As I said, I have been improving on my attempts at poetry and my Creative Writing tutor really helped me with this poem, which I had posted back in December as The View from Winscott Barton. Actually, this poem has now split into the poem below, Home, and also All Hail the Protected Badger, which is definately influenced from my experiences growing up on the family farm in Devon. My tutor, John Freeman (all round good egg who has an enviable memory for poetry) advised me not to be so constrained by poetic conventions like rhyme schemes and pentameter, but to let the poem create itself naturally. By following his advice, I think this poem now shows the emotions that I had originally wanted to convey about my gorgeously scenic home environment.
As I walk away from the warmth of the house in my new welly boots
the dull shine of the rubber is soon buffed by the Boxing Day dew.
I slide up the iced garden path and walk over hardened tractor ruts
without making an imprint in the concrete mud. It must be cold.
The frosted grass crunches like the frantic ripping of wrapping paper,
the sky is a new blue blanket with a half moon sleeping on it;
my nose is having a ‘dewdrop day’ as Dad would say when he sniffles,
yet my new scarf, mittens and boot socks insulate me, thank you Mum.
So I walk on, wrapped in Christmas warmth, my wellies wanting to skip
and skate on the fresh clean air that hugs and tugs at my woolly layers,
until I reach the farm’s frost-whitened fields, where every year I stand
and every year my mittened hands clasp Cannapark’s cold green gate.
Then my wet wellies stand on the clear ice covering the bottom rung
and the gate lowers an inch with the weight from yesterday’s feasting.
Dad trundles by on the tractor, shouting ‘Mind them hinges, maid!’
which makes me smile wide, and the cold clean air dries my bared teeth.
In front of me breaths mist the air as the cattle graze in Cannapark,
let out from the shed as a Christmas treat while the ground remains dry,
although the morning dew glistens on their broad rusty-red backs
as they stand against the sheltered northern hedge in single file.
In my head, Dad mumbles how he’ll have to tighten the hinges
as I clamber to sit on the top rung and breathe in the winter scene.
And as I look at the family land all around it takes my breath
and fills me with comfort to know that every year I can call this home.