Men’s Farm Talk over breakfast

A youth,
in his mornings,
pitched chores,
hand milked
before machines,
before dawn’s
cold face glowed.

Today’s parlor cows
milked three times,
68 degree grade A piped to
38 degree insulated tankers,
loses only
one degree Fahrenheit
on its way to Florida.

Wisconsin’s Amish
thrive small,
out-buildings all
neat and white,
they craft
a life.

Threshing day rallied
rural community,
one family helping
another, and another,
cutting, bundling, setting
the long plank table outside,
all sweaty labor
until it rained.

Total electrostatic
green immersion, with
robotic spray touch-ups,
built-out combines,
all priced, purchased, shipped,
a wheat harvest
Texas to Canada.

Uncle Clifford
seeded three consecutive
droughty, barren
years, bingo! 1940!
Wheat! paid off
all debts,
purchased prime
panhandle acreage!

central Wisconsin
growing decline, and
British Columbia’s
ginseng success,
turned on
climate, drainage, and
moisture control.

as we are,
no teacher
on the origin
of our daily bread
set to our tables.

July, 2008

What’s it like

Now your clothes have fallen,
cannot pick them up, put them back.
How do you feel,    naked?
What’s it like,
     for the next six months?

Do your neighbors cast aspersions,
speak disparagingly of your limbs?
What about those evergreen types?
Do they laugh,

Personally, I like the changes.
Fresh wardrobe in the beginning.
Mostly emerald and tall in season.
Colorful costuming before,
      your naked scene.

So how will you keep warm?
An inherited trait? Genetically,
your roots must go very deep.
Almanac states, winter will be cold,
     really cold.

Pray for hydrating rain. Pull-in
your bark.
Stand close to your neighbor.
Make homes for owl,
     and squirrel.

Spring’s really not that far off.
what is the Spring fashion forecast?

November, 2005

New Labor

US Open players laboring racquets smashing yellow balls,
service aces in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Billie Jean King Tennis Center.
Forehands from the baseline, backhands, dink shots,
moon high lob shots, some called in, called OUT!

Am sometime fan remembering the old star names,
struggling to remember those of the future.
Happily celebrating Billie Jean’s recognition,
Sadly retiring memories of Martina and Andre.

They that labor in tennis, my new labor in writing.
Daily musings since February. Beginning again,
our new learning season
granddaughter Hyunji’s and mine.

palmer haynes
September 4, 2006

Oak Wood

Your Oak leaves luster on emergence;
lightly verdant, tender. before aphids laser feasts
or braille clustered galls,
before stripping wind, before sun and desiccating drought.
Yet; each of your photo-synthesizing factories, did vascularly grow this ring of Oak wood.

Palmer Haynes
August 2002


Nearest great lake
hundred miles east.
Cumular sails full of air
above Bilsie’s west ridge.
Top sails in place,
Main sails billowing up.
Great ships maneuvering.
Ship after ship, a fleet
carried on swift south wind,
steady on a stratus sea.


June 18, 2006