Juliet is Dalefoot's very own poet, what better time to introduce her than on World Poetry Day? Juliet has worked part-time at Dalefoot Composts for six years. She is also undertaking an MA in writing poetry at Newcastle University; she draws on the Cumbrian landscape and everyday experience in her work. Her poem “Composting the Thesaurus” was published in OWP Magazine. ‘This poem is particularly satisfying’, Juliet says, ‘as it combines both compost and poetry!’ She adds, ‘I’ve often been asked if the poem is based on truth. A few details might be elaborated, but we really did compost our old thesaurus!'


Composting the thesaurus

It disappeared more quickly
than we thought it would, after
the incident with the blackcurrant
cordial condemned it to the pile.

One morning in March, when digging
out the heap and spreading its chocolaty
contents on the raised beds, bits
of it started turning up.

In the humus, the word ‘desire’
surfaced on a scrap of paper, clearly
legible inspite of rain. From this,
a seed was sprouting and taking hold.

On Easter Sunday, stuck to the side
of a pea-pod, the word, ‘belief’
was glued, prisable only with finger
and thumb. ‘Doubt’ rolled

from the soil, on the torn edge
of page 152, as we earthed-up
the potatoes. Holding the shred,
we shook our heads, searching

for an explanation. Our courgette
flowers opened in May and
’transubstantiation’ fell from one.
We looked up the word on-line

and taking its meaning as a sign,
ate the flowers fried in butter,
stuffed with breadcrumbs and ham.
No more words appeared but

in the August glut, we made chutney
and poured the boiling mixture into
jars, then labelled each pot; desire,
belief, doubt, transubstantiation.


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