Tractor [Free Verse]

the tractor idles in the end-row,
chugging and sputtering,
with a rattling exhaust flap

soon the tractor lurches
into straight-line locomotion,
chugging down the row,
carving out furrows,
peeling soft, black soil aside

the cut worm does not forgive,
but neither does it know
what hit it --
some thunderous storm,
monotonously rolling nearer -
becoming more all-pervading -
until it starts to fade,
but by then
 the worm is halved

everything becomes something else:
worm aerates soil
and 
then becomes food for the 
tugging bird

DAILY PHOTO: A Rocky Top View of Farmland

Taken in the Summer of 2019 in Kyrgyzstan

POEM: Harvest on the Farm [Ottava Rima]

My memories of autumn are clearest —
the harvest time, when fields had turned amber,
with desiccated stalks – devoid of spirits.
And in the grain, we children would clamber,
’cause cleaning out wagons was time cherished.
Those short days are now brighter and grander.
It was an age of colossal machines,
and kernels of corn and tiny soybeans.

POEM: The Endrow, or: How To Survive a Cornfield

I was once a kid in the corn.

News at Eleven ran a story
about a child found dehydrated
and on death’s door — deep in a field.

Any farm-boy will tell you,
you can’t get lost in a cornfield —
not truly lost.

Pick one of the two directions
that your row runs,
and walk.

When the rows re-align at right angles,
that’s the endrow —
you’re almost out.

Sure, it sucks if you hit the river,
because then you’ve got to walk
all the way back past where you started,
moving in the opposite direction.

But a kid has a lot of walk in him.

The only way to get lost in a cornfield
is to panic, and lose all faith
in the logic of a field.

In nature, one may walk oneself in circles
’cause one leg is stronger than the other,
and nature’s chaos is omnisymmetric
to an order-loving human brain.

But, in a field, the rows run true,
and the only way to walk in circles
is to feed your fear
and lose faith in the straightness of rows.

One can’t teleport a harvester into a field,
it needs to be driven there on a road.

Find your endrow, find your road.