or rosy cheeks -
The land about was still quite full and fat...
Did that not make this amble cruel and bleak?

I came, then, to the river's friendly bend,
Where at this time of year it trickles so.
But hark! the icy queen would even this suspend:
No current or no sound to prove the flow.

A 'tick' then came to me upon the still
And hurled me back to life from where I stood;
Almost noon and yet this casual chill
Did still abound throughout the open fields and woods.

And by and by, I made my way toward my house,
Accepting that and all I couldn't change;
For not a pheasant, badger, squirrel, hare or mouse
Could help but find this eerie morning cold and strange.

--

Ben Pickard

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Latest Comments

  • 4 weeks ago

    by Golden AnGel Rhapsodist

    You never fail to amaze everyone...your poem bring words into life...damn I can see how people look like how the weather feels like,you bring the reader inside your poem...
    My fav lines..

    I came, then, to the river's friendly bend,
    Where at this time of year it trickles so.
    But hark! the icy queen would even this suspend:
    No current or no sound to prove the flow.

    Very impressive.Keep on writing

    GEL

  • 1 month ago

    by Star

    This is truly impressive!!!

  • 1 month ago

    by Mr. Darcy

    Hello Ben,

    I thought I would go back through the archives. I can see you returned with this gem. And why not? (Barry Took reference) lol

    The title was always going to pull in the punters, making them wonder what everyone, including a badger would find strange.

    Stanza 1 - the onomatopoeia in the word crunch pleased me as did the comparison of the 'stubborn mist' the alliterations didn't pass me by either. The short remark worked well, allowing the reader a flavour of your perspective. This led on nicely to the: 'pregnant fields' and the loss of this ripeness/fullness of wheat, only to be destroyed by unseasonal weather. The reader can only feel the pain and wonder if the word pregnant is perhaps more than a metaphor for the dying of a crop?

    Stanza 2 - You can't beat mentioning a month to project a time for the reader. September (end of October) can mean different things to different people. Harvest, middle age or perhaps a significant month for the writer? I like the rhyme of, 'dawn and warm' The imagery of those rosy cheeks made my child mind smile. The image of cold buttocks! lol Sorry, I am damn sure this was not your intent, more the symbolism of cheeks that are cold or cherubic? The mention and contrast again of fullness and bleakness makes me think of a loss too soon. . .

    Stanza 3 - The poem, the journey moves from the fields to the river. Water as we know can depict a journey and this river is no exception. Its usual 'friendly bend' and pleasing 'trickle' have been dashed with a contrasting image: a frozen river, its' colour whitewashed out by the white of its banks. As for the sound, it too, muted, silenced before its time. Cruel.

    Stanza 4 - 'a tick' like an involuntary movement or sound at a sight or sound that brought the narrator back to his senses. Good job too! I like the alliteration of the 'st' sounds, leading nicely into the 'ch' of chill. The mention of 'noon' shows the passage of time, and as we all know, time can heal wounds and allow us time to see things a little differently. The woods are there and from this perspective a different interpretation. I like the the use of the words 'chill' and 'still' I always like rhyme and rarely see it over used. I guess its the wrapper in me that made me choke!?

    Stanza 5 - ok, here we are final stanza. By this time, the writer knows the end, he just needs to write it. There is much in life we can explain. In fact I learned the other day that the world is, in fact, not flat! Imagine that! I think we do like to have explanations, but I wonder if we really want answers or do we want truths? The fact that a rather unusual hard frost wiped out the farmers ripe crop may be due to cows not knowing if they should lay down or stand up. If we have an answer, any answer, many of us will settle for that. A poet may seek his answer in simple contemplation and observation. Allow time to move forward until the answers are found within, or at least in the badgers knowing eyes. Strange is just what nature does.

    Ben, this is a poem that, I am sure, will help answer many peoples questions, or at least help them on their way. What I do know, is the act of musing and writing it helps the writer most of all.

    Take care, Ben.

    • 1 month ago

      by Ben Pickard

      Michael - thank you so much for this thoroughly insightful and often amusing comment.

  • 7 months ago

    by Shoreditchpoet Dennis

    Lovely Ben. Pastoral, echoes of Frost & Yeats - but in a pastoral poem that’s always going to happen I guess. Still, you have your own style. Looking forward to reading more ????.
    Dennis

  • 8 months ago

    by Gracy Judith

    I love the imagery in these lines. Beautifully penned. A well-deserved win!

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