Glenn Hubbard was born in the UK but has lived in Madrid for 30 years. He has been writing since 2012. Though fluent in Spanish, he is poetic only in English. He has had poems published in a number of magazines and one of his poems was submitted for the Forward Prize in the UK this year.
The Turf Cutter
Courlee! Courlee! Courlee! Courlee!
Curlews for company on the bog. Foot firm on the shoulder
of the slane, he stops and squints into strong sun – how
the rich, dark, butter-soft peat glints! – from where the calls
have come and now lets fall the spade, finds a broad, heathered
bank and – long legs dangled into the drop – takes the top
off the bottle, takes easy, deep draughts of rich, thick
buttermilk from the bottle the Mother set at the door
early beside the warm wheaten farls.
The plovers. They pipe up too.
Feadóg bhuí. Noisy. Feathers
near the same colour as heather.
The youngsters there at his feet
or flying up from under the cart
and him not able to see with the
turf – just nice now after the
good drying weather – piled
high as he comes down off the
bog, past the rushy ditches and
finds (again!) the tethered goat
not fed, the fire near dead and
the Mother away to her bed.
And him with the long night
before him, the loneliness at
his back, and the sparks that
fly when he turns the turf
his only pleasure.
© 2018 Glenn Hubbard