Haulm and Shaw – Imogen Forster

Haulm and Shaw

Words I have known since I was
a child, since whenever it was
that we ceased to be country people, lost
our skin-sense of times for planting,
our almanac of daylight and weather.

But grubbing up with my bare
fingers my small crop of potatoes
I claim ownership, the right to eat
and to use what else will rot down
to give us another year’s nourishment.

Now the bed’s turned, raked, friable
earth ready again for seeding, ripe
with worm-life. It could be a grave,
tidy, carefully tended, hospitable
to generation, to generations.


Imogen Forster went back to writing poems seven years ago, after being a prose-writer. A couple of years ago she completed the MA in Writing Poetry from Newcastle University. She lives in Edinburgh and tweets as @ForsterImogen.

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