Latchford Harvest

A barmy late August evening
to a mechanised beat.

Golden sunbeams
touch clouds
of chaff-dust
that billow
from the combine
in drifts.

Cut-lines map
the path
of the mechanical scythe.
Contoured curves
that last a week
’til the plough folds
the remnants
of a season’s growth
back into the earth.

Emerging from the uncut crop
a covey of grey partridge
eight or more strong.
Notes from their urgent calls
catch the ear
through the thrashing hum.

A Yellowhammer
joins in descant
the full chorus
fills the valley.

The sun sinks
behind filament clouds.

Another year’s harvest is nearly in.

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