New Corn

Roots

by John Piller

Mendota, Illinois

It's easy to believe you can go back
Whenever you desire, jump in the car
And drive, arrive at dusk—the hour

   You recall most vividly—and walk
Among the buildings spread across the farm,
Out toward the pastures, woods, and fields.

   There is music in the leaves, in the dense
Columns of green corn. The wind lays down
The tune. You can play it, too, simply

   By walking with eyes closed, arms
Stretched out, lightly striking the stalks.
Who wouldn't desire, like the children

   Lost in so many similar fields,
To sit down on the turned earth and drift
Away on the rhythms of his own

   First possible death? Rescuing
Voices come closer, veer off. Flashlight beams
Strobe over your head. You do not care.

   Each building you remember—hen house,
Sheep shed, corn crib, barn—caved in upon itself,
The walls and roofs collapsing with a final

   Percussive clap, since you last walked those fields.
No one you will ever know works that land now.
It is as green as Eden. Life rises in the roots, in the leaves.

13 thoughts on “New Corn

  1. “In beauty it is begun. In beauty it is ended.” The Navajo Indians, like this artist, saw and were immersed in it. Wonderfully timeless picture.

  2. This photo is almost surreal. The things that struck me first was how straight the rows are. I thought, “Miles of straight corn…Wow, how can they do that? Aaah yes, machines, mechanized and expedient farming. Kind of like our world where we are all uniformed and conditioned to march to the same drummer, in the same direction, in the same way.”
    Then I saw the curved swirl on the right and SMILED!! I thought, “Oooo, how cool. Someone has a sense of humor, or individuality, or rebellion to NOT follow the same path as everyone else. ” It made me laugh inside and feel happy again. Whether the swirl part on the right was made from that place, a playful place or not, I nonetheless felt that way. Like there is STILL magic in the world, STILL freethinkers, STILL uncontrollable elements.
    Then I saw the the odd patches at the foreground and realized they must be water (the reflections in them). They gave me the same sense of relief, like something breaking up the continuous sameness of the straight orderly lines. To me the water and the swirls on the right MAKE this whole photo. How amazing!1 I love it.

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