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Poetry Magnum Opus

The rusting plough


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I wash my hands and stir the

fire after removing the

rust from an old plough.

I linger on the flames-

the fingers of the fire

remove my memory of rust.

I recall the names of old

labourers who have now

returned to dust. With a

a book of poetry and

mulberry wine, I water and

plough the fields of my

mind and I find the line-free

face of my young wife-

I see her cutting home made bread

with an old family knife,

her pure hands untainted

by time; she starts singing

with tenderness, with a voice

as refined as the silk of

her dress. My angry words

fly past- sparks from the fire-

death's plowman's relentless

desire will grind this rusting

plowman into his earth..

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I enjoyed the mood of this, the imagery and the way your language flowed freely. “With a book of poetry and mulberry wine I water and plough the fields of my mind”

The last 5 lines however, from “My angry words” onward, seemed a little crowded and confusing. The hyphens do not help, but these are just my personal thoughts on presentation so feel free to ignore them. Cheers, Benjamin.

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David W. Parsley

Signature use of internal rhyme is reined to the fuller, subtle sounding of the poem. I like the matched cutting action of plough and knife, the contrast of persisting image of unspoiled wife with the rusting plowman. Draws a number of ineffable strains in deft harmony, defying summarization (i.e. sparks come alike from fire and plough and memory and, well, wife [not trying to make an opening for Brendan here] ).


I, too, sit a tad uncomfortably with the shift in sentence direction near the end. Like some of my own contest winners, this one may benefit from a re-examination of the closing lines, but beware catastrophic "improvements." It is pretty darn good as it is.


- Dave

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hi eclipse I really enjoyed the earth tones of this piece. i felt at home in it. i have to admit the "silk" of her dress had a kind of sour note for me... rusty plough, homemade bread, and silk just don't add up. silk suggests luxury and ease... the plough and the homemade bread suggest hard work. But it already won the prize so who am i to say/



~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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