Old Styles Old Smiles
One fine blustering autumn day an old man puts on his boots pulls up his trousers off he goes,
If anyone wondered where he was going it was to a forest a good long walk it was a fine day,
The old man walked at a leisurely pace stopping every now and again pulling up his trousers,
Looking over fences just to see what the farmer’s men were up to and who was ploughing today.
In his days, the prime of his life, he and his old horse would plough the fields from early morning,
Working through the day stopping for a bottle of cold tea a loaf of bread and a large lump of cheese,
The horse had a nosebag and while they rested, eating, the clapper of the bird boy could be heard,
He would work on until the sun went down on a blue horizon and shadows disappeared with the day.
As he paused he took pleasure at the sight of fat cattle and poultry roaming around the farmhouse,
Duck and geese and turkeys busying themselves beside the big barn doors pecking out the chaff,
And he could hear the flail, or the swipple, knocking the corn, as the bails piled high in the barn,
Happy that all was well he carried on walking, smiling and made his way up to the brow of a hill.
As a young farmer he leaped over stiles and ran in the corn, the land was his workplace and home,
There was no job he could not do or did not enjoy doing, whatever needed doing it had to be done,
His arms were so thick, strong, the farm girls giggled but could not get their hands all the way round,
He used to blush as each girl tried, he was a bit shy, but it made him feel good to be so very strong.
He also stopped at stiles, or a rustic bridge casting its arch over water, fish swam in the shallows
Breathing in deeply through his nose, sampling the fresh autumnal air, a bonfire in the distance,
After looking all around he wished he had brought some tackle to catch some for his late dinner,
Never mind he thought it’s another day tomorrow I will be up here to fish at the crack of the dawn.
In his young days he was not allowed to fish the river, so in the moonless nights he would poach,
Beautiful brown trout as fresh as a berry from a tree eaten with warm bread a feast fit for a king,
It would not be long before he stopped again getting his breath resting for a few short minutes,
As his lungs filled with the purest of pure air he restarted his country walk and relived his life.
He passed by clusters of rich, jetty blackberries hanging from a hedge and took time to pick a few,
And clusters of nuts hanging by the wayside through the copse on his way along a little old lane,
And in all this natural beauty the old man seemed to have enjoyment of a child one more time,
The world moved around but this time backwards he saw the things he used to see as a young boy
Copyright © Terry Trainor | Year Posted 2013
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