Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Butter in the bog

The bog butter is unearthed as a kind of calcified foam,
a spume caught in the mouth of an alder pot, pulled out
of the peat to be put on display; ancient butter flavoured
with wild garlic which could well be good enough to eat
below the crust, more than half a millennium on from it's churning
although who would try? It has been dormant in accidental
hibernation beneath the bog, stored for a feast and forgotten,
it’s crafter sinking hole after hole into the turf trying to seek it out
once more until giving up and giving in to the oaten bread
without the sweet spread of coagulated cream.
It is a tankard slid across the polished bar and left to settle,
the froth receding from the rim but risen yet in soft domes.
It is the barkish rind of bracket fungus, swollen on the trunk and spongy
to the touch, it is the grass, the cow, the cream, the churn,  the alder urn,
the gentle storing in the gentle earth, cooled and clean and lost.


  1. Wonderful Emma and great to have you back.

    1. Thank you Susan. I think my month long session in the summer was fantastic in developing my writing, and it is a privilege to be asked back again.

  2. I've always been fascinated by the bog butter I saw in Irish museums. This is beautiful. Thanks Emma!

    1. Hello again! I read an article the other day about the bog butter, but it was the images of the finds that really struck me. I hope it comes across!

  3. Wonderful to have you back here Emma. I love this poem and the image of the crafter sinking holes ... Hadn't heard of bog butter!

    1. Great to be back Lizz! I shall see if i can find the link to the article about the bog butter and post it to your FB page.

  4. Got it Emma. I had Googled but this article and image more interesting. Might even be unearthing a poem in me :) Thank you.

  5. They said it! How wonderful to read you here again. :)


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