Glyphosate by Sarah Watkinson

To His Grace the 12th Duke of Marlborough


Oh don’t spray death across my field,

this wiped-out spring insults the soul.

Reckon beyond this year’s yield,

not just the profit, but the whole.


We locals have no power to wield,

to save the so-called weeds you kill.

It’s money in your bank, I know,

to herbicide our lovely field.


The year’s best time, we fear to go

out in the morning into brown

where green should spring and everything

lies on the panned soil, rotting down.


We’re unentitled, but we love

clover along the public path.

What ancient moot could have foreseen

this power to poison all that’s green?


Your hirelings come from far afield

and never walk the land they spray.

Seated high behind a shield

they do the job and drive away.


They do not see or smell, don’t know

the desert left here when they go.

One putrid anaerobic stench

obliterates the scents of May.

Things Fall Apart by Sarah Watkinson

When Empire’s reverberations died away
the inheritors came out and looked around.
Unburdened, the nation rediscovered play:
a hall for festivals, a merry-go-round.

We had our jolly uncle here to stay.
He spoiled us rotten. He had lots to spend.
Red’s for fizzy drinks, not flags, he’d say,
and so our ceremony of innocence is drowned.

We have shared our poems on Jo Bell’s 52. I am a relative newcomer to poetry, which I started through the Oxford Diploma in Creative Writing with Jenny Lewis. My poems have appeared in Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Stare’s Nest, Nutshells and Nuggets and in small magazines, and I have been successful in three competitions. I am a member of the Hall Writer’s Forum.