Thursday, 23 September 2021

F Fic, Non-fic

Poetry: Harvest Song

Harvest Song
Joshua S. Fullman

The father lays his blade upon the earth,
Soil thawed and fallow, ready to receive
His firm, unyielding prow. He parts the seas,
A captain commandeering waves of dirt
And wakes of fecund trails. His element
He shapes, his craft he knows from countless years
In field. He drives, anticipating tears
Of joy while knowing grief may come; he bends
The rich, reluctant land to patient wrath,
Long months before designed his plan, removed
The stones, slayed weeds, and churned with pick in truth;
He digs his furrows for the sower’s path.
But this day, resting now he contemplates
The harvest for the days ahead in faith.

His son immerses himself in the soil,
Content not merely to disperse his seed,
But deftly plants each kernel to conceive
A greater crop. His fingers, cracked and roiled,
Run fresh with dirt and blood. No sympathy
He seeks nor does indulge a youthful angst,
But dips his cup into the bag with pangs
Of sorrow. Wrestling with desires to concede
And creeping doubts which itch his weary mind--
For will his father’s plan succeed?—he finds
A germ of hope his work will be complete;
For this day, learning in his solitude
To trust, he reaps a joyful attitude.

And she who is unseen breathes soft and goes
About her quintessential task. She sings
A gentle tune immersed in mysteries        
Unfathomed since the earth and sun first rose.
She charts their course, observes the seasons, and
Anticipates the floods with every step
Above the soil. The notes dance off her lips
In harmony with all the spheric bands,
And with her loving syllables brings each
Green, infant shoot to hear her better. Now
She smiles affectionately in knowledge how
These secrets will unfold, small proofs to teach
Her that this day the ancient cycles turn
Still fruitful and the future is secure.

The field is wide, and countless verdant stalks
Exploding toward the heavens dance upon
The breeze in silent chorus. Time has come,
And through its waving leaves the family walks,
Sun drenched, to receive the waiting ears
And gather them. Then at the house, beneath
The sunset’s light they work: extract the sheath
That long defends, remove the clinging hairs,
Cut out the cancerous worm, and bathe the gold,
Great, glistening corn. The ripe and fully-grown--
Though those too weak and immature are thrown
To mulch—are now a bounty to behold;
For in the days to come when all’s dispersed,
Their labor’s fruit will fill exalted verse.


Joshua S. Fullman is an Assistant Professor of English at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama.  Dr. Fullman teaches subjects as various as film, creative writing, and medieval literature.  He also publishes a weekly blog on literature and culture at

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