Thursday, January 22, 2009

Scything - i.m. John Cleary

Initially aware of me watching

with camera in hand

my uncle scythed the meadow

beside the Achill road

his stance heroic

his movements measured

until his effort economised to find

a grace born of time and the familiar

the perfect rhythm

so that he moved almost imperceptibly

into that space where

man and tool embrace and became

out there in the field

a living grace I witnessed

aware of no-one

lost, gone

into the still centre of himself

so that I held my breath in eternity

knowing a shutter click

would have been an explosion.

Copyright Mark F Chaddock 2008

This is a poem I had struggled with for a number of years, unsuccesfully, unable to capture the special feeling of that day some thirty years ago. I am satisfied with this version. It will appear in my forthcoming book of poetry, 'The Ordinary Miracle', due out this year.

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