The wheat is gold where month ago was green,
A moist green, whereas the gold is dry,
Maturing dry for harvesting machine;
Dried, too, by dryness of the vacant sky.
Near-ripened heads nod in the nudging wind;
But they, uncovered, are one step from harm.
On nature’s kindness does success depend,
And golden grain means greenbacks for the farm.
A thunderstorm may mushroom in the heat
Expand its anvil head, block out the sun,
Releasing hailstones that will coldly beat
Like drummers drumming, till the wheat is done.
But skies may hold their dread, the icy drops,
And storm may simply take the deepest breath,
Exhaling with a blast that flattens crops,
And brings the harvest to a sudden death.
The farmer is as nervous as a hare
Who smells the scent of hounds and hears their hue.
They whine, then fade, then near the open lair,
And caught twixt hide or run – which shall he do?
For farmer knows that fall and winter, wet,
Have now been followed by a drying out
That lengthens like the contrails of a jet
In empty skies now drifting into drought.
The tension’s in the tilling of the soil
A line as fine as any furrow’s vein –
Two needs grow tighter in a coil:
A harvest one day, followed by a rain.
© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2012.