poem index

i am witness to the threshing of the grain

John Hoffman
i am witness to the threshing of the grain
the man of corn
		hanging
from a dry oak bough

bade us to be silent in our flailing 
he bade us 
		the understanding that pervades 
		the silence that is veiled 
his whisper is no louder than the locust

bade us no louder
			whrr chk chk
			whrr whrr chk chk 
flailed man threshed and scythed 
hung man of the harvest 
wheat bearded one 
unfleshed

none the mistletoe on our
			     smoky 
			     plain 
thus man sheared by the sun 
sterile fruit of the dry oak bough

hanging
	turned gently to caress
	a wing of crows
	and turned
	and saw
	and bade us to be
		     silent

From Journey to the End by John Hoffman. Copyright © 2008 by John Hoffman. Used by permission of City Lights Publishers. All rights reserved.

John Hoffman