Ploughing Match

A poem by Nib

Words and photos by Nib

Diesel caught their throats one autumn afternoon,

Happening on a ploughing match, a would-be crofter girl in tow,

At Wester Greens in a stubble field, a sea of Fordsons and Fergies,

And, lubing Nuffields, weathered men with weathered hands,

Spanners tinkle-tankling on the ploughs.


They lunched on griddle cakes and turkey soup 

Talked of oil, of crude, of feed and food

All the changes, all the many changes.


“I never desired conformity in my fruit.

Uniformity of apples has me baffled” Dreamer Farmer opined.

“I like my strawberries with bumps”, swilling more broth,

“To take away the tractor breath” he said.


David Brown lover, King of Quines,

Pouring tea from a flask into bone china offered,

“They own the bellies of the people, they have us by the guts they do”

“Who is they?” requested Crofter-girl.

Griddle maker Queen of Quines chimed, laughing:

“The self-proclaimed custodians of the land”.


Dreamer farmer, drooling at an ancient working thresher:

“All is palm oil sodden, just for fun and profit.

Nutrition is an armoury of foods martial,

Yes, martial would be right.

Defcon and Discipline let Golden Pest Spray Oils

Sterilise our souls with woe begone weed be gone.

Brigade, Assail, Ambush, Black Hawk and Capture

Shall and do counter nematodes, with extreme prejudice.

Deadline a toxic bait for slugs and snails, Nature’s larders.

Reaper, Requiem and Respect are toxic to bees for three hours only mind

While Tombstone and Venom kill all sucking insects and bees, yes all of them.”


Against raucous blasts of science and satellite

Seeking the memory that we are water, earth, air

Each one dissembled, lost in thoughts of own makings and doings.

Watch us, hear us rumble rustle roar in breezes

Move like waves, dance in light floes.