top of page


By Simon Berry


Zemledeliye it means

cultivation or just growing things

Zemledeliye it’s probably

a word worth noting.

This farmer who has lost both

legs below the knee

whilst driving a tractor

on his field of winter wheat

will certainly know of it.

Likewise the schoolgirl taking

a shortcut on the way home

from her just re-opened

Donbas village school

she’ll be familiar with it too.

Sensing her approach

and hidden in the long grass

the mine rises spring-assisted

to head height

surprising as a lark

before shredding her.

How did they get there

these bounding fragments

carving the air

of territories just taken back?

It’s Zemledeliye my friend

a multiple launcher

transported on a lorry

parked many miles away

in inoffensive grey.

No human hand involved

each mine had its parachute –

now they patiently await

in lengthening grass

the approach of a target

whom they may cultivate.


Was: a publisher, features writer, books page editor, community development housebuilder, ESOL teacher in Cyprus and elsewhere, life model, social research field interviewer, fundraiser for several charities.

Has been: member and chair of Scottish PEN, an organisation of writers dedicated to protecting freedom of expression; board member of 7:84 Theatre Group Scotland in its final days.

Currently: trustee of Autumn Voices, an organisation encouraging creativity amongst the over-60s; member of Ross-shire Writers Group; committee member of Word on the Street Festival (Dingwall). A poet.


Beyond the ESOL Classroom (British Council 2012) research

Applauding Thunder (FTRR 2013) biography

A Mask for Grieving (FTRR 2014) poems

In preparation: If I’m Honest memoirs


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page