Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Field Is Fallow

The field is fallow.

A breath
held.  A death knelled by an old belled
cat.  Till it, turn it tenderly,
check the almanac and the weather.
Consult the moon and your
arthritic knees.

The field is sown.

 It's too wet too dry
too wet too dry too wet -
the righteous and unrighteous alike
have sunburns and muddy boots.
Bankers never die.  Any morning you
could wake up with a sheriff's
sale in your stock pens and your daughter's
pony being led away by a stranger.
All because it was too wet too dry too wet
too dry too wet -

Before the sickle or scythe

From the air, the whole county
looks like a patchwork quilt.
Section line squares -  brown green brown green.  Beautiful.
So goddamn beautiful.

the field must grow.

You know
how ice tumbles in the clouds.
One drop. Then another
rises faster freezing falls
flattening all flattening all killing
fields.

The field is fallow.
The field is sown.
Before sickle or scythe
the field must grow.

For Sherry's prompt at Real Toads

14 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

This reminds me so much of the beginning of The Grapes of Wrath.. that combined love and fear of the land and weather. A beautiful piece, tying emotion to place.

teapartiesonneptune said...

The is wonderful! Such beautiful rhythm and melody.

Jim said...

You are well versed in the farm aspect and told it well. Could all me a huge metaphor for life, I'm not sure what you were thinking when you wrote it. Did you grow up on one? (I did). I like the thought, 'the Bankers never die.' City folk might say "the bills must be paid."
..

Sherry Marr said...

Oh WOW....the beautiful quilted earth seen from above, the reality down on the ground, thanks to weather vicissitudes and distress. I FELT this poem, every line. The land must heal. The fields must grow. Thanks, Kelli. This is a beautiful write that hurts the heart with its truth.

° said...

I love this line break, to the moon and back: "A death knelled by an old belled" ... It makes me think of an old woman become a young belle again. There's also some Beauty in the Beast imagery ... and Hunchback of Notre Dame, actually.

"cat. Till it, turn it tenderly," ... Ingenious. "Cat, till it ..." Work the earth. I love the idea of cats using their claws to ready a field, instead of scratching people and shredding curtains. You are SMART, Kell.

"arthritic knees" ... Boy do I have those. But I have learned that walking around the neighborhood a couple of times each day makes them feel much better.

I really like the rhythm of this:
"It's too wet too dry
too wet too dry too wet"

This is GORGEOUS:
"the righteous and unrighteous alike
have sunburns and muddy boots" ... Honestly, that's a tiny poem all by itself. ("Poem Mall"; I like that ... you should write that poem.)

This is terrifying:
"Any morning you
could wake up with a sheriff's
sale in your stock pens and your daughter's
pony being led away by a stranger." ... It makes me think of my daughters falling in love and getting married. And when that happens, it means my love life is officially over. Not really, but as far as young love is concerned. I think there must be a sudden awareness that your girlhood, your youth, is officially over when your own children go off and get married. I think you can convince yourself that you're still young and beautiful, that you have time left, while you're busy raising children. But when they begin to leave you, you must realize that you were wrong and that you are actually old. You just didn't see it coming quite so soon.

"From the air, the whole county
looks like a patchwork quilt." ... It does. This is beautiful. Sometimes you can't see it until you get enough distance. When you're up-close, you see something very different. You see the damaged earth, the trash, the misery. You don't notice the perfectly flawed seams until you're brave enough to fly.

"Beautiful.
So goddamn beautiful." ... I love that second line. Very effective. I'm really glad you added that.

"the field must grow.

You know
how ice tumbles in the clouds." ... So gorgeous. (Did you want to capitalized the "T" in "the"?)

thejungsofa.blogspot.com

blueoran said...

I'll try this comment again -- for me, hope is of two minds here, resolved by the will that it must be so. That's adult hope, hopefully not too tinged with despair.

paulscribbles said...

This speaks of hope too old to mark with time...when life for all and sundry depends upon that field. Hope my not have sufficed nor prayer..too wet too dry...the roll of nature's dice.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

My goodness this is good!❤️ It deserves to be sung!❤️

angieinspired said...

every time. every time i fly home i think the same thing of the fields in their patchwork squares. i love that you love, that we love home:) wish i could write a ballad like you about the bible belt

grapeling said...

brave and tender in spite of the bankers. damn bankers.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

And the seasons turn! Maybe hope becomes superfluous, and there is just that cycle, that rhythm – to be loved despite all.

Susie Clevenger said...

And so we pray for growing, but we don't control the sky. Cycles spin and we are chasing hope. I agree this reminds me of the Grapes of Wrath.

Sioux Roslawski said...

MZ--This--in such a gorgeous way--illustrates the horrible life farmers lead.

Debi Swim said...

The hope and the despair of serving the land. Wonderful