The Faithless Wife – Federico García Lorca

So I took her to the river 

believing she was a maiden, 

but she already had a husband. 

It was on St. James night 

and almost as if I was obliged to. 

The lanterns went out 

and the crickets lighted up. 

In the farthest street corners 

I touched her sleeping breasts 

and they opened to me suddenly 

like spikes of hyacinth. 

The starch of her petticoat 

sounded in my ears 

like a piece of silk 

rent by ten knives. 

Without silver light on their foliage 

the trees had grown larger 

and a horizon of dogs 

barked very far from the river. 
Past the blackberries, 

the reeds and the hawthorne 

underneath her cluster of hair 

I made a hollow in the earth 

I took off my tie, 

she too off her dress. 

I, my belt with the revolver, 

She, her four bodices. 

Nor nard nor mother-o’-pearl 

have skin so fine, 

nor does glass with silver 

shine with such brilliance. 

Her thighs slipped away from me 

like startled fish, 

half full of fire, 

half full of cold. 

That night I ran 

on the best of roads 

mounted on a nacre mare 

without bridle stirrups. 
As a man, I won’t repeat 

the things she said to me. 

The light of understanding 

has made me more discreet. 

Smeared with sand and kisses 

I took her away from the river. 

The swords of the lilies 

battled with the air. 
I behaved like what I am, 

like a proper gypsy. 

I gave her a large sewing basket, 

of straw-colored satin, 

but I did not fall in love 

for although she had a husband 

she told me she was a maiden 

when I took her to the river.

Train Ride – Federico García Lorca

After rain, through afterglow, the unfolding fan 

of railway landscape sidled onthe pivot 

of a larger arc into the green of evening; 

I remembered that noon I saw a gradual bud 

still white; though dead in its warm bloom; 

always the enemy is the foe at home. 

And I wondered what surgery could recover 

our lost, long stride of indolence and leisure 

which is labor in reverse; what physic recall the smile 

not of lips, but of eyes as of the sea bemused. 

We, when we disperse from common sleep to several 

tasks, we gather to despair; we, who assembled 

once for hopes from common toil to dreams 

or sickish and hurting or triumphal rapture; 

always our enemy is our foe at home. 

We, deafened with far scattered city rattles 

to the hubbub of forest birds (never having 

‘had time’ to grieve or to hear through vivid sleep 

the sea knock on its cracked and hollow stones) 

so that the stars, almost, and birds comply, 

and the garden-wet; the trees retire; We are 

a scared patrol, fearing the guns behind; 

always the enemy is the foe at home. 

What wonder that we fear our own eyes’ look 

and fidget to be at home alone, and pitifully 

put of age by some change in brushing the hair 

and stumble to our ends like smothered runners at their tape; 

We follow our shreds of fame into an ambush. 

Then (as while the stars herd to the great trough 

the blind, in the always-only-outward of their dismantled

archways, awake at the smell of warmed stone 

or the sound of reeds, lifting from the dim 

into the segment of green dawn) always 

our enemy is our foe at home, more 

certainly than through spoken words or from grief- 

twisted writing on paper, unblotted by tears 

the thought came: 

There is no physic 

for the world’s ill, nor surgery; it must 

(hot smell of tar on wet salt air) 

burn in fever forever, an incense pierced 

with arrows, whose name is Love and another name 

Rebellion (the twinge, the gulf, split seconds, 

the very raindrops, render, and instancy 

of Love). 

All Poetry to this not-to-be-looked-upon sun 

of Passion is the moon’s cupped light; all 

Politics to this moon, a moon’s reflected 

cupped light, like the moon of Rome, after 

the deep well of Grecian light sank low; 

always the enemy is the foe at home. 

But these three are friends whose arms twine 

without words; as, in still air, 

the great grove leans to wind, past and to come.

Wheat –  Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

‘Sowin’ things an’ growin’ things, an’ watchin’ of ’em grow; 

That’s the game,’ my father said, an’ father ought to know. 

‘Settin’ things an’ gettin’ things to grow for folks to eat: 

That’s the life,’ my father said, ‘that’s very hard to beat.’ 

For my father was a farmer, as his father was before, 

Just sowin’ things an’ growin’ things in far-off days of yore, 

In the far-off land of England, till my father found his feet 

In the new land, in the true land, where he took to growin’ wheat. 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! Oh, the sound of it is sweet! 

I’ve been praisin’ it an’ raisin’ it in rain an’ wind an’ heat 

Since the time I learned to toddle, till it’s beatin’ in my noddle, 

Is the little song I’m singin’ you of Wheat, Wheat, Wheat. 
Plantin’ things —- an’ grantin’ things is goin’ as they should, 

An’ the weather altogether is behavin’ pretty good —- 

Is a pleasure in a measure for a man that likes the game, 

An’ my father he would rather raise a crop than make a name. 

For my father was a farmer, an’ ‘All fame,’ he said, ‘ain’t reel; 

An’ the same it isn’t fillin’ when you’re wantin’ for a meal.’ 

So I’m followin’ his footsteps, an’ a-keepin’ of my feet, 

While I cater for the nation with my Wheat, Wheat, Wheat. 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! When the poets all are beat 

By the reason that the season for the verse crop is a cheat, 

Then I comes up bright an’ grinnin’ with the knowledge that I’m winnin’, 

With the rhythm of my harvester an’ Wheat, Wheat, Wheat. 
Readin’ things an’ heedin’ things that clever fellers give,

An’ ponderin’ an’ wonderin’ why we was meant to live —- 

Muddlin’ through an’ fuddlin’ through philosophy an’ such 

Is a game I never took to, an’ it doesn’t matter much. 

For my father was a farmer, as I might ‘a’ said before, 

An’ the sum of his philosophy was, ‘Grow a little more. 

For growin’ things,’ my father said, ‘it makes life sort o’ sweet 

An’ your conscience never swats you if your game is growin’ wheat.’ 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! Oh, the people have to eat! 

An’ you’re servin’, an’ deservin’ of a velvet-cushion seat

In the cocky-farmers’ heaven when you come to throw a seven; 

An’ your password at the portal will be, ‘Wheat, Wheat, Wheat.’ 
Now, the preacher an’ the teacher have a callin’ that is high 

While they’re spoutin’ to the doubtin’ of the happy by an’ by; 

But I’m sayin’ that the prayin’ it is better for their souls 

When they’ve plenty wheat inside ’em in the shape of penny rolls. 

For my father was a farmer, an’ he used to sit an’ grieve

When he thought about the apple that old Adam got from Eve. 

It was foolin’ with an orchard where the serpent got ’em beat, 

An’ they might ‘a’ kept the homestead if they’d simply stuck to wheat. 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! If you’re seekin’ to defeat 

Care an’ worry in the hurry of the crowded city street, 

Leave the hustle all behind you; come an’ let contentment find you 

In a cosy little cabin lyin’ snug among the wheat. 
In the city, more’s the pity, thousands live an’ thousands die 

Never carin’, never sparin’ pains that fruits may multiply; 

Breathin’, livin’, never givin’; greedy but to have an’ take, 

Dyin’ with no day behind ’em lived for fellow-mortals’ sake. 

Now my father was a farmer, an’ he used to sit and laugh 

At the ‘fools o’ life,’ he called ’em, livin’ on the other half.

Dyin’ lonely, missin’ only that one joy that makes life sweet —- 

Just the joy of useful labour, such as comes of growin’ wheat. 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! Let the foolish scheme an’ cheat; 

But I’d rather, like my father, when viv span o’ life’s complete, 

Feel I’d lived by helpid others; earned the right to call ’em brothers 

Who had gained while I was gainin’ from God’s earth His gift of wheat. 
When the settin’ sun is gettin’ low above the western hills, 

When the creepin’ shadows deepen, and a peace the whole land fills, 

Then I often sort o’ soften with a feelin’ like content, 

An’ I feel like thankin’ Heaven for a day in labour spent. 

For my father was a farmer, an’ he used to sit an’ smile,

Realizin’ he was wealthy in what makes a life worth while. 

Smilin’, he has told me often, ‘After all the toil an’ heat, 

Lad, he’s paid in more than silver who has grown one field of wheat.’ 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! When it comes my turn to meet 

Death the Reaper, an’ the Keeper of the Judgment Book I greet, 

Then I’ll face ’em sort o’ calmer with the solace of the farmer 

That he’s fed a million brothers with his Wheat, Wheat, Wheat.

Youth Revisited – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Can this be the old town of wheat-teams and saddle-hacks, 

Of Ted Toll’s smithy, with the anvil ringing clear, 

Of stacks in the station yard, and stockmen, and farming hands, 

Of bow-legged bound’ry riders coming in for beer 

This strange, new, brisk town of sweet-shops and petrol pumps 

Petrol pumps with motor cars dashing up and down? 

Yet there stands the old church, the bluestone baker’s shop, 

And the queer, shrunken houses of my old home town. 
What has become of him – Little Johnny Parkinson? 

Little Johnny Parkinson out upon a bust 

The long red beard of him, the red-rimmed eyes of him;

Red from the harvest field and winnower dust. 

Five foot two of him – Little Johnny Parkinson, 

Driving in his wheat team, down the dusty street; 

Red beard, red eyes, red bandana neckerchief 

Little Johnny Parkinson, who took his whiskey neat. 
What has become of him – Big Jack Herringford? 

Big Jack Herringford, champion of the stacks, 

Where the lumpers, laboring, climbed the crazy wooden ways 

One, two, three hundred pounds upon their backs. 

Big Jack Herringford, soft-hearted Hercules, 

Went to the West land and won a fortune there. 

Was the gold a bension to Big Jack Herringford? 

Does anybody know, or does anybody care? 
What has become of him – Black Tom Boliver? 

Black Tom, Dude Tom, of the shearing shed 

The bold, black eyes of him, the well-oiled curls of him, 

The cabbage-tree hat well back upon his head. 

What has become of them, all the men I used to know?

Only one I recognise of all men there; 

But one has a smile for me – schoolmate Jimmy Tomlinson 

Laughing Jimmy Tomlinson, with snow-white hair.

Winter – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Winter comes; and our complaints 

Grow apace as summer faints, 

Waning days grow dull and drear, 

Something tells, too well, I fear, 

That I’ve found a germ or two; 

Something seems – ee! – ah! Tish-OO. 
Subthig certigly does tell 

That I’b very far frob weel. 

Ad I’b cadging cold, I fear 

As the wading days grow near, 

Winter cubs; ad our complades 

Grow apace as subber fades.