Famine and feast

The Daily Post prompt is: Feast.


Feast and famine, we live,

the great cycles of life and death,

the yearly dearth when reserves run out

because the summer was wet,

the winter precocious,

or the spring is late.

Those blustery springs

when, the crops not ripe,

we watch the shoots with empty bellies

and avid eyes.

Cold sun and rain on rain,

and the bones arch across childish chests

like buttresses.

In the big house, the lords and ladies,

the bishop and his priests,

are fat and greasy with mutton and beef.

So it was, and so it is still.

We wait for the grain to swell,

the turnips and the chestnuts,

envying the grass grazers, the beasts.

While in the short spring twilight,

shaking off the winter cold,

the fox follows the mice,

lingering in the warming sun,

and makes a royal feast.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

7 thoughts on “Famine and feast”

  1. Gosh, yes! That June, when everything is so vigorously growing, could be a time when people in the past suffered the most with starvation, is just shocking

    1. I used to think the winter months would be the most difficult, but it was the months between the last year’s reserves running out and the first harvest coming in that were the direst. We’ve lost track of that, watching our gardens coming to life between trips to the supermarket.

      1. Exactly. Although most of us don’t even bother about gardens. Its the cows I feel sorry for… imagine being kept in a permanent false state of pregnancy just so you would keep producing milk, for the rest of your life. Imagine the toll that would take on your body, your life.

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