Furrows and Barrows – a poem by Rory Tanner

Furrows and Barrows

Long labours of attention dig down, heap up,
leaving furrows and barrows,
these lasting features of ideal landscapes,

and familiar legacies of centuries’ belief:
…….monuments to precepts,
…….principles that we can touch.

From a train heading north,
watch treelines where cathedral spires emerge,
cities on hills, well-weathered but still standing,

just as a quiet witness watches ancient rubrics emerge
unbidden from deep memory to treat with wild experience,
and the sudden achievement of order in an unexpected place.


Rory Tanner is a general-purpose writer based in eastern Ontario (Canada). He’s published a handful of essays on the poetry and politics of early modern England, and regularly reviews volumes for the Journal of Canadian Poetry. He received a PhD in English Literature from the University of Ottawa a few years ago, but has been working as a technical writer pretty much ever since. 

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