On Pilgrimage

a morning-fresh aroma
from the compost
steaming in the cool air

i descend the mountain
just so i can climb it
yet again

through fog
as soft as the moss
acorns clattering down

the sun’s already out
in the valley for
the annual farm show

and above the gap
the first broad-winged
hawks of the day

spiral high around
a column of rising heat
then hurtle south

while a long rumbling
line of tractors
snakes through the fields

they used to say
rogation was good
for the crops

even bullshit walks
on six legs
bit by bit into the earth


Another day, another poem. Thanks to my brother Mark for the bird info and the Sinking Valley Facebook page for the farm show info. Rogation was/is a Catholic ritual with parallels in folk religions around the world, a form of annual pilgrimage in which a priest leads a procession of local residents in a circuit of the fields.

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