Daylight 4U2C May 2014

"Grow up tall,
little kid,"
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.

Sy Lilang May 2014

“Being a farmer is like being a priest;
you take a vow of poverty
and make a pact with the Lord
that no typhoon will come
and destroy your crops.”

In the rise of sedentary human civilization,
The nation’s agriculture
Became the key expansion.

Its history dates back thousands of years,
With its development,
Has been driven and defined –
By different climates, cultures, and technologies.

The Filipino farmers:
Are they now a dying breed?

Numbers of small farms has dwindled,
With workers opting for city life.
But this trend could exacerbate food insecurity!
Yes, in an import-dependent country –
Already struggling to meet current food demand.

In the face of growing losses,
And from volatile weather,
To new-fangled farming tech,
Limited education makes them less receptive.

What took such toll on the agricultural sector?
Maybe the farmer themselves,
The investors, the buyers – maybe.
Now, it’s due to the government policies,
Our programs are good, yet so weak.
There’s excessive reliance on agricultural imports,
And corruption on the upper level.

Compounding the problem
Is a younger generation –
Largely, leaving rural areas nationwide,
And depleting the pool of potential agricultural workers.

They say it’s too late to do something;
But the mind-set of the younger generation
Still we can change
And make farming appealing once again.

(9/8/13 @xirlleelang)

Kirsten Lovely Dec 2013

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.

Don Bouchard Jun 2014

Art Bouchard,
My father,
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,
Art Pribnow,
Up before the sun,
Engaged in tractor battles
(Dad was very sure he won).

My father woke those mornings,
Early 1960s,
With the popping cough of
Worn diesel pistons
Clattering out white smoke...
Then blue and black,
As engine heat and friction
Tightened gaps,
Sealed compression,
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,
By happenstance,
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."

I remember with a smiling sadness this story told by my father, now gone two years, about a little "friendly war" he and our neighbor, Art Pribnow, engaged in during spring planting time. The year would have been around 1959 or 1960, when I was just a baby. The story still makes me smile. I hope you enjoy it.
Hank Helman Aug 2015

I know her intimately and not at all,
Her fragrance infiltrates, chases me,
A whiff off the tips of my fingers,
The smell of her is hunger,
It makes me wont to wolf and devour,
Her flush on the flat of my tongue,
Her angel whisper,
Our quiet choir a pleasure,
A harmony,
A crescendo until we seed and mute.
Between us,
Our damp swap,
A no man’s land,
A moist design,
The map of lust.
The art of love is always,
In its stains.

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"

Lydia Hirsch Oct 2016

The village is afraid: tiny, open to injustice.
The farmers hide the ache in their
collective bones. There is little
sympathy, even among their saviors.

Don Bouchard Jul 2015

Who are these farmers,
And who, these fertile fields,
Verdant under native grass,
That stand un-plowed,
That shake beneath the plow,
That lie now fallow,
That bear the planted seed,
That wear the heavy grain,
That await the Harvest pain?

And who, these Harvesters,
And who, these close-shorn fields,
Desolate in short-cut stubble,
That stand, stiff in silence,
That wear the heavy tracks,
That have endured the harvest,
That yielded up their dead,
That bristle through the falling snow,
That whistle wind-song low?

And who, these merry Farmers,
And who these stubbled fields,
Glistening beneath the melting snow,
That warm beneath the glowing sun,
That host the migrants of the sky,
That tremble the biting plow,
That accept the falling seed,
That wait beneath the welcome rains,
That cycle through the seasons once again?

Michael Ryan May 2016

My dreams
do not come attached to
the ideals of my people
or the sacrifices of another country.

Instead I am poor
and mine are clinging to life
the very idea of existence.

Mundane flashes--
not adventurous endeavors
nor flights around the world
this is what richly folks do.

Simply a mingler
someone whose life
flourishes around the bends
of florescent street lights
and panhandling
nearby a farmers market
just after sunrise.

This remnant is few
as these are neighbors
local countrymen
who stoically face
the world's deviation
and deprivation
from coexisting

by the bonds of
agriculture and personality
even as a beggar
it is but a joyous memento
to a world that
no longer thrives.

In ways we advance with technology, but with causality and complacence some bits of humanity seem to slip away.  Or maybe it was never there in the first place.
M Clement Dec 2012

Wet, dripping
Hot, sweaty
Meatpacking shop
Cutting up cows
Cold loins in your local safeway
I have no erection

Prompt: "Cold Loins"

The Heat, and not the sports team
Has come here for a while
It's enough to set some records
And to kill the farmers smiles

Humidity and high temperatures
Add to make our life like hell
It's drying up our creeks and streams
There's no water in our wells

We do not use our ovens
To cook our meals, not now at least
We just leave meat on the counter
The outside heat will cook the beast

Our lawns are brown and dormant
But the weeds are growing strong
There is chickweed and crabgrass where once
Green grass did once belong

The splash pads are on overtime
To help keep people cool
We've cooling centers everywhere
They're in all of the schools

In order to cool down at home
I have my a/c set to freeze
And if at times this doesn't work
I watch Christmas DVD's

Remember hats and sunscreen
to keep the heat off of your head
In fact it is so god damned hot
I tan while I'm in bed

I remember as a child
Summer never got as hot as this
Compared to recent temperatures
Is like a blow job to a kiss

We pray for heat in winter
And in the summer, the reverse
I know I would like the snow
The heat is much, much, worse

Instead of just complaining
I should just take it, brave the heat
But for now, I'll watch my movies
Sing my carols, cool my feet

I know that come this winter
I'll be crying for the heat
Just remind me of this little poem
And I'll shut up, and take my seat.

We are experiencing record temps here in London right now, with humidex readings of betwen 48 and  50 Celsius today. For those using the Fahrenheit scale, that's between about 118 and 122 degrees in some places.
Amul Malik Sep 2014

The world farmers day
We are celebrating valentine and friendship day
It is the time to celebrate world  farmers day
farmer o farmer you are the great worrier
  you feed the world
  you make the world better and you are the great !
Today it’s the time to honor our farmers
It the time to say jai jawan jai kissan
It’s the time give honor to our farmer
Who work for us to get better food .
Today nobody wants to be farmer
Because farmer job people fills cheep
But we have to under stand
Without farmer we cannot live ,
Farmer o farmer you make the world better
You work under the open sky
Today is the time for celebrate world farmers day .

Jai Jawan Jai Kissan mense joy for The Army and the farmers .
David Crum Mar 2015

A rainy dreary Halloween from 2006.
Candlelit late night
bedroom phone calls.
Your dream about a train ride and mushroom farmers.
My dream about hidden cities.

"I want to feed you Viagra and a muscle relaxer and fuck the shit out of you"

How long has it been Now?
Too long maybe, some lines are stretched too thin, through waiting and longing, love and lust and the once closest of friendships,
Stretched like Taffy till nearly gossamer strands wound meandering miles of complex life events and other unshared memories.
A too familiar voice.
Echoes of "I want you to have the perfect blow job"
Spaces in conversations that would have been empty  if not for the most contagious laugh I've ever heard.
One not matched before or since.

Can you live in the past and long for the future? Is it greedy to desire more of something that was already so sweet? I don't tell anyone about my dreams now. Candles sit on.the shelf primarily unlit.

There are no more secret cities.
No mushroom farmers or train rides
But there are still threads
Stretched like Taffy but woven like a tapestry.
Across time and distance.
Made of memories.
All you'd have to do Is tug on a thread.

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