Sunday, May 4, 2008


Per my previous post, I walked up to the park with Lucky and worked on this poem. There was an event at the shelter house so tons of people around, so Lucky wouldn't settle down. He eventually hopped up on top of the picnic table where I was writing and proceeded to walk all over my notebook and my bag and knock over my water bottle several times. I finished a quick draft and then we walked around for awhile. Lovely sunny day, though not as warm as it was in April. That's okay though; it will get warmer from here.

So, first draft of a poem I've been mulling over since driving back from Louisville and seeing a farmer discing a field.


Not the smooth rounded
Discus, ancient measure of prowess,
Death blow of the most beautiful
Boy – was it an accident or the result
Of wind’s jealous gust?

I mean the giant metal corkscrew
Disc joined to disc
Pulled by a rusted green
Tractor over 14.2 acres
Of tough barely arable land.

Blades rose from the dense earth
Cutting path overlapping path,
Tide-like rise and fall, spiral
Of our galaxy, over and over,
Behind the bare sunburned back
Of my father and the sweet
Dirty cloud of John Deere exhaust.

At rest, in the twilight, the disc
Lay like a skeleton, clay clinging
To each blade, bloody in the last bright
Rays. In the morning it will be dry,
Ready to flake away like the soul
Leaving the desiccated body
Of an old man in his faded
White farmhouse. In a few months
The earth, her blood spilled each spring,
Mixed with our human sweat like the god’s
Tears, and rain, and that jealous unrepentant
Wind, will yield corn, will yield if
We are lucky, beauty enough and profit
Enough to get us through the winter.

No comments: