It’ll Cut For Hay

Some people may have noticed that I write Christmas poems around that time of the year. One morning, when I was thinking about such things, this poem appeared.

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It’ll Cut for Hay

 

A farmer pointed to his neighbour’s crop,

Said, “Mate, your crop will wilt way!”

The neighbour said,” Oh well, mate.”

“It’ll cut for hay.”

 

When the stripping came around,

And the header has its day,

They heard the threshing on the ground,

As it was cut for hay.

 

They bailed, and trucked and stowed it,

In the shed over by the way,

After bailing was all done,

The last bit was left for another day.

 

They left that bit in the corner,

Loose on the hay shed floor,

For a time of use later on,

Who would know what’s in store?

 

When as it might just happen,

The farmer of pessimistic bent,

After his wife died in tragedy,

His care for all was spent.

 

He hit the bottle hard,

And as the anger heaved inside,

He’d take it out upon his son,

And bash and flog his hide.

 

One day in a stupor,

As he reeled upon his feet,

The young bloke pushed him backwards,

And took off down the street.

 

The young bloke ran along the lane way,

He trudged across paddock and up road,

Finally after much moving,

He had to rest his load.

 

He staggered into their neighbour’s hay shed,

And in the corner by the way,

He spotted the bailing leftovers,

And then crashed in the hay.

 

Christmas Eve, it was, that night,

That he fled his Dad’s abode,

Searching for a place to rest,

He’d taken to the road.

 

It was reminiscent of another night,

On another day and station,

When a family travelling to Bethlehem,

Needed accommodation.

 

When morning came, the farmer went,

Out to the hay shed,

Surprise met him on the threshold,

With the neighbour’s son in bed.

 

He later told his preacher,

Who thought the story had deeper reach,

This plight reminded him of the first Christmas,

So, on it he did preach.

 

The boy’s father just got worse,

And ended up doing time,

In a drunken rage he robbed and assaulted,

And was caught red handed in the crime.

 

But his son looked after his father’s flock,

And worked on the neighbour’s land,

He took the wilted, bailed hay,

And fed the sheep by hand.

 

Then gathered with his ‘foster dad’,

They gave thanks for the wilted hay,

It had served a purpose,

On the needed day.

 

There is more story to be told,

As the prison door swung open wide,

The son and father ran to embrace,

And now work side by side.

 

Our life’s triumphs and failures,

Might grow or wilt like hay,

But even chaff has its day in the sun.

On that needed day.

True life will find a way.

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk 25 September 2017

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Check out some of the great blogfests like Cherished 2017 #CBF17 or We Are The World #WATWB

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Golden Grains, Golden Light

Golden Grains, Golden Light

Being in Australia, our Christmas is a summer experience. Light, sun, warmth, storms, grain harvest.  All feature in rural NSW.  This poem celebrates some of that experience.  It was shared at the Rotary  Gathering with Christian Leaders in Temora NSW.

Golden Grains, Golden Light

Golden grains, golden light!

In our ‘Southland Christmas’ night.

The light of Christ enters our dawn,

As we celebrate Christmas morn.

 

Storms crash by with lightning flash,

Fires then threaten the golden cash,

Cash in heads on golden stems,

All fenced and rowed within their hems.

 

In the paddocks day after day,

Golden grains formed in the hay,

Then the harvest trucks and headers strain,

Leaving golden stubble on the plain.

 

From the stubble the convoys go,

To the grain-dumps and silo,

In sun and wind and overcast sky

The waiting trucks in queue standby.

 

The golden grains go off to the mill,

And then bags and packets take their fill,

Warehouses and shops fill aisles and shelves,

Are like Santa’s presents among the elves.

 

The golden grains go in shopping trolleys,

Where families also stuff in lollies;

They go in bread stuffing of the Christmas roast,

And are in the stubbie raised in toast.

 

On that first Christmas faraway,

Some golden grains had grown the hay,

Wherein the infant Christ child lay,

The one who gave us Christmas day.

 

As the child later grew,

His followers spread to more than a few,

He taught of a planted golden grain,

That fell and died within the plain.

 

This grain rose from the earth towards the sun,

It shared in a great victory won,

A victory over death and sin,

For all of those who followed him.

 

So this Christmas we pray for peace,

For those interred to find release,

That the poor and hungry living in fright,

May wake to greet a dawning light.

 

A light of one like a golden grain,

Who was born to slake their pain,

Who like the sun will never wane,

Glowing among us like golden grain.

 

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk 12 December 2014

Ashes

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Ashes

Ashes

In the puddle

Tell a story.

Embers

On the tree-line

Blacken the view.

Once there were trees,

Now blackened silhouettes

Stand on a hill.

Fire

Came right through here.

Stock

Were mustered.

Panic

In the ute

Drove them too.

Storm

Brought some rain,

Slowed the flames.

Ashes

In the puddle

Hold the story

Of that day.

Simon C.J. Falk           6 December 2013

Not far from where I currently live a fire raged during this week.  The “Smith’s Lane” fire burnt a swathe of grassland and scrubby hills between Springdale and Stockinbingal.  Properties were damaged, with homes and lives at risk.  The free-verse above attempts to put us into the story of what happened.  Hopefully it aids our understanding of what some families both had to endure and are still to recover from.

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Fires, Firies and Beckom!

As our State of NSW (here in Australia) continues to burn, we remember all those who are fighting fires.  We remember those who have lost homes, property and livelihood. As we experience all of this, I was reminded of a poem that came to me some months ago.  It was based on two experiences.  Firstly, visiting a farm at Beckom and beholding the vista it offered. Secondly, hearing of the local bushfire brigade responding to a serious collision between two semi-trailers on the Newell Highway at Beckom.

 

After a Day at Beckom

In the chill of winter,

When the fog comes sinking down;

As the blades of crop

Poke through the frost coating on the ground;

Morning comes to Beckom

And the farming families around.

 

Around they gather at their tables,

With breakfast to get through the day;

As they watch the sun rise upon their land

And prepare to meet the fray.

The hills give them undulation

On their stocked and grain-sown plains;

After sowing there’s celebrations,

When their dams are full from rains.

 

They tend the Newell Highway

When the traffic comes to stop;

And will lead you down safe byways

When the firies replace the cops.

For those bush firies

Try their hand where o’er their needed;

When the scrub blazes round the paddocks,

Or the highway presents the bleeded.

They toil in death and devastation

Dust and floods and smoke;

They pour out generosity before reservation,

They can be serious or joke.

 

Then they return to their families,

Lock up the chooks,

And kiss their kids.

Then it might be time for bills and books

Before they lie down and close their lids;

Their lids over eyes been wizened

From many a light of dawn and dusk;

To sheep lying dead in paddocks,

Or grain rotten in its husk.

From farewells to their old characters,

Or those far too young to die;

From when dust blows away their topsoil,

To raging torrents from the sky.

 

They gather at the Beckom Pub

After a game of bowls elsewhere;

Or may find a Church or civic do

Within the Beckom Hall there.

Lunches in the park

Have been known for hours long;

As long as beer and food will last,

And if the summer sun’s not too strong.

 

As we look across the paddocks

Of the green rising through the soil;

Beckom silos stand in sentinel,

To Beckom farmers’ toil.

 

When you drive along the Newell,

Remember to tip your hat;

For the stories of our dear ones,

Are housed along those hills and flat.

 

Simon C.J. Falk

 25 June 2013. 

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Beckom rest area near the site of the semi-trailer collision.