Tag Archives: bucolic

The Simple Life: a bucolic

The simple life, that free from care
and vain illusion we once led,
in whose embrace our flourishing
and true existence found their height,
and with such grace evolved from beasts,
abandoned filth and savage ways,
escaped the snares of worldly pride
and sought for truth in nature’s maze.

Such self-absorbing righteousness!

That such conceit we still embrace,
and seek as blessing, ignorance,
employing rusted tools, like faith,
to end mind’s curiosity
and in its place, raise slavish kings
who vilify a need to know,
and would in place of growth and life
sow stagnant rot along the rows.

Such self-deluding avarice!

To see the world, not as it was,
but in nostalgic make-believe,
a children’s picture book of lies
that in beasts’ mouths puts fancy speech,
and names as princes, lords, and queens
those fools who mock the sciences.
What folly, to convince the world
that free and soft, it ever was.

Such self-important bull!

There is no sweet and simple life,
and yet, those stories will outsell
the honest, plain and dirty truth:
that the world is rough and raw;
that those, when you seek bread, give stones,
are at least dealing straight enough
to offer tools, not empty air.

25 JAN 2017

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The Good Old Days: a bucolic

I mourn the past, the “good old days”; the world was simpler then;
how much I wish we could return to life like “way back when”.
When everyone was real down home, and said thank you and please;
more decent jobs and pretty girls than Carters’ remedies.

When you just knew your neighbors prayed to your God, in your way;
and good sense thinking never strayed from black or white to gray.
When truth was simple, plain and strong and always on your side;
and young folk never messed with drugs, or acted strange, or snide.

When men were men, and women kept their doubts between themselves;
and cleaned, and cooked, and birthed, and swept, and filled up knick-knack shelves.
When nothing new was ever good, when old ways still survived,
when people acted like they should: feared God and multiplied.

Exactly when were these “good days”? Who conjures up this shit?
How can someone with half a brain believe a word of it?
The times are no less simple now than they have ever been:
the rich keep getting richer, and the poor keep getting thin.

The politicians, country singers and rich preachers say
that “coming home” back to our roots is surely the best way
to save our selves, our world, our souls from falling into sin;
they talk and smile, and all the while they keep raking it in.

22 NOV 2010

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To Progress: a bucolic

To those who wish the past returned
and simple life brought back in fashion,
a relationship with the land renewed
and the blight of urban living shunned,
a hundred years of progress dissolved
in the bliss of primitive survival,

Who see the plains of Arcady
As pristine lands, fertile for the tilling,
and in the slow change of the seasons
some majesty of divine balance,
I offer this emetic for nostalgia:

A worn stone lies broken on the grass
in the graveyard at Indian Hill.
Thanks to early hours in freezing rain,
eighty rough acres and pneumonia,
a husband and two sons, gone the same year.

06 APR 2004

In memory of Christena Ann Litzenberg (1817-1909)

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Somewhere Along the County Line

Let’s take a detour off the interstate —
The roads are straight and intersect endless rows
of soybeans, seed corn and winter wheat.

Besides, if we get lost,
and spend our evening the only lights on this road
perhaps we’ll learn something important
(or at least we’ll think so in the morning)
about our selves, about our past
about a night sky we never get to see
from an apartment in the city.

Let’s take a slight pause,
which we have been taught to call a caesure

What we have translated from Latin
to describe the natural order of things
could fill more volumes, more rows of books
that would reach from here to the moon.

Besides, if we take the time,
someone else may mind these crops:
the shopping malls, the parking lots,
the cement and steel that surround us,
unfeeling and ever-present
stealing from us our pioneer spirit
by concealing the night sky
from our apartment window in the city.

Let’s take a detour from our books and things,
and venture out into a world we don’t experience —
unless reading bucolic poetry
from limited editions that cost more
than you’d like to recall.

Besides, the roses are not the only things
we have forgotten, their scent lost
in a carbon-monoxide haze that fills our lungs.
There is new-mown hay, clover and straw,
and there are flowers and wild plants
that we have only seen described
in pristine, crisply covered field guides.

Let’s take a slight detour off the interstate —
the roads are straight and intersect endless rows
of clover, soybeans, seed corn and winter wheat.

Besides, if we get lost,
we might learn something.

10 AUG 1991

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