The Southwold area abounds with wildlife, including Konik ponies, a breed originating from Poland. They live on local nature reserves and in reedbeds where their grazing benefits management. This extremely hardy breed thrives where others cannot.

Poem by Richard Maslen:
Empty Fields

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Poem by Richard Maslen:
Empty Fields

Empty Fields

The fields are empty now.
Silent in the sunlight,
The wheat and barley
Grow without the oversight of man.
Or so it seems to travellers
In this quiet Suffolk land.

The season's start
Brings out the plough.
Or at the harvest
Then the combine
Works the fields.
One man alone
Within his windowed perch.

I saw them once,
The horses,
Breasting a rise
At the headland next to the road.
In the fifties, it was,
The last time I saw the team,
The ploughman stopping them,
Talking to my friend.

He had this notion that all was ending.
Everything that he and I had known
Not so long ago,
When we were boys.

Milk dipped from the churn,
Weary horses ambling home,
Saturdays in the garden,
The wheelbarrow full
From the black earth,
Fecund beyond today's imagining.

And he was right.
Almost everything has gone
Except the fields themselves.
The ploughs, the drills,
The gatherings of the crop
Still go on.
But now what sights and sounds
Living in our memories
Are lost forever.

From "A Kind Of Heaven" by Richard Maslen

Back to the Richard Maslen Poem List

Some Favourite Websites For September 2021:

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