i am witness to the threshing of the grain

John Hoffman

 
i am witness to the threshing of the grain
the man of corn
hanging
from a dry oak bough
bade us to be silent in our flailing
he bade us
the understanding that pervades
the silence that is veiled
his whisper is no louder than the locust
bade us no louder
whrr chk chk
whrr whrr chk chk
flailed man threshed and scythed
hung man of the harvest
wheat bearded one
unfleshed
none the mistletoe on our
     smoky
     plain
thus man sheared by the sun
sterile fruit of the dry oak bough
hanging
turned gently to caress
a wing of crows
and turned
and saw
and bade us to be
     silent
 
From Journey to the End by John Hoffman. Copyright © 2008 by John Hoffman. Used by permission of City Lights Publishers. All rights reserved.

Further Reading

Poems About Work and Money
A Situation for Mrs. Biswas
by Prageeta Sharma
Blues
by Elizabeth Alexander
Coming Close
by Philip Levine
Engines Within the Throne
by Cathy Park Hong
Hay for the Horses
by Gary Snyder
I am the People, the Mob
by Carl Sandburg
Odd Jobs
by Jericho Brown
On Quitting
by Edgar Guest
One of the Monkeys
by Nicholas Johnson
Personals
by C. D. Wright
Po' Boy Blues
by Langston Hughes
Proximity
by Randall Mann
Song of Myself
by John Canaday
Song of the Shirt
by Thomas Hood
Testament
by Carl Sandburg
The Dance
by Humberto Ak'Abal
The Debt
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
The Eternal City
by Jim Simmerman
The Orange Bears
by Kenneth Patchen
The Telephonist
by Susan Yuzna
The Unknown Citizen
by W. H. Auden
The Whistle
by Yusef Komunyakaa
The World is Too Much With Us
by William Wordsworth
Thinking of Work
by James Shea
Vocation
by Sandra Beasley