Yours In The Land

Today’s post comes to you from Mary Ellen.  Mary Ellen is a farm kid at heart.  She is a Food Action Committee member and a poet who’s passionate about farm and food issues.  She collected the poems for Open Heart Farming, a special issue of Open Heart Forgery.


I once found a kernel of corn in the middle of a deep wood 
by Walden, tucked in behind a lichen on a pine, about as high
as my head, either by a crow or a squirrel.  It was a mile 
at least from any corn-field.  
~Henry D. Thoreau, Journal, November 19, 1850

Hay field north of Ottawa, August 2012

I would bet there are very few people who do not experience a sense of awe, spirituality and love of  the land through their experience of nature.  I have a special love for farmland.   So I am not surprised to find nature’s influence in so many forms of art – poetry and other forms of written expression, visual arts, music…

One of my favourite images is of Ed Belzer of Chaswood, NS, reciting Wendell Berry’s ‘Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front’ at the launch of Open Heart Farming.*  Ed practices his recitation of this poem on his work horses to give them a break.  What blessed creatures!

So I’m planning to contribute some blog entries, “Yours In The Land,” to share some of my favourite expressions of art that strive to capture that elusive spirit we find in the land. For the next little while I’ll be featuring some of the poets of Open Heart Farming.

Hope you’ll enjoy my saplings!
Yours in the land,
Mary Ellen

*Open Heart Farming is a special issue of Open Heart Forgery, featuring farming and food poetry by poets across Nova Scotia.  It was published for the 2012 AGM of the Farmers Markets of Nova Scotia. It can be seen online at


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