Instructions for Fallow Times by Hilaire



Hilaire is co-author with Joolz Sparkes of London Undercurrents, published by Holland Park Press. She was poet-in-residence at Thrive Battersea in 2017, and has poems published in numerous magazines and in three anthologies from The Emma Press.

For the London Undercurrents blog:






















First, aerate your soil.

Give it a good digging through.

Loosen clumps. Cast yourself

as earthworm.


Now zhuzh up your bed

with spadefuls of muck

dark as caviar

ripe as old cheese.


Next, fetch a rake

and roughly level the surface.

Find your rhythm in the scrape

and tug of to and fro.


Time now to sow the seed

you’ve kept tucked

behind your ear.

Bury it as deep as necessary.


Each seed will grow in its own way.

Some flourish with neglect. Others

demand whispered encouragement,

a counter-intuitive sunny aspect.


Decide early what matters most—

tending or reaping,

prize marrows or rambling roses.

Invite everyone to your harvest.




specifications for an orchard by Hilaire

park yourself here by Hilaire