Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FRAGMENTS WRITTEN WHILE TRAVELING...A MIDWESTERN HEAT WAVE, by JAMES GALVIN



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FRAGMENTS WRITTEN WHILE TRAVELING...A MIDWESTERN HEAT WAVE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: However lonely we were before / becomes unclear
Last Line: By setting-free the soil
Subject(s): Farm Life; Heat; Middle West; Oklahoma; Summer; Weather; Agriculture; Farmers; Midwest; Old Northwest; Central States; North Central States


1.

However lonely we were before
Becomes unclear
In our next loneliness.
All summer long the rain
Stayed west of the mountains.

2.

Underneath this landscape of sighs
Is a landscape of feathers,
One of blood, and yes,
A landscape of earth and trees and sky.
The soil of Oklahoma
Is leaving again.
Heaven is west of where it falls.

3.

Down here in the level world
Oil rigs make love
To the earth beneath the wheat.
All afternoon the wind blows hot.
The river is a piece of dirty string.
Like huge somnambulating farmers,
Dust-devils work the fallow ground.

4.

The real farmers
Disc their fields on tractors
With hopeful, yellow umbrellas
And raise white flags of surrender
Which keep the flying ants
From swarming near their faces.

5.

I'll tell you what the soul is made of:
More dust.
Behind each harrow
In each field
A plume takes to the wind.
The farmers,
At last,
Are freeing themselves
By setting free the soil.


Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org




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