Monday, September 15, 2014

Fallow


Fallow




So many times
you’ve been the field where
storms hailed the crops flat,
your task to regrow them--
the cold eroded shingle
where fire died,
you with numb fingers
in a night of frost and ghosts,
the rekindler. 
So 

let me warm you now 
for that brief time
that I’m permitted
as darkness presses.
Turn the cup upside down,
let your hard hours spill out
to pool in a bottomless green.
Sleep for a season with all life unborn
you the fallow field this once
over which the placid plough horse

passes unhindered, breaking clods of years'
compaction, earth's old demands arable
and dropping open under a citrine sun.
Lightly, surely the harrow passes
in the long afternoons, a music
on those plains where ever they sing
of planting, of the green to come,
not freezes, not blight, not backs bent,
where my rain falls like ocean. Let
every tall crop there be your own.

Let me in you at last give back
seed for root
right for wrong
life for death
and make life enough
so

when time is done with us
in the dusk of a long coming gleaning,
there'll be love in the last look back
before we blow away.





~November 2011





A repost to welcome the slanting light of Fall,  and the fallow time to come

for    real toads

Open Link Monday








Images: The Plough and The Harrow, after Millet, 1890, by Vincent Van Gigh
The Old Tower in The Fields, 1884, by Vincent Van Gogh
Public domain via wikiart.org


23 comments:

  1. Beautiful, like a red sun rising over mist-racing field, dirt road winding down to the red, red barn and a faded white house. I am particularly haunted by, "and make life enough." Deep and resonant.

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  2. What a generosity here in this redress, a sororal or maternal shouldering of the burden, allowing the other to go fallow. Such compensation may only be felt, or said, but we sure need this of each other, don't we? Whether the community is two or hundreds. Even if only assured a welcoming last glance. Good neighbors, like good lovers, always look out for the other, because who knows how the winds will change. Because we all face that last view of the land we worked. Wonderful sense of giving here.

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    1. Thanks, B. Too often the toil and the very real suffering of others goes unnoticed, too often what bleeds from others' hearts is ignored or taken for granted, and the gifts they constantly give of effort, grace and time go unreturned. Building new kinds of love is what age is all about. Peace, and a fine, full, fall fallow time to you, brother.

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  3. This is autumn from a poets eyes, beauty!

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  4. A new favorite. Really a very beautiful poem and wonderful for aging love, and second (or third, however many) chances. For the caregiver needing care. Really just beautiful. k.

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    1. Thanks, k. May your fall have some fallow time ahead for you, as well.

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  5. this was a beautiful piece that i took in a literal sense because when i was but a little tot, first moved to the U.S., we live in a farm and so i recall the toils, the sweat, the fallow fields, the smell of cow and plough horse and wet dogs. then i read the comments and realize a metaphirical take. either way, this is wonderfully written with a true sense of real.

    gracias

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  6. This is so beautiful, a breathless beauty and above all such a gift (I'm going to save this as a reminder)--to give words to an experience that seems to defy them, at a moment when they are most appreciated. Thank you, Joy. You're awesome.

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    1. Thank you Mark, for all you do, for your honesty, for your survival, for the very real gift and grace your own words bring. You are always giving back by sharing not just these, but art, thoughts and people I would otherwise never encounter, and it has enriched my life. I'm glad if this fell on fertile, and hopefully now more comfortably fallow, soil.

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  7. your ending made me look towards autumn leaves have a nice Monday

    much love...

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  8. There is such a sure and measured pace to this poem, Hedge. I love the use of second person; I find it so intimate. The tone is tender and those last four lines... perfection.

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  9. This resonates with me a lot.. the open field as a metaphor extending into life and love... aging and all the effort it takes.. That citrine sun so well captured from the painting.. wonderful poetry...

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  10. I love this, especially:
    "Turn the cup upside down,
    let your hard hours spill out
    to pool in a bottomless green."

    The idea of hours being tangible…added to bottomless liquid. Lovely.

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  11. I am overwhelmed by the beauty in this piece. One of my all time favorites.

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  12. there'll be love in the last look back
    before we blow away.

    Give the opportunity to make amends and be loving again! Wonderful yearnings for a loved one before it is all over! Wonderful thoughts Joy!

    Hank

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  13. Poetic advice with should plant and tend to every day of our lives...

    " so

    when time is done with us
    in the dusk of a long coming gleaning,
    there'll be love in the last look back
    before we blow away."

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  14. ah, tears swim into my eyes. thanks, Joy, for this gift ~

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  15. This is so lovely, so perfect a picture of love, so tender that it makes my heart ache.

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  16. You put so much tenderness in this. The narration shows so much love for the one down-trodden.
    I think this is beautiful. You've captured that ache we all feel when we see someone who needs us to reach out and lift them. The painting was a nice touch as well.

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  17. Oh gosh. I can only echo MZ. This got right under my skin.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg