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Crop Failure - Bitter Harvest

The past can’t tell the future; I'd almost forgotten this,
The past six years had brought me higher yields than average,
Though expectations soared, now nada, nothing, zilch.
Our wheat fields decimated from the lack of rain.
And those who bought insurance, now farm firms who lost the bet.
But policies will cost much more in coming years I think.

So much for global warming changing weather’s future trends,
In South Dakota where a better pattern lost its grip!
A favorite car bumper sticker posits this,
“Make gambling all legal! Farmers! Share the fun!"
And locusts fiddle their hysterics, "You thought we were bad?"
"Rest well assured that Rome can always burn once more to ground!"

Nor do your best investments guarantee a profit friend,
Your labor lost, and planting, preparation costs as well.
Landowners who ‘cash lease’ (1) to farmers do OK,
But those who rent this way face stressful loss in drought.
In good years ‘share crop’ (2) helps distribute risks and profits all,
But bad years punish retired owners who may need this cash.

But these days even worse perhaps is Nation's virtue lost,
Republicans have slain the Bible’s Satan it would seem,
Chilled brimstone with their frozen hearts and quenched Hell's fire,
They froze out Devil from His twist on paradise,
God faces now a monster worse than Satan's jealousy
(As whorish greed prepares at last to swallow own tale whole!)

God’s Grace becomes white’s birthright with Republicans in charge!
The fact that you are wealthy perfect proof heaven deserved.
New barns get promptly built to store God’s chosen’s gain,
(While reprimanding God if wealth should come too slow.)
God's crop though always "mercy," there’s no "sacrifice" demand,
And Christ himself enjoins us all to "go learn what this means." (3)


Brian Johnston
May 27. 2017

Poet's Notes:
I think that free verse is almost always inferior to rhymed poetry given a poet of equal skill in both. Free verse is more commonly the media of amateurs (as a rule) who are lazy or have an incestuous relationship with their muse and, all to often, give their best poems short shrift. It is true that free verse poems have a conversational flow to them which in general is a nice quality, but with a little more effort a rhymed poem can also accomplish the same thing. The advantage that rhyming and a syllabic pattern has is that the poet has to pay more attention to what is said and how. I can't tell you how many times that search for a rhyming word pair has honed my thought processes and even led me to new ideas that I might never have thought of otherwise if I was writing free verse. Let me paraphrase Robert Frost (I think) 'Yes, you can play tennis without a net too, but only an idiot would want to do that!' Ha! 

I am not blaming Republicans for my "crop failure" in this poem, and it is a term that I use loosely here because the current leadership is (in my opinion) close to insane and anti-American in their thinking. There are some "conservative" Republicans though who I do respect. However what this poem does suggest is that the current Republican leadership is itself a "crop failure" and that their aspirations are anti-Christian, anti-American, and even approach being Satanic.

(1)    In a ‘cash lease, ' a farmer pays the landlord a fixed sum of money to use the land every year, pays all the operating expenses himself and gets to keep all of the profits.

(2)    In a ‘share crop lease, ' a farmer does not pay the landlord anything in fact for the land that he rents. Instead, he gives the landowner 1/3 of whatever crop that he harvests. If there is a crop failure, he owns no rent at all which protects the farmer. The owner of the land also benefits though because in a good year he makes more money than he would if the lease was a straight cash per year deal. Under this arrangement, the landowner's only expense is a 1/3 share of any fertilizer cost.

It seems to me that God's deal with us is more of a 'share crop' contract than a 'cash lease' arrangement! What do you think? Is giving 10% of your income to God all that you owe Him? Should a 'follower' also not extend God's Grace to others? 

(3)    Matthew 9: 13 (New Living Translation)   
Then he added, 'Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: 'I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.' For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.'

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017




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