BLACKBERRY PICKING

20190820 Enrich and Endure Lifestyle 134.jpg
 

Blackberry Picking by our local poetic hero Seamus Heaney. This poem plays on repeat in my mind at this time of year as I walk the country lanes and roads picking berries for the kitchen, nibbling as I go.


Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full,
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's.
We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not.

Apron - HEAVY NAVY

Poem - Seamus Heaney
Photography - Taca

20190820 Enrich and Endure Lifestyle 137 (1).jpg
Source: https://www.enrichandendure.com/notebook/f...