June 24, 2010

Fresh Earth

While plowing his plot, a farmer stops and looks over at a neighbor’s virgin field, a slender strip with long, lush grass covering soft, gentle mounds of un-tilled land.

He imagines how it would feel to turn that new soil, to watch his plow blade split the grass to reveal moist ground beneath; the smell of freshly-turned soil would make it a pleasant task.

Still, his old plot is familiar, level and well-turned. Any stones that caused him grief had long since been removed. Plowing is much easier when you know the land and there are no surprises.

Not so with plowing a virgin field; it may seem an appealing notion at first, but it undoubtedly hides sharp rocks and stubborn, grasping roots that turn plowing into tediousness.

He smiles briefly and sighs, knowing such notions are best kept in one’s head, then turns back and starts plowing anew.


  1. What an excellent mix of instructive metaphor and hard-won truth.

  2. There's definitely a metaphore or two here.

  3. what a plowing piece.
    cute metaphor.
    Thanks for sharing it with potluck.

  4. As a writer I love gardening metaphors, and as a lifetime gardener if not quite farmer, I can say truer words were never spoken than your lines here. But sometimes the seduction of a new piece of earth and all its potential yield are overwhelming. I liked the pragmatic appreciation of the work-to-return ration. ;-)

  5. Eric,
    You have definitely captured the essence of a farmer.

  6. some surprises can be good! :) what would life be without surprises!!! Happy Potluck!

  7. ...and so he plows the same patch year after year, until...? - I mean, nature has its own way of dealing with those of us who refuse to go off the beaten path, right? Nice parable!

  8. Braking new ground is never easy...

  9. I love your poem, but as someone who just turned pasture into cornfield, there is a great satisfaction breaking new grounds! Great piece.

  10. really enjoyed this....a cautionary tale of the utmost delight...

  11. Great imagination..
    The metaphor is really good :)

  12. Dear Eric
    Ahh!!! I can not help but smile with your metaphor... its kind of sensuous too..:-)
    Thanks for sharing...

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay

  13. Sensuous indeed, Shashi - very observant!

    (I'm not sure everybody caught that implication)

  14. Great write...I have picked many a rock out the the fields of Minnesota... and you are right about a virgin field you can dismantle a tractor without knowing what is in front of you....woman, field....make sure you know your land...bkm

  15. Right on! Ahh, it's so nice to be understood!


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