Thursday, March 17, 2011

Friday Flash 55 ~ Wheatfield

Van Gogh - Weizenfeld mit Zypressen3


Isn’t flesh as strong as wheat,
born singing its own gnostic song?
The field prays and the earth answers
in the same voice.
Smuts kill its blades, sun freshens,
but the sea of grass goes on
waving in the wild prairie storms,
leaning blade on blade
from horizon to horizon;
and so we all.

March 2011

Image: Wheatfield with Cypresses, Vincent Van Gogh, Oil on Canvas, 1889


  1. You live in Kansas? hehehehe
    I've ALWAYS been partial to the Prairie.
    Loved your Amber Waves of Grain 55 Joy...
    You sure don't see the word gnostic in the secular world much either.
    I LOVE that word!
    The only word that I love more, if you could finagle it in a 55 would be...Rosicrucian.
    Thanks for playing, and have a Kick Ass Week-End

  2. love this...some great wisdom threaded we lean on each other....and smut does kill...and sun (light) does nourish...i like this...and the hope it also brings...

  3. This is beautiful, hedgewitch. Yes...all the essentials of life needed by both grass and human.

  4. I love the gallery of artists you are pulling up. I'm partial to the Impressionists

    too bad mankind doesn't have the fiber to always lean on each other as your picture of the blades

  5. That bush on the left looks like a chia pet. (Sorry, Vinny.)

    I know what word you took ouuuuuuut. And you got an instant kudo for the change, too! I really like this...I can picture it so clearly.

  6. How well picture and words complement each other - :) A beautiful 55 in all senses of the word.

  7. didn't like mention of the 'blight'
    however loved the prairie song and painting! thanks.

  8. Great sense of regenerative nature, of cyclic permanence against both scythe and sky. The clouds in the top left corner play tricks with my eyes; looks to me like a long-haired reclining corpse up there. Quite a speculative poem in 55!

  9. I wonder about the pairing of images of poems -- I didn't, for years, but it's gotten much easier and what the heck. Your poems never need illustration, though, and this one of a field of flesh is so much an identification of the speaker's body with the earth. There couldn't be a closer, more intimate communion. And the sea -- of sky, of grass -- added to the mix lifts the heart a dozen or so acres. Two questions: is the "a" necessary in the second line? And what are the "smuts" -- knowing how you shy from explicit exposure of engaged flesh, I wondered maybe that there is a sort of nakedness which kills the purity of the field (in contrast to sunlight). But I'm only guessing ... A sweet exhaling sigh of a poem. Oh and I like the pic too. -- Brendan

  10. Thanks all, for coming by. Your thoughts are always most welcome.

    @FB Van Gogh invented the chia pet--who knew. Glad you liked the switch--it was driving me crazy.

    @adam yeah--vG painted lots of wheatfields, but this one had the most sense of movement and I liked the clouds having a life of their own.

    @Brendan: I can explain but not in a comment box. Feel free to pull up my profile and email me. That's a very perceptive comment about shying from the explicit--Not what I was aiming for here, though. Glad you liked it.

  11. Ah, the farm girl in me *sighs*. You've managed a tight roundup of concepts from infected wheat to fields of waving grass and all in 55 words.

    Beware the Tilletia tritici, Tilletia laevis in wheat and humans.

  12. You've really separated the wheat from the chaff! Nice 55.

  13. love the imagery,
    prairie is one of my favorite ...

    I live not far from you.

  14. has there ever been as compelling a first line as "isn't flesh as strong as wheat." ? And it's followed by lines that live up to its beauty.

    Freaking excellent poem!

    Ashes to ashes
    kernal to chaff
    your poem rocks


  15. That opening line is splendid Joy Ann.


  16. Lovely work :)

    Especially love this line:
    "but the sea of grass goes on"

    Well done xx

  17. So beautiful. I can see the field waving, and love you likening it to all of us. I especially love "the field prays and the earth answers in the same voice." Wow. Stunning.

  18. i love this! especially ending on such a hopeful note "and so we all" ~ brilliant poem! dani

  19. What a lovely analogy, Joy!! So wonderfully visualized and portrayed...
    The last line's truly lovely!!
    A hi5 to the waving golden fields from a grateful me... :)


  20. What a beautiful sketch!
    Both in brush stokes and words..

    I see a skull in the clouds as if scared of the serene green.. A great attempt!!

    Hugs xoxox


  21. Vincent I think would like what you painted below his peice. What a humble, intellengent piece about's flaws and hopes.

  22. Wow! This 55 excites me--and only partly because you manage to go so deep in such a compressed space. I was immediately struck by the play on gnosticism and agnosticism--not simply clever, but the subtle 2-tiers of meaning that drive the piece. The images of the wheat/field are amazing, but ultimately it was the last line that excited me so much. This is for me an uplifting commentary on humanity and human connection, made all the more amazing by how you managed to tap in a universal theme in such a short space.

  23. The poem might not need an illustration, but the picture benefits from the
    poem. Well written.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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