Waking Up in the Old Sod

Who else, one-half flying and one-half landed,
is waking up in the Old Sod this morning?
“Caw! caw!” answer some crows,
just off my resort room’s deck.
As aggressive as yesteryear’s
invading infantries,
they advance in their feeding
across the song green grass
only dreamers
harvest best.

In a glen asleep, cool, and wet with dew,
I sow words as fading stars
plow back into the sky.
Halfway up the far hill, a handful of golfers stretch
and joke as they prepare to take on a challenging course
and wage war within themselves.

Speculators more distant than this spectator,
amour themselves with clever cons and contracts
to better milk more of the surrounding farm land
from the farmers.
Their high-rolling, market-myopic eyes
fly spreadsheets and plot maps
“as straight as the crow flies”
to the bottom line.
Like golf, it’s only a gentleman’s game.
Smiling, smiling, smiling, and calculating,
they surrender no mulligans.

I sip my first cup of Irish breakfast tea
and taste my own culpability.

Tan and white beef cattle and sheep
graze fields that corral my heart.
They keep their heads lowed
like their owners at Mass
a few kilometers away.

Like those of field or faith,
Patrick too knew how peace can come
from chewing one’s cud.
Hedge rows and rock walls etch patchwork hillsides.
These strict stretches of woven greenery and stone and time
also keep a tight rein on the bone marrow-narrow roads
that twist and turn like the history
of their travellers.

Stoic, free, and song green as the stanzas of Yeats,
sunlight strides up sky-to-sea-to-sand-to-sod-to-soul.

The crows and golfers are gone now.
One, young robin claims their ground.
Below the surface, we both find
what sustains us.

Like a race horse just before a claiming race,
the morning rears up then settles down
to ride or be ridden
by the race.

Sunshine and showers gallop all day
across this sainted island.

William Tecku is a Lake Superior area poet. His website is