Monday, March 23, 2009


Through rough patchwork fields
the plough drags. Step, step, turn.
The blade stutters over rocks.
Shuddering flanks twitch flies away
from trickles of sweat. Black earth
erupts through pale stubble.

Under trees at field's edge, shadows
straighten toward noon, then lean
into evening, tall dark figures
bending to rake long fingers through
the fresh-turned soil and sniff.
Dew falls from their hands.

Oxen rumble, asleep in their stalls
and the farmer's legs twitch, twitch all night.

The first line was donated by throws his words, a fellow Portlander, via the first-line prompt at Read Write Poem.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside


throwshiswords said...

Hi Tiel. What a beautiful poem. You really brought to life the long hours of back-breaking work of pre-technological farmers, but also still their love of the land. I grew up on a small family farm myself, and although the technology is different the feeling is the same. Thank you!

I'm so pleased you found inspiration in my original poem's first line. My own poem was more of a stunt or plaything, but from it you created a work of beauty :-)

jone said...

I used Dave's first line too in a haiku.
I love the images you created, especially "The blade stutters over rocks"

jone said...

Oops, typo: Sorry about that

Gordon Mason said...

"Dew falls from their hands" shows the effort that the ploughing takes and the time - you really took me there.

Wayne Pitchko said...

beautiful indeed..the dew or should I say sweat is always there when working..ploughing etc etc...I like your poems

Raven's Wing Poetry said...

Agreed with the others...very beautiful. I love your descriptive way of painting this scene.