Picking Up Hay

Bails Of Hay

Every summer, the time arrived to gather in the hay.
My grandfather mowed and raked the waist high field with his blue Ford tractor, leaving long golden rows.
Then with a rhythmic clack, clack, clack the baler moved along the rows, turning them into bales of hay.
Leaving a field dotted with neatly bound parcels.
We walked the field beside an old pickup truck, hoisting bales into the back.
Sweat poured down my face and soaked my shirt.
Hay stuck to my clothes and in my hair and on my skin.
Finally the truck was full.
We climbed atop the hay and rode to the barn relishing every moment in the breeze.
Wishing the barn was miles away.
This poem is based on my memories of picking up hay, as we called, it on my grandfather’s farm when I was a boy.

The Spring

The Spring a Poem by Larry Farlow

Beside the hundred year old Oak
a clear spring flows
from ‘neath the earth up to the ground above.

In ages past a traveler found
this lively spring
and built a shelter there for those to come.

As years went on tired travelers used
this peaceful spring
to ease their burdens as they traveled on.

Weary bodies of man and beast
returned to life
by cool clear waters shaded ‘neath the oak.

In time some men came dressed alike
to water there
their horses and replenish their supply.

They’d traveled days to make it to
this shady spot
yet must not stay but move on to the line.

Grey ranks move out and prayers are said
beside the spring
for wives and children peacefully at home.

As hours move on faint rumblings come
back to the spring
drifting along with smoke across the miles.

The line they’d reached had failed to hold.
To shaded spring
they fled headlong pursued by lead and fear.

Weary bodies of man and beast,
clinging to life
come to the shady waters once again.

Beside the hundred year old Oak
a red spring flows
from men whose lives flow out into the earth.

Lately I’ve been experimenting with using poetry to tell a story, not just evoke a feeling. This is one of my first attempts. Feel free to let me know what you think, provide constructive criticism, etc.

On Entering the Main Reading Room at the Library of Congress

On Entering the Main Reading Room at the Library of Congress

A forest of color surrounds me, like a panorama of leaves in the Fall.

Each section of forest a place to get lost.

Each colorful leaf a volume to explore.

I wander silently in this forest of books, finding hidden groves full of treasures

waiting to be discovered.

October by Robert Frost

Enjoy on this fine October day!

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

October by Robert Frost

A Walk on The Beach

A Walk on the Beach

I was there a bit before,
now all trace is gone.
Where I stepped is clean once more,
sand as smooth as stone.

Stretching out before me white,
mountains turned to sand.
Made by countess days and nights
rubbed between God’s hands.

Life is like this walk of course,
soon there is no trace.
That we’ve walked along its shores,
that we’ve run the race.

In the end the question’s not,
footprints did we leave.
But dids’t know Him who from naught,
made sea, sand and waves.

This poem, like Listening to the Waves at Night, was inspired by a recent trip to the gulf coast. It also calls to mind the verse in James in the New Testament “…What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” This is my first attempt in many years to write more classical poetry rather than free-verse so your feedback is welcome. Many thanks to my friend Tim Bell at Grace Syllables for his help as I worked in this format.