Wind Power!

Look at that! The turf’s been ripped up by the wind and blown across the cycle path. A micro-disaster for some poor municipal gardener. I had it blowing in my face this morning, but on the way back I was sailing uphill in top gear (except my bike doesn’t do top gear, it sort of got stuck on the middle cog, but as damned near top gear as it’ll go in it’s present, unrepaired state). If only we could harness the wind to lay the turf as well as rip it up, there’d be football fields all over the lavafields, Iceland could become the world’s first football field exporting nation, pulling itself and probably the whole world out of recession.

When I first visited Iceland in the late 1980s my friend’s father was telling me about how the sheep exacerbate erosion by leaving patches of exposed soil, which the wind then exploits…and then I wrote this poem, a kind of angry mock-protest poem:

Sheep Dig

Sheep dig holes in the grass, which the weather
rips away. We like to measure. Doing nothing,
we say the presence of sheep on the land precipitates
erosion, eats away at the livelihood of the man
who owns the sheep. Stick up signs: SHEEP
…And do they?
– Baaah!

(© Robin Vaughan-Williams, 2000)

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