Never marched a drill,
Nor fired an angry shot...
Recounted fond memories
I've heard so many times:
How long ago, when I was very young,
He and our neighbor,
Up before the sun,
Engaged in tractor battles
(Dad was very sure he won).
My father woke those mornings,
With the popping cough of
Worn diesel pistons
Clattering out white smoke...
Then blue and black,
As engine heat and friction
And the motor steadied into an even roar.
Across the county road
Our only neighbor led or followed suit,
Sending smoke and sound
To drown the morning songs
of meadowlarks and robins.
Fifty years later,
Dad laughed in recollection,
"We started rising just a little
Earlier each day.
Started up our tractors
In a sort of game
Called, 'Who's out first?'"
Six became a quarter of,
Then five-thirty backed to four.
One tractor or the other roared,
Early and then earlier
To be the first to pull
Into the waiting fields.
When three-thirty came around
My mother shook her head,
But if she said a word,
I never heard.
These battling neighbors
Even started engines up
Before they ran,
Milking buckets swinging,
to their barns to chore
As early became earlier
in the little farmers' war.
One day in town,
A meeting came between the two.
My father, being younger,
Had energy for more,
But old Art Pribnow shook his head,
Grabbed my dad's hand and said,
"Let's stop this foolishness
Before one of us is dead!
I don't know about the hours you keep,
Or what got in our heads,
But I admit, I need my sleep!"
The farmer battle ended then.
A hand shake and a smile
Between two farmer friends,
Created country lore,
Remembered here a little while,
As, "The Early, Earlier War."
There's this special seed inside of us
That glitters, shines, and grows
Planted by an equally special person
One that everybody knows.
The one that woke up early this morning
And downed their coffee for the day
While you dig out your favorite shirt
And they keep their nerves at bay.
The person that decorates for new children
Hangs up posters and note cards
Tacks up the yearly alphabet trim
And clears the weeds from the school yard.
Stands and greets equally nervous kids
Hands them name tags and a book
And hopes that their anxiety melts away
To be excited like they should.
The history and math books open
Pages are assigned
They're there to help you through it
To make problems easier to find.
To journey across another dimension
Of equations and butterflies alike
That prepares you for ACTs ahead
And tests that you'll probably dislike.
Well, that's all fine and dandy
All these books and passing grades
But what's more important is the seed inside
That's planted in your brain.
The seed that fuels your drive to learn
Creates a light to help you grow
Makes you crave another book
Acquire everything there is to know.
And I know a certain farmer
That specializes in these seeds
Who wants to make you reach the top
So you'll realize everything you can be.
These farmers go by 'teachers'
The most amazing you can find
Because of them, I try to be my best
So I thank my teachers for their time.
"Grow up tall,
said grandpa Joe.
And so I did.
The watermelon grow tall too.
The sunflowers look to the sky,
keeping their chins up,
raised real high.
So maybe it's silly,
watching grass grow,
but if you never try,
how could you ever know?
So maybe it's crazy,
chanting for the rain,
but if it never comes,
how could I grow the grain?
I'd prefer to stare at clouds,
than sleep forever like a rock,
skidding by life.
Why, that would just suck!
So, if you ask me to leave this here place,
you better shove it,
before you wake up
in an unknown space,
tied up with lace,
with a disfigured face,
completely full of mace,
and a strange case
of something poisonous.
On a foggy night in May 1939,
After playing cards with some friends,
A woman gave birth to a baby boy,
And that’s where the story begins,
He was raised to know the difference,
Between the wrongs and the rights,
Making a name as a farmer,
Was where he set his sights,
After twenty-one years alone,
He met his loving wife,
And over fifty years later,
They’re still happy with their life,
Three years after they got married,
They had their second child,
On the farm and around the town,
That teenage boy went wild,
He made his living,
Fixing everything broken,
And even when things went wrong,
He remained soft-spoken,
1980 in Mid April,
He met his future wife
Fourteen months and one ring later,
And they made a happy life,
With two lovely daughters already,
They learned they were to have a son,
On a cold morning in May 1993,
They gave birth to me,
Like the two generations,
Before my sisters and mine,
We were born and raised country,
And that’s how we intend to die.
The wall departed and I saw fog,
A pale touch and it turned into smoke;
The fairy tales wither away,
Found the lost fantasy world at bay;
The nomadic world will never flock,
This land is for the farmers of smoke;
Cultivation of tripy fields,
We wait for the harvest,
Every seed of our fate,
Deep down stored in the locked closet;
The field’s on fire every day, every night,
The inner self at its peak,
With the gods of water we fight;
The fields turn into ashes,
And we rise for a new yield,
Like a phoenix, from the ashes of weed.
No, not a word…
a little red ant.
The blatherskite’s fluent
The charming Prant;
Fervor not here
… for the old discarded fruit.
Leftovers are yours
To nibble on
the brook wanders by the farmhouse,
an animal falls in, and cannot swim,
the brook does not know this,
the brook lets the animal struggle, it is tiring
the farmer sees the animal tumble in,
he checks to see it is not one of his, poor animal weakening
he knows he does not have to save it,
he too has more important things to tend,
a person in an ocean of people, (two or more)
wears masks to make them seem to belong,
they hide their struggle, from the closest ones
to them and from their co-workers, and family
all of who do not want to notice the battle,
they do not look beyond the mask,
it is not their business,
it would be rude,
it might take too much out of them,
that is right,
just ask the
brook and the farmer.
the gap in our understanding.
Reluctantly searching for a hat to hide my hair
I amble along the streets now in disarray
The energy of the afternoon makes me anxious
I seem to be in full sprint by the time I reach 4th St.
In a race to view your beauty – soon I find you
Sprawled out – in manic competition to outshine the sun
(You won by the way)
That pulse again
Frantically fumbling for an honest escape
Through your delicate tongue.
Your fingertips find my knee
I reach for the ring resting on your stomach
In a lousy attempt to touch your body
I know your friends are talking
My ears escape them
To the beat of your Heart
I beg myself to leave your side
(My polar opposite)
Plead for the power to just get up
Just walk away
I scream inside my to head to not look back
The reality that you are not walking up behind me
I go to the beach
The air is you
The ocean is you
The clouds the sun
They are all
You are happening
when he was younger, people called him a fool
and he never made it to high school
his daddy was a hard workin' man
he taught his son how to work the land
from sunrise to sunset
crops rise from blood & sweat
the only thing he could really know
was how to make things grow
until he met a woman that stole his heart
she was the bright light in the dark
she sang pretty songs that he didn't understand
she'd cook and clean while he worked the land
he wanted to learn, she planted the seed
she brought home books, taught him to read
they were happy, but not yet complete
the house was missing the sound of little feet
and storybooks and lullabies
they longed to hear a baby's cries
soon she grew heavy, baby inside
one that would be her father's pride
she grew up in a house full of love
told she could be whatever she dreamed of
we sit here now, graduation day
and i listen to the words she has to say
"my Daddy was a farmer, he loved the way things grew
and he cared for the animals, always knew what to do
he always did everything to make sure his family would survive
my Mama was a dreamer, she kept our hope alive
and gave me wings, taught me to fly
to always give thanks, never question why
and i wouldn't be here right now
if they hadn't always knew somehow
that i was destined to do something more
this is love, it's what family's for"