Today I wanted to treat you to a special reading response to the poem, “The Farm” by one of my favorite authors, Wendell Berry. Please enjoy my response.
“The Farm” by Wendell Berry is a book length poem capturing the round and round of the country years. Here is my response
The poem opens with a pilgrimage’s crest upon the hillside of a farm. From the humble tunnels of a mouse tunnel through the simple, foundational food-chain source, grasses.
I feel a timelessness as our footsteps linger down Fords Lane, days and years ago and stepping ever further from me in the timeline of the forevers.
He called me to this life. He did not even know. He called to me, a mild voice from the pages of a book in a big, nearly quiet auditorium. I had my knees up on the seat in front of me, my arms on my thighs, my book nestled on my arm. He called, softly as through the wool on the sheep on the other side of the hedgerow In Ireland. Hey. Lookie here. Life lives here.
I told him one day and he snickered an ugly snicker. “Don’t speak til it’s over”
O’er the cyclical fore’res, I believe.
I can almost see it
Almost touch it
Invisible in the for’eres
Which changes the meaning
Is the work meant to be a tattoo on the timeline?
Or a mere new cell, to grow, and die again and be reborn, the product of our offspring, the telephone message of our kin. We transform and mutate. And it is meant to be. Wild and impermanent. A blizzard of snowflakes in the glaciers of time.
Invisible, clear, peaceful. Whispering a voice of the flowing winds, howling wild passion, with abandonment, to the void.
And the babes of goodness come, and we will shelter them as the Father advises,
He speaks of things our country dare not do,
Lest be a savage the likes of which the future live not not--
Live in the past
When we can envision something completely new
Of our own ingenuity
For our own benefit.
We don’t think
We were made
That which the Great God said we would serve
But that which we eat today
Cannot be so simple
It must be sterile
Isolated from imperfection
We cannot stomach the heartbreak
And so we protect
And freeze at peak freshness,
We cannot process imperfection.
We cannot accept it.
We certainly cannot love it.
But perhaps we can shatter the illusion
Make it sacred again
I promise you, we can
What he says what he says
Do or do not
“ if you should go and not return and none should follow you, this clarity would be as if it never was. But praise, in knowing this, the genius of the place, whose Way forgives your own, and will resume again in time, if left alone […] and so you make the farm, and so you disappear” (32).
He writes it all
Into the ashes he traces fingerprint drawings,
To one day be blown away in the winds.
They’re bombing the places of afar
Here and there, ere’where
And back at home,
No mason Dixon line separates us
We are a vitiligo,
Pigment of politics plugging the sound of Babylon
We can’t even hear our adversaries
We can’t even hear our brothers and sisters
We can’t even hear our own thoughts
We could at any moment it seems
Fall into a pit
Of barbed thicket seeds
Bless us to remain living souls
Pray bless us
And let us still allow ourselves
To see that the wheel
Will one day turn again
And turn, turn again
Welcome to book club 2023! This year I have selected 14 books (one for each month, an extra, and a partially read one I will finish) to review for you as I read through them. Feel free to read along if you’d like and leave all the comments you’d like whether you’re reading along or just reading my posts! Stay tuned for extras and fun! Blessings, August Lee
Sacred Actions by Dana O’Driscoll
How to be a Good Creature by ash Montgomery
Cord Magic by Brandy Williams
Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard
The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
Beauty by Natalie Carnes
World of Wonders by Aimee Nezuhkumatathil
The Wisdom of Birch, Oak, and Yew by Penny Billington
Sacred Agriculture: The Alchemy of Biodynamics by Dennis Klocek
American Georgics edited by Hagenstein, Gregg, and Donahue
Maddaddam by Margaret Atwoodd
Our Only World by Wendell Berry
The Mushroom at the End of the World by Anna Tsing
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
- Feb 4 2023 Sacred Actions section 1
- Feb 6 2023 The Spinners Book of Yarn Designs, BC Extra