Grassroots II

by d'Arcy Yasar de France | April 12, 2024


night the 

night to hear to 

let the world run 

through her veins 

through all her veins

to let to let it all of it 

run through his veins 

through all the

veins to hear 

to hear the

night this 





The poem above recounts an evening at Saint Frideswide’s Farm, a sanctuary for writers, artists, and musicians just north of Oxford. It is part of a collection named #PR6a—code assigned to the area designated for development all around the Farm. 

The piece describes a place where one could simultaneously open to and withdraw from the world; it is now waiting for the slow, implacable shuttering of the horizon that a string of housing developments between the rivers Isis and Cherwell will bring. #PR6a is part of a broader effort to retell The Waste Land for a time beset not by world wars like Eliot’s, but by the wars our century is waging against the world itself.

The house itself has been a part of the Water Eaton landscape since 1526, ‘ringed by the flat horizon only,’ as Eliot would have it. Previously protected, the area was removed from the Green Belt to make room for an array of building projects. They are to signal the end of an ecosystem which stretches back half a millennium.

Words by d’Arcy Yasar de France. Photo thanks to the Kerwood family.