Treasure Island

Richard Hugo

(1923 - 1982 / Washington / United States)

Farmer, Dying


for Hank and Nancy

Seven thousand acres of grass have faded yellow
from his cough. These limp days, his anger,
legend forty years from moon to Stevensville,
lives on, just barely, in a Great Falls whore.
Cruel times, he cries, cruel winds. His geese roam
unattended in the meadow. The gold last leaves
of cottonwoods ride Burnt Fork creek away.
His geese grow fat without him. Same old insult.
Same indifferent rise of mountains south,
hunters drunk around the fire ten feet from his fence.

What's killing us is something autumn. Call it
war or fever. You know it when you see it: flare.
Vine and fire and the morning deer come half
a century to sip his spring, there, at the far end
of his land, wrapped in cellophane by light.
What lives is what he left in air, definite,
unseen, hanging where he stood the day he roared.
A bear prowls closer to his barn each day.
Farmers come to watch him die. They bring crude offerings
of wine. Burnt Fork creek is caroling. He dies white
in final anger. The bear taps on his pane.

And we die silent, our last days loaded with the scream
of Burnt Fork creek, the last cry of that raging farmer.
We have aged ourselves to stone trying to summon
mercy for ungrateful daughters. Let's live him
in ourselves, stand deranged on the meadow rim
and curse the Baltic back, moon, bear and blast.
And let him shout from his grave for us.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: anger, moon, autumn, fire, war, spring, light, daughter, wind, rose

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Farmer, Dying by Richard Hugo )

Enter the verification code :

  • Michael Gale (9/14/2006 1:26:00 PM)

    That poor farmer sure had ta put up with a lot of sad and bad times in his lifetime.
    This was a great writ of lit kind sir.
    Gave ya a ten.
    God bless all poets-MJG. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Is Suicide The Answer?, louis rams
  2. Special Meanings Spoken, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  3. The Best Thing, Gerry Legister
  4. Burn, Your Eyes, Josh Terpening
  5. In a Dark Dark Room on Halloween, Eve Carter
  6. Benefit Of Intellect, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  7. A Symbol Of Freedom, Joseph T. Renaldi
  8. Keeping Done A Decadence, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  9. Writing Into Existence, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  10. Reap & Sow, Angela K Brown

Poem of the Day

poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When the hours of Day are numbered,
And the voices of the Night
Wake the better soul, that slumbered,
To a holy, calm delight;

Ere the evening lamps are lighted,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

 

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
  7. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  8. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  9. Footsteps of Angels, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  10. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]