Thursday, February 10, 2011

Into the Harvest

The undulating wheat field lay before him,
stretching her hand to grasp the sunset
 beneath an ivory quilt of snow,
like a virgin bride on her wedding bed.

And he longed to groom her, this fertile land
of Old Man Edgar's, whose life's work within
the neatly spaced rows had yielded
a bountiful harvest from her bosom.

Now, as swirling snows fill the well-worn ruts
of his toils past, in favor of pristine canvas
and the broad brush of a northerly wind,
He sees at last outside the lines:

      On his plodding trek from here to there,
      from fear to Edgar's place;
      He finds his gait to be impaired
      and strains to keep apace.

      It was Edgar who had shown the way,
      whose footprints he walked upon;
      treading carefully lest he go astray,
      now he finds all bearings gone.

Gone now, the haven of time-honored sameness;
Lost now, the refuge of measured steps along
a tell-tale path of metric ruin.

No sound, but a muffled heartbeat.

Then, in the icy air of night, the peal of a bell
and the cry of a raven pierce the shadows.
The wheat field is baptized in moonlight,
and the footprints eulogized in snow.

Casting a yearnful gaze to the wheat field
and a tearful nod to the raven,
He steps out into the virgin landscape,
leaving tracks all his own in the night.

©2011 R.J. Gardner - All Rights Reserved

Photo by Suzan Siltaniemi

4 comments:

Fegger said...

"Gone now the haven of time-honored sameness;"

That, my friend, is a poem in itself.

Remarkable, as expected.

Kathy K said...

And his words pluck the heart strings once again. Well done, sir.

Anonymous said...

"leaving tracks all his own in the night"
and those tracks are just as impressive and hard to follow! Love it!

revivor said...

very clear description with an interesting structure and great use of language