She's the tiny goose girl with a bag of seeds
And crumbs to give the pigs and fowl
But on the way we see solemn Friesian cows
At breakfast soft mouths full of hay and wheat
Lumbering together round the byre, wet
Brown eyes timid, bodies huge as houses.
She stands and stares, listens to the noise
Of chewing, then lifts her arms in joy.
Just this gentle gesture makes the beasts
Skitter - they shuffle back lest this small
Goddess should make tyrannical demands.
Each time she lowers her arm they press
Forward - each time she lifts they fall
Back. She learns the power of being human.
Pauline is an Irish/Welsh mix from Liverpool who has lived in the North East since 1982. She has had two full collections of poetry published, the last being Demon Straightening (Iron Press, 2000) but also two collaborations with a painter, resulting in travelling exhibitions and catalogues Palaver (Scratch Press, 1997) and Bamako to Timbuktu (Biscuit Factory Gallery and Mud Fog Press, 2003). Both are based on work and travels around West Africa. She also writes short stories. She teaches creative writing at Northumbria University.
Poppy is a sonnet inspired by her grand-daughter. She says: "I have a special love of the sonnet form as it seems to be an ideal form for the frantic times we live in - compressed and capable of holding contradictory thoughts within the frame. I wrote the poem after taking Poppy to a farm where she was fascinated by the big lumbering cows. She discovered that small though she was she had the power to frighten them by lifting up her arms."
Follow the link for a list of other Poems of the Month.
Poppy © 2009, Pauline Plummer: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.
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This page last updated 27th January 2008