Wednesday, May 6, 2015

William Kloefkorn: Untitled ["I am a dirt farmer"]

I am a dirt farmer
Who dreams of poetry.
Is that so strange? Is anything?
I have bent myself thankfully
Over the heat of cowchips.
When the lespedeza flowers
I breathe its blooms.
The calf I winch to birth
Grows legs like oaks to graze on,
And stuck hogs bleed for breakfasts.
This morning at milking
I kissed the cow’s warm flank
And she kicked the milk to froth beneath my knees.
I forgave her,
Then cried with the cats.
Now the manure is in bloom,
Thistles defend the driveway,
And corncobs gird the mud beneath my boots.
Plotting harvests,
I roam my acreage like a sweet spy.

Untitled ["I am a dirt farmer"] by William Kloefkorn, an excerpt from Alvin Turner as Farmer, as published in Swallowing the Soap: New and Selected Poems, edited by Ted Genoways (Bison Books, 2010).

Art credit: Details from untitled image taken in 1954 during milking at Art Badertscher's dairy farm near Fresno, California (USA), by LIFE photographer Nat Farbman.



  1. The particular charm of poetic specificity! The language here is so alert.

    (Also attracting this reader is the fact that one can find at least two intact pentameters in this, an otherwise free-verse poem!)


Thank you for participating respectfully in this blog's community of readers.