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

Poetry: The Last Day of Harvest


The Last Day of Harvest

 Seasonal Sections

Summer 1     Harvest      Summer 2
  Winter      Spring



One Morning While Taking Straw From The Barn


During the night, snow

has crawled through a crack

in the barn and curled itself

into a small drift

the shape of a white cat

sleeping on straw.

It rests, content as a feather,

on the first bale to be chucked

out the hayloft door.

The drift, I decide,

is a challenge

to the order of things

in the barn.

And I work for it ---

pry the second choice

from the stack like a brick

taken from the middle

of a wall.  And the next,

and the next, each bale

removed out of its intended

order until, when my back

is turned, a floater

lets go at the top

and slides like ice

headfirst into the cat's bed.

Parts of winter

soak through the air,

settle with last summer's

hot dust turned cold,

and I

chuck another bale.


             Originally Published in
                 Permafrost, 1987, V.9, #1



A Farmer's Son, Age 25, Gives Up And Moves To The City,
or The Implications of Liquidating A Farm Operation


The only thing that stays is the dog.

The microwave and T.V. go in the backseat,

most of the clothes piled

on top of that; a potted plant

on the floorboard, and a lamp.  Suitcases

and scattered toys in the trunk.  Stuff

Chapter 7 dictates personal.

The kid goes in the middle, the wife

behind the wheel.  The farmer's son

drives the pick-up loaded with more stuff.

Tables.  Chairs.  The couch.  The bed.

Generations of dried sweat dust

from dirt roads.  When the farmer's son

turns onto the highway he follows

the yellow lines.  He looks back,

but not over his shoulder.  This time

he imagines running head-on

into the banker and they both die.

He thinks about this, and doesn't give a damn.

Waylon, Willy, and a bunch of other boys

get-down in the radio and keep him company.

About noon some guy with a well-behaved voice

comes on.  Barrows and gilts

are steady to 50 higher in Omaha.

December wheat, five-and-a-half lower.

The farmer's son bends the man's words

between the numbers, finds some FM, Rock

and Roll.  And he don't listen to country music



                        Originally Published in
                           Kansas Quarterly, 1990, V.22, N.3








There you are.


from nowhere.

Like an old man's

memory.  Inspired

by an urge. 

A rumor on its way

across January. 


on the tight-rope

of a hill's


Paw after paw,

you check

behind you

for your future.


of your next



of your last. 


when I look again.

Maybe you were there. 

Maybe not.



Tuesday Morning Hog Sale

                                          --Lot 27--   

In the ring, hogs.


A one time parade.

Some more beautiful

than others.  A display

of  the latest  loins


and hams revolving

to the snap

of a herder's whip. 

The auctioneer,


his voice chiming

through the sour

kraut smell

of animal fear,



moody silent bids

—the lax-wrist

twist of a dangled


cigarette, a twitched

ear, an off-eye


by jury-faced buyers,


animals themselves,

their butts anchored

to the denim-buffed

bleachers, waiting


for the paperwork.



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A dry comet

shooting across

the deep space

of green wheat

fields frostbitten

with winter

you pass by

quick, bullet


going south, just

ahead of the wind,

sure of your aim,

never looking back

as you leap

the ditch, and cross

the road, stumbling

into next year’s fallow,

insane with speed,


past jackrabbits


to watch,

their  ears bent

twixt,  startled,

as you scream



                       Originally Published in
                           Potpourri, 1998, V.10, N.4

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