July, A Manifesto (for modern farming)
To the toads spawning in a muddy ditch; you’re beneath contempt.
To the dragonfly larva nearing the completion of your modest three year life cycle; you’re invisible.
To the oak sapling, whose parent remembers time before the industrial revolution; you’re in the way.
To the six hundred year old oak trees; you’re not cherished.
To the boggy meadow; you’re a disgrace.
To the stream; you’re a drain, a receptacle of hundreds of tonnes of mud.
To the bullhead the loach and the dace; you will be entombed alive in your hiding places.
To crows, magpies, buzzards and hawks; you will be exterminated.
To hedgehogs and stoats; see above.
To the broom and the gorse; you cannot be tolerated.
To the butterfly and the bee; you won’t find any nectar here.
To the thick hedge; you will be flailed into orderly submission.
To the lie of the land; you will be de-constructed and then reconstructed.
To the rain; you will not lie in puddles.
To the poor gravely soil; you will be forced to bare fruit.
To the ancient, burred field maples; you’re just wood.
To the thickets of sallow and thorn; you’re bonfire fodder.
To the whispering aspen; you’re easily silenced.
To the slug and the snail; be gone.
To bird song; stop!
To the owl and the swallow; you’ll have to work harder to feed your young.
To the ragged robin, the vetch, mallow and thistle; goodbye.
You’re collateral damage.
A memory, lost in the wake of profit margins, sacrificed for one more acre of farm land.