Field Trip to the Rescue Farm

Here’s another old poem of mine from 2009. Funny, I remember the field trip rather well, but I don’t remember writing the poem!

The clapboard farmhouse sighs over the cold
stone foundation, relieved to see our group.

Our guide presents us her rescued charges,
heaping food and praise in equal measure.

The plow came to rest here long ago,
its steel teeth now dull from disuse.

Horses stand idle in the shadow of the barn,
swatting at memories of sweat and cruelty.

Fresh turkeys are spoiling in the sun,
their feathers now dense and unruffled.

Fat-backed hogs sleep like the immortal dead,
living mummies surrounded by their spoils.

And our children flit across the fields like glitter,
sweeping the farm in magical dust.

87017-cowsPhoto credit: WATTAgNet.com, via flickr // CC BY 2.0

 

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The Bad Poem

Recently, I stumbled into some old poetry of mine. This one, written April 6, 2009 as part of the Poetic Asides Poem-A-Day Challenge, made me smile. I made a few changes to the formatting, but it’s essentially the same bad poem …

(Like a ring without a stone, this poem lacks shine.)

The Bad Poem

My words were
carefully manicured
into neat and
orderly prose.

Line-breaks were
all logically placed
at the end
of every row.

Pacing was slow
and rhythmic,
rocking back
on every clause.

One could almost
drift to sleep
with each
reliable pause.

The syntax was tidy
and error free,
but the poem refused
to speak to me.

Where was
the whimsy
and marvel
and wonder?

Where was
the dancing
and flatbread**
and thunder?

I tried to force the poem
a-
…round
……the
bend
but it refused to go.

I stirred in jazz
and funk
and zydeco rhythms
but the poem held on so.

I

even

tried

to

tear

it

up,
but it refused to die.

It seemed to cling
ever tighter to form
with each technique
I’d try.

So, though this poem
is rather far
from one I would call
my best,

I’m pulling it out
from my misery
and laying it
down to rest.

** – Note to 2009 self: flatbread? Flatbread?! Bwah-ha-ha-ha!