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Sarah Connor: a poem

This Stubborn Land

This is a stubborn place, I'd say. Old names live on here. Bits of wild cling to steep hillsides, linger in forgotten corners.

Three nights ago we saw a hare lop-lollying along the ridges in the maize field. I wonder what she thinks of our machines; our lines. We carve the landscape, make divisions, demarcations.

Up on the hill, the farm name holds the memory of a sacred grove. Scribbled scruffy stands of ash and oak are still held sacred – never cut. Our hedgerows are all tangled sanctuaries – blackthorn, hazel, haw – small creatures hiding and homing there.

Last night an owl swooped silent across Nick and Jennie's field, clipping the long grass, almost. We watched him scout the scrubby corner where the lane turns east.

Things are a little tatty here. There's space for nesting sparrows, jackdaws crank-call from the bottom barn and the rooks nest all along the field's top corner and beyond. You'll see them march across the slurried fields. Leatherjackets, that's what they're after, beaks plunged into the smelly ground.

Wildness ebbs and flows – a field left fallow, the next field ploughed, an old hedge lost to trees. A lane forgetting it was ever paved.

We make accommodations: let the nettles grow, the brambles fling their skinny arms out. We are not too fussy. Well, we can't afford to be – you turn your back round here and the wild slips back, whispering old stories, old secrets, trailing old scents, remembering.

Sarah Connor lives in North Devon, England. She swims all year round, tends her orchard and reads far too much. Sarah posts mostly poetry at She is a regular host at

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