Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FARMERS OUTLAW WEEDS, by VINCENT GODFREY BURNS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE FARMERS OUTLAW WEEDS, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: The farmer lords of podunkville proclaimed a big conclave
Last Line: For diplomats who resolute against the weed called war!
Subject(s): Brotherhood; Diplomacy & Diplomats; Farm Life; Government; Law & Lawyers; Social Protest; War; Weeds; Agriculture; Farmers; Attorneys

The farmer lords of Podunkville proclaimed a big conclave
To take up various ways and means their wide-flung crops to save;
It seems that weeds were running wild across the countryside,
They swamped the pastures, choked the trees, and half the crops had died.

So, gathered in the courthouse on the square, at half-past two,
There met a solemn session to decide just what to do.
They crowded in from vale and town and Podunk's farthest border,
Till Sheriff Jones stood up and gravely called the crowd to order:

"Now men that ye are here consarned with this momentus object,
I'm agoin' ta call on Deacon Smith to introjuce the subject! ..."
A snicker, then a roar went up (for weeds Smith's farm was worst!)
But Deacon Smith just cleared his throat, then gulped as if in thirst,

Said he: "As 'tellgent folk we all do know our present need,
This hull world looks ta me and you to kill this pesky weed,
If we don't act mankind will die, and so sez I to you,
Outlaw, renounce, declare this weed forevermore taboo!"

The laughter changed at once to cheers, hurrahs rang through the crowd.
'Twas very plain that Deacon Smith had done himself most proud.
Amid the gale of mad applause a youth rose to his feet;
He spoke with bold, clear voice, that men might hear out on the street:

"This resolution is a joke, you can't kill weeds that way!
Disperse, go home, roll up your sleeves, and go to work today!
Pull up your weeds, by root and branch, from every piece of land,
Uprooting, not outlawing, is the thing that weeds can't stand!

"You hypocrites, you've dodged the facts in blindness all your days,
And now you think that motions will correct your lazy ways?"
With hoots and calls and mockery they drove him from the hall.
"A fool!" "An ass!" "A young moron!" they shouted, one and all.

With pompous pride and gesture then they passed their resolution,
Denouncing weeds in scathing terms of fiercest absolution!
Decrying all the evils that the weeds were liable for!
Declaring weeds anathema, outlawed forevermore!

But while this solemn conference passed laws to outlaw weeds
The summer air of Podunkville was loaded full with seeds;
They fell in golden showers on each and every fertile field,
And prophesied that Podunkville would have a bumper yield.

Though Podunk's leading farmers had pronounced their pious curse,
Both far and near in Podunkville the weeds grew worse and worse;
They spread and spread until they wrecked each human habitation,
And soon the place called Podunkville was one vast desolation.

Now strangers passing there today behold the awful scene
And shake their heads in sorrow for the town that might have been.
Here is, good friend, a parable of truth, if nothing more,
For diplomats who resolute against the weed called WAR!

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