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You sit in my hands well,
sift through fingers
when I ask.
I’m raising you
the best I can,
nourishing you in a
horticultural five a day way.

Earth, I can’t say it’s
quite love that I feel
but it’s close.
You’ve never cheated
on me,
given up the ghost.

Earth, I know I have to
put back in what I take out.
It’s not what I’ve
always done
with humans,
it’s true.
You, the dog,
constant as rain, sea, sun.

Earth, you surprise
me still
from nowhere,
with fragments of glass, plastic,
clay, after all I’ve done.
I strive to give you, always,
a fine tilth, a rich loam.
You’re good company, a gas.
It’s us for life
we’ll never be alone.

Neil Clarkson has been published in magazines including Pennine Platform, and Obsessed by Pipework. His debut collection, Build You Again from Wood, was published in 2017 by Calder Valley Poetry.

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