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The Dust Bowl

Barren cradle in the nursery
Cold kettle on the stove
Withered stubble in the fields
Empty baskets in the grove

Forsaken table in the kitchen
Useless broom by the screen door
Yellowed paper on the sofa
Frayed carpet on the floor

Tangled hangers in the closet
Tattered sheets across the bed
Haunted boots on the porch step
Rusty hammer in the shed

How the dust and wind battered
Swept away a life once lived
How a farmer and a family fled
When the farm had no more to give.

***

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content

Comments

the ending is pretty nice; it gives me a feeling of finishing a long, good book series and adds a touch of mystery.

Thank you so much for spending time and commenting. I look forward to reading your poetry!
Lavender

author comment

An extremely harsh period in the United States during most of the 1930s decade. Recently saw a documentary that suggested that soil tilling greatly contributed to the massive devastation.
Thank you so much, Teddy!
L

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Thank you!
L

author comment

A touching poem about an unnecessary tragedy.

Yes, I'm familiar with John Steinbeck's work, in this case, The Grapes of Wrath, although it has been awhile. I would like to read again - maybe after this pandemic and election have passed and my emotions are a bit less fragile. :) I saw a documentary on climate control called "Kiss the Ground" recently. Just one of the many suggestions was that soil tilling contributed to the Dust Bowl, which led to re-studying that period. Horrible, horrible time. There are many images of once productive farms completely abandoned.
Thank you so much!
L

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Trying to stay optimistic regarding both!
L

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impressed that you put the [D] on the end of live to make sure that the pronunciation stayed with give; instead of making it live with a long I. It didn't change the meaning of the word, yet stayed true to the rhyme. Nice! ~ Geez.
.

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So funny that you mentioned that - although I think it works as far as rhyme and sound, that "d" just looks out of place to me. Always appreciate your views!
Thank you!
L

author comment

I imagine there is an eeriness and an emptiness - I've only seen photos. The toll was so great...
Thank you, Jerry!
L

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soryy I am late This is absolute perfection I was able to picture all of it the imagery is strong

Chrys

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Thank you for your very kind remarks!
L

author comment

Beautiful, and the atmosphere so tangent. I love it! :D The line "Haunted boots on the porch steps" gave me chills.
Are you sure this is free verse? It looks and sounds exactly like structured western style poetry to me.
~

"To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's true aim." Oscar Wilde

Yes, it is Western. I very seldom write anything other than free verse - creature of habit. I will change that.
Thank you so much!
Lavender

author comment

of one of the many homes abandoned during the dust bowl years

Thank you for reading!
L

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this look at at a story that could become a recurring one, even in this day and age. If we continue to plow and use land that once was woodlands and vital areas for watersheds and then we have another weather upheaval in the table-lands of America, we are in deep doo-doo!
Nice look at the farms that were abandoned and lost. Great rhyme and not a thing to criticize! ~ Geez.
.

Comments and critique are vital to this site!
Even if you just say: I liked this story or your spelling
of a word is wrong, take the time to write a line or two
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I agree with you. The documentary "Kiss The Ground" touched on the impact of destroying our land, and ways to help.
Thank you!
L

author comment

Following on from other comments by members.....the "Dust Bowl" was caused mainly by ignorance. Various Acts of the US Congress encouraged people westwards by incentivising farming in the Great Plains; this led to a vast influx of inexperienced would-be farmers who were led to believe "rain would follow the plough" and that homesteading and agriculture would somehow make a semi-arid area fertile, tragically this was linked to a widespread belief that these pioneers had a "sacred duty" to expand the USA west.

Rising wheat prices led these inexperienced farmers to plough up millions of acres of grassland to plant wheat and corn and when the Depression hit, market prices plummeted and they then tore up even more grassland in an attempt to harvest bumper crops. The result was disaster: crops failed in the drought years, the over-ploughed farmland was exposed to the elements and without prairie grasses to hold the soil in place, it began to blow away...this led to massive dust storms and economic devastation. Sadly it was a man-made disaster which need never have happened.

And yes, "The Grapes of Wrath" is a fine novel and a fine film with Henry Fonda.

It was truly a horrific time in U.S. history. Thank you for reading and sharing your considerable knowledge!
L

author comment

In fact I recently saw a programme on TV, "The Dust Bowl", a documentary by Ken Burns (who made "The Civil War" epic documentary).

is that cheating? I often use things that have occurred in my daily life to write poems and even things I have seen on TV.
As said before, this is an excellent piece and the only way I would call it cheating; is if someone else wrote it for you. ~ Geezer
.

Comments and critique are vital to this site!
Even if you just say: I liked this story or your spelling
of a word is wrong, take the time to write a line or two
and comment. Your fellow poets will thank you!
.

Lavender complimented me on my knowledge of the Dust Bowl disaster - I only knew a lot about it because I had seen the TV show and read about it recently.

I fully agree with Geezer - not cheating! I watched an excellent documentary called "Kiss The Ground" which prompted this piece. It's good to keep these historic moments fresh. I really appreciate what you brought by sharing.
Thank you!
L

author comment

not cheating/ LoL
Geezer.

Comments and critique are vital to this site!
Even if you just say: I liked this story or your spelling
of a word is wrong, take the time to write a line or two
and comment. Your fellow poets will thank you!
.

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