Eclogue: remembering rural life

An eclogue is a poem that explores rural life, usually via a dialogue between shepherds. The tone is usually very sympathetic to said rural life (as opposed to the corruption of urban/city life). If you have read some of my other work you will know that I struggle with optimism, my natural tendency is a cynicism that rejects sugar-coated sentimentality. Having grown up in a rural setting I feel that I have some authority to recall what I know about life amongst the death and dust.

For more information on the history of the eclogue you can check out:

I remember

I remember the sound of livestock

Being pushed and prodded

Some onto trucks, some to the chopping block:

Their fates hastily recorded.

The mournful bellowing

Of cows losing their calves.

Memories slowly yellowing-

Fragmenting into tiny halves.

I remember the smell of the dust,

The way it blew into my eyes.

Fine particles the colour of rust

Filled the air, company for the flies.

And I could tell you about

The crow a storm blew in-

We cared for it through flood and drought

Needing something to cling to, something living.

The horizon stretched on

Under a sky too blue, too wide for comfort,

At night millions of stars to wish upon

Hiding unspoken dreams, my last resort.

But I do not tell you everything

Those more unpleasant memories

Are not the gentle rural idyll ramblings

Just the scars and regrets of distant yesterdays.

Photo by Helena Lopes on

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