The Last Furrow, Henry Herbert La Thangue (1895)
Sun light ricochets off the farmer’s vest,
On this chilly and windy mid-March morn.
Snorting horses pulling plow, displaying their zest.
Blue steel share cutting deep, sod to be torn.
The soil released its pent up energy,
As billows of silk mist took to the sky,
While birds came as an invading army,
Devouring their plump prey from where they lie.
Day now done, horses released at last furrow,
For them will be a rest day tomorrow.
Rest will be needed to pull the harrow,
Soon the field be readied for corn to grow.
Life is not what you do but how you feel,
On this little farm there exists great zeal.
Allensville Hay Press Barn, Switzerland County, Gwen Gutwein (2008)
Its many boards of gray are on display.
Their opened grain bear the signs of aged pain.
From their perfect centers did move away.
Long gone are the days of its mighty reign.
Shows no mighty power to right itself,
Relying totally on my pity.
Knowing each board makes for a proper shelf,
Adding many dollars to my kitty.
Once inside I could feel its unique scent,
Wondering where all those memories went.
Where I day upon day happily spent,
Lingering has changed my early intent.
I’d better go and fetch the proper crane,
As this is where this creature shall remain.
Image manipulated by author
With bucket of water, squeegee and rag,
Performing menial chore I abhor.
For it will always make my spirits sag,
Daily cleaning of the stately glass door.
Fully covered with finger prints galore.
Strange as it be that it has no push bar,
Makes me hate this nasty door even more.
Without a key lock makes it more bizarre.
Limitless numbers who come but can’t pass.
Is this door’s only purpose to harass?
Or clearly an obstruction made of glass,
To ensure creation of an impasse?
Now clearly understanding took an axe,
Gave the mighty wall of glass forty whacks.
The Love Missive, Carl Herpfer (1875)
The Love Missive, Robert A Sieczkiewicz
Can I your lover and provider be?
Giving one at the expense of other
To both equally cannot do ably
But for you efforts willing to alter
Final decision being of your choice
All these trappings shall we readily leave
It is now I must clearly hear your voice
Must be the one which you truly believe
It is continued silence gives me pause
That it is I, the decision will make
Shall be given rightfully on just cause
As of now there’s to be a total break
Go to waiting arms of whose letters sent
To me you are not required to repent
Jean Leon Gerome, Pygmalion and Galatea (1890)
Pygmalion and Galatea
Marble before him was without error
Hammer and chisel moved with affection
Carefully attending the stone’s cipher
Soon to be his woman of perfection
Pygmalion prayed to Aphrodite
His desire was not for golden treasure
Gave overt sign she heard his earnest plea
He soon felt a sense of warming pleasure
Embracing his statute its warmth he felt
Confused wondering if could be real
Touching her satin skin he quickly knelt
Before him stood a majestic angel
Praised Aphrodite for changing his life
Pygmalion happy with his new wife
Il Povero Pescatore, Puvis de Chavannes (1881)
The Poor Fishman, Robert A Sieczkiewicz
The river so flat and still like dried paint.
Not sure if what I say is a complaint.
Father you know that I am not a saint,
But help the fish and me to reacquaint.
Today I say that my day shall be long,
Not returning here until the next dawn.
Yet during those hours I will sing your song,
Giving praise and praying that I stay strong.
The fish I pray for not only for me.
I think of my poor weakened family,
Healthy and strong I pray them all to be,
For it is in them my whole life I see.
To Saint Peter the fish You did help send,
It is on Your will that our lives depend.
Franciszek Zmurko, Lady Sleeping (c. 1900)
Lady Sleeping, Robert A Sieczkiewicz
Soon your nev’r ending nightmare shall expire.
A method will come to put out the fire.
From this struggle you will quickly retire.
Need never again to express your ire.
This new found freedom shall come at a cost.
You must recover the soul that is lost.
Thinking no need it was easily tossed.
For change to be the soul you will accost.
The object be to find internal peace,
Then the feeling of freedom will increase,
Mental anger and hate you shall release,
The rigid fences that bound you will cease.
Should you desire the soul not ever found,
The nightmares you harbor will be profound.