Life On a Farm

The farm in June is a shaggy dog
knee-deep in mud and in need
of a good trim. The last whispers of winter
lurk in the shade beside summer’s door
while the rain explodes into poppies
staining the green wheat gold.

The farm in July is a good boy,
been for a clip, and panting in the sun
while the cat sits, improbably spherical,
having feasted on mice as we made hay
as the sun exploded across the fields
fading the green grass gold.

The farm in August is an old best friend,
warm and lazy in the heat
of late afternoon. Dozing and sniffling
while the threshers hum in the distance.
Last night, heat lightning exploded across the sky,
leaving memories of green and gold.

One Comment

  1. J. Patrick Hanley

    I haven’t written much lately, as I’ve been spending more and more time painting and drawing. This summer, while on the farm in France, I began to look forward to the normal cadence of the summer schedule. The farm always follows the same predictable arc over those same months, following the same schedule that has been used by so many farmers for so many generations. And then when it came time to make the hay, to tidy the fields and move into the later part of the summer, I realized how harsh some of these things really are. As the tractors pulled through the fields, cutting the hay, turning the hay, baling the hay, I noticed for the first time that the carrion birds arrived just after the tractors did, waiting for newly homeless mice, ready to swoop in and feast. It’s enough to make anyone consider their own mortality. So I opted to sit down and work through a bit of a memento mori, which is the only poem I produced this summer. Here’s to more this fall.

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