There was beauty here they’d say
the remains are black charred crows
because of that horrific day
nothing green dares to grow
corn stood tall and harvest ready
livestock munched on fresh-cut hay
our crops productive and steady
“each year better” the old folks’d say
the earth moved alarming, concussed
no explanation for the disturbing din
rational farmers we never fussed
mouths and eyes wide agape, open
the air split with blood curdled screams
each second clicked death’s hand
no where to go, no place to flee
darkness moved over fertile land
pitch forks were all that we had
as blood flowed beneath our feet
we intended to make one last stand
“what Hell’s bane need we defeat?”
The threat rolled steadily forth
we bustled women, children and granny
futily we barred the door
hid love in nooks and crannies
Then something sucked out the air
we left with nothing to breathe
look at our foe we didn’t dare
our souls in mortified unbelief
coming, coming was all we knew
inexpressible feelings it caused
on knees “let this terror be through”
“Keep steady lad” I heard pa
Courage I gathered at the last
I stared down its fire filled eyes
bravely my legs would not let it pass
from its foul mouth flew about flies
It stripped me of my straw hat
mumbled words spoke in my head
“I’ll stop now I’m feeling quite fat
you’ll find hundreds are missing, more dead”
“Someone to clean up my mess
you boy are the one for the job
Go, you have passed today’s test”
bloody stench rose, his head bobbed
“I should be too,” I thought as I scoured
my world flipped inside, upside down
all that breathed had been devoured
friends colored prints in the ground
the green place that I’d known
had been watered red and died
nothing was left to atone
the sun on that day must have cried
There was beauty there they’d say
all I see are black charred rows
it was our harvest’s price dearly paid
nothing green dares to grow
~ Leslie Moon
© Copyright 2013 Leslie Moon. All Rights Reserved.
32 thoughts on “Reaping the Harvest”
A dark and intriguing tale within these lines.
Thanks Charlie always appreciate and respect your input. This was a challenge to write though I saw the scene the cadence and rhyme scheme were making me work for it
When autumn is so productive and colorful your poem creates a chilling contrast
I’m glad you could see the contrast thanks Dani
A dark poem indeed to usher in the beginning of October, Leslie. Amidst all that is good at harvest time, and all that starts out with so much peace and promise, you remind us that joy can be fleeting. Damned Dark, my friend. In the best of ways.
thanks Blaze – I don’t often look for thematic (at least when going dark) but this seems to be the season when goblins are bred
Reminds me a little of James Whitcomb Riley–The goblins will get you if you don’t watch out.
It’s the kind of tale told by a great grandmother to her many kin on the front porch of an old farm house. Those are the best kind. And usually, those willies are served with hugs and cookies. 🙂
glad they can be served up and the kids can then be tucked in… Thanks Dan
I love the imposing presence of a “monster” that is never given a face just smells, flies and a stolen hat…
I like allowing the imagination to create the form which can be scarier than if I were to write a description
strong visuals – I see the photographer in you creating a horrific picture with your words
I did shoot the scene and then wrote it – thanks for the visit
Horror in the corn
Blood soaked roots in fields of death
Lives flow like water
Great poem of horror Leslie ! It sticks to you like blood
oh nice haiku
you should write horror 🙂
thanks so much for the visit Sean
What a wonderfully dark and entertaining tome. Like the other demon, Dan, I to felt this read very much like a legend told ’round a cracklin’ campfire to spook the kiddies and adults alike. Very, very nice (in the sense that horrific is ‘nice’ *toothy grin*) imagery and quite the fulfilling read as usual. *poetic bow* *exit-stage-left smile*
Thanks DW – ya never know what bones will be tickled for the reader do you? As a story teller I’m not surprised it has that feel. It was inspired by an historic place that will never be quite as it was
Wonderful yarn spun with beautifully dark lyrics,Leslie! I enjoy the fact that the monster is unseen and the hints that the grandfather has experienced this “Period of Recompense” before. Well done!
Thanks Tyr. Yes perhaps I hadn’t visited that possibility except from the folklore aspect
What an absorbing poem! I think the narrative aspect really draws the reader in. There is some gripping imagery that fired my imagination, especially the black charred crows and the mouth full of flies. And seasonal, too – what’s not to love?!
yes the crows were a favorite
What darkness you have woven within the lines of REAPING THE HARVEST, Leslie, what sinister presence you have infused into your rhymes! Post by post, you seem to shed more of your earthly skin as you plummet deeper into the depths of your own Damned self! 😉
I loved this, Leslie. Every element of your prose meshed. A truly fitting way to kick off the ghoulish month of October!
This really was inspired Joseph. Cant’ take credit for the history and bodies that I walked on at Antietum
A deliciously dark and dismal poem, Leslie – in all the perfect ways! Very, very nicely done, sweet poet! 😉
Nina you inspire!!
I don’t know why I am only reading this now, but it is one hell of a poem!
glad to know it fits in the hell category Zack
Great stuff Leslie!
I swear, all of you are making me like poetry! That was something I thought would never happen. Fantastic work!
ha – the horror is when you start writing it!
Honestly Hunter I never thought I would like writing poetry (I hate rules)
Nice! Creepy like “The Raven”.
One of my favorites – well all of Poe are!