“Sweet the smell ‘oered morning’s dew”

Arcadia smiled as she sipped her freshly ground and cold-brewed Sumatran kopi luwak coffee, with her perfectionist swirl of heavy rich cream.

“Whist in the country, do as country poets do” her current mantra.

Thus, she told her publisher, in Spring she would plant the burgeoning seeds, in Summer, nurture their tender tendrils, and in fall, reap a rich harvest of rural idylls and pastoral poems.

“Gone, gothic indelible ink brush-strokes, kohl-lined unblinking horror-taken eyes, bodice-ripping, muscle rippling photo-surrealism. Replaced with egg wash canvases of Turneresque light overswept with Hardyesque vision,” she was sure to coo in dulcet tones to the sturdy farm boys and olive-skinned shepherdesses frequenting her pre-planned Saturday front porch salons.

She chose her rural idyll, pastoral eden through careful googling and skyping. Perfect 12 room, three bath cottage surrounded by bucolic fields where plain rural folk practiced gentle and humane animal husbandry, sustainably grew fields of organic hemp, and lived such simple idyllic lives. Following in the clog-steps of their Acadian French peasant ancestors.

She hummed Beethoven’s 6th sympathy, The Pastoral, as she opened each Amazon prime, drone-delivered package of high-end clothing suitable for country attire. Hiking boots of llama leather, long, flowing silken butterfly and iris batiked skirts to be topped by blue and red Frenchjouy de toile” tunics. Essential oils sun-screen.

She met her dazzlingly blond and white toothed realtor at a quaint country inn nearby her new home. “You will simply adore Olivia – Petunia Cottage. They last owners, sadly developed an allergy, and had to move to the inner city.”

They bumped down patch-worked asphalt country lanes, variegated and myriad verdant grasses sprouting from the potholes. At last, her rural idyll-writing Shangri-la spread out before her, solar panels glintening in the late afternoon sun.

Arcadia opened the door to her Tesla SUV: “Repeating in [her] amorous fits, Oh! Sheffield, Sheffield, Sheffield s***s!”

I took a satirical view of Teresa’s invitation to write a pastoral for mlmm Saturday Mix. In the 1980s, the Sheffield Mills area of King’s County, Nova Scotia was well known for two things – the number of eagles that gathered along the Sheffield River in winter, and the aroma of multiple pig and poultry farms. When city folks and academics at the expanding local university flocked to enjoy country living, law suits began telling the pig farmers to cease and desist. Had any of the potential home owners truly sniffed the air with their upturned noses before their move, well . . .  pig manure by any other name. The last line is in reference to Jonathan Swift’s wonderfully satiric “The Lady’s Dressing Room.” (The hyperlinks are for reasons obscure and obvious.)

 

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