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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Dad’s Fishing Knife

Dad’s Fishing Knife

Even though we are often people who live in the ideas in our heads we can be very concrete. Specific people, places and objects ground us in particular relationships and memories.  A knife Dad used to keep in our fishing tackle box brought it all back to me. It was a symbol of times shared together, of his fishing before my time, and of what may happen in the future. 

 

Dad’s Fishing Knife

There it was

in the tackle box

in the boot.

Sheathed in timber,

an offcut of simple grain

that he had cut

just to the size of the blade –

Dad’s fishing knife.

It had lived other lives too:

cutting fine twine for plumblines

on garden edges,

or severing coarse and wispy jute,

to stake up veges and flowers

in the garden.

But

it was the fishing knife for some years.

It had cut lines,

beheaded fish,

and gutted them.

Pippis it had prised.

There it sits now,

out of the tackle box.

Tempered in a forge,

tarnished

by time and tides.

It was with us

when we first fished together

by the banks

of the Murrumbidgee River.

It had sat on the pub jetty

of Merimbula Lake,

while we had fought off crabs

so tailor schooling by

could bite on our lines.

The handle of that knife

holds memories to its hilt.

They are reminders of Dad

The

one I first dropped a line with.

And now,

here it is,

Dad’s fishing knife,

slicing through

the marrows of my memory.

It awaits

The next fish

With one fisherman down.

 

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk 8 February 2014