What can we know of farmers and their needs,
We in our ordered life and routine round,
Controlled by clock and bell, with humdrum task,
If we have never ploughed the earth for seeds,
Or wrestled with the stubborn stony ground
To answer all the questions that men ask?
How can we feel the enmity of weeds
That flourish where no other plant is found,
If we have never fought them, we who bask
In comfort that derives from others’ deeds?
It may be that the onlooker can see
Faults and mistakes in what he cannot do
Himself. If so, let him again review
His own shortcomings with humility.
Weekly Times 9.9.60