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Life, Writing & Photography 
...a Collection of Personal Discoveries
Copyright © by Greg German, 2008

Poetry: The Last Day of Harvest

Summer -Part 2

The Last Day of Harvest

 Seasonal Sections

Summer 1     Harvest      Summer 2
  Winter      Spring




Dust-Devil In July



by a nervous wind

it grows

rising and falling

through the sky

flexing its new found

strength in a rush

bounding forward in blowing dust

along a winding path

its tail snapping

in a frenzy

seeking traction

on the earth

as it fades



              Originally Published in
Prairie Poetry, 2001, June



















Late Edition Forecast


It is darker than it should be

at night.  The crickets are nervous.

They don't talk.  The dog waits

under the porch, and the cats

can't decide where to go.

Standing in the stubble field

north of the house

I see light escape from an open

window.  It runs to a tree out back,

then hangs limply

with the leaves.

Cathedral silence fumbles in the air

anxious for a place

to pause.  The cloud is there, somewhere,

defining itself on restless winds

sinking roots deeper

into the fusing blackness.

Soon, I will have to go home.

                       Originally Published in
                           Alaska Quarterly, 1988, V.6, N.3










A Farmer’s Son, Age 14,
Experiences The Mechanics of Nature


Polished from the dull color of an old notion,
the farmer’s son discovers the glimmer
of a new idea camouflaged

behind the routine of years.  The boy

seizes the discovery—the top 2 bolts

inserted first, the bottom 2 nuts

tightened second—a sensible, simple

plan that he places before his father,

the farmer, first heir to the callus

of habits passed on by his own father.

Ignored, the farmer's son re-endows

the inspiration.  His hands deep

in yesterday’s grease the farmer

curses the interruption.  His words

thick with ritual, explains —"That’s

the way we’ve always done it, and that’s

the way we’re gonna do it today.” 

Mirrored in the past, the farmer’s son

stands there in the muck of stubbornness.

and swears that he will never age. 


Later, the boy’s mother observes

her son where she has also observed

her husband, doing the same thing

for the same reason—standing alone

along the driveway, near the mailbox,

looking one direction down the dirt road,

and then the other.




























A Disgusted Farmer Takes A Day Off

                                                            Late July


Since yesterday's Farm Futures

fell the limit because of rain

in Chicago or K.C.,

and his corn is dry, the farmer

decides he has worked too long

for nothing.  He gets up

late, and puts on clean clothes.

He feeds the sows

an extra bucket, because

it is the holiday thing to do.

Unimpressed, because

it's expected, they fight,

tail-snatching over the last

bite, squealing like tires

on pavement.

With contempt, the farmer

looks at the dirt

blown into the garage.

He cleans his car, then sharpens

the blade on the mower.

Each misplaced

tool finds its place.  For lunch

he licks a candy bar

out of its wrapper, while the oil

drains out of his tractor.

He walks 200 yards to pull

one weed out of a field.

Farm magazines stacked

beside his chair, he watches

the weather change.  It moves rapidly

across a computerized map

in Wichita.  A sun sits

on Illinois, low-pressure

over Nebraska.  Because it's time

the farmer turns out the light,

stares at the dark, and looks

forward to tomorrow's work,

because it's expected.


                       Originally Published in
                           Kansas Quarterly, 1993, V.24, N.4









Just Before The Dry Spell Ends
                     "I never seen a dry spell yet

                                  that didn't end with a good rain."

                                       Grandpa German


It comes sizzling

in. The first touch

of rain. 

Spit, it seems,


from a far place.

A dark place. 

And stings



into days of hot

country road dust.

A sharp little thing 

extinguished quick


as the stroke

of a dragonfly's wing.

Yet, it forces up dust,

this place giving up


dust, much the same way

the man-in-the-moon

was dented

when he was a child.


Then everything is wet.


                   Originally Published in
                       Mid-America Review, 2000, Fall, V.1, N.2






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A Farmer And His Son, Age 23, Disc 160 Acres


Twenty minutes after first

light the farmer and his son

meet in the country

and exchange some muted,

mumbled, understood hello.

Last night’s air cool

on their arms, their heads

still heavy with sleep

and yesterday’s work,

they move along the rim            

of instinct---check the oil

in each machine.  Check

the water.  Pump the fuel.

Grease what bearings

need to be greased.      

A dual of meadowlarks

trade three, well tuned

notes.  A pheasant crows.

Hands dirty, the farmer

and his son stand there  

on the edge of morning,

the world at their backs,

the day’s plans attuned

as each privately pees

in a different direction.

Balanced in one field,

two men, on two tractors

at full throttle, maneuver

like sky-writers

crafting one word

between each molded

line of terraces---a waltz

of weaves, flybys, turns,

and back-swaths


in the scheme of things.

Every move familiar.  Hot

clouds of dust avalanche

behind them, at times

swallow man and tractor

whole.  The smell of earth

overfills the air.  Weeds

wilt.  Soil freshens.

Cottontails scramble. 

Mice hide.  The sun sets.


                       Originally Published in
                           RATTLE, 2001, Summer, N.15


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