Treasure Island

Adeline Foster

(Instructor of poetry, Hagerstown, MD)

, Hand-Haying


The rhythm of the scythe plume
In the summer heat.
The step-by, step-by cadence
Of the old man’s steady feet.

The zip-saw of the whet-stone
Against the metal blade.
The wizened hands like leather
That never knew the shade.

And I am just a child again
On a tumbled stoop;
Watching ancient haying,
Marveling at the crop

Of tumbled swathes of timothy
Symmetrically alive,
Falling layer on even layer
To the mercy of the scythe.

Submitted: Saturday, October 25, 2008
Edited: Monday, June 17, 2013

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Comments about this poem (, Hand-Haying by Adeline Foster )

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  • Diane Hine (7/26/2014 1:50:00 AM)

    Hand scything is beautiful to watch but must be very hard work. I'm sure anyone who's tried it would appreciate this appealing and nostalgic poem. (Report) Reply

  • Palas Kumar Ray (5/17/2014 11:00:00 PM)

    wow! I am so much so related to the topic being a man of Agriculture by profession & also having related to haying and making silage for a pretty large cattle farm.Enjoyed a lot. (Report) Reply

  • Laurie X3 (3/12/2014 5:40:00 PM)

    The mind is a Palace! ! And the memories to visit such treasures as is your memory immortalized in this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Smoky Hoss (10/13/2013 3:09:00 PM)

    What a superb tribute. My father was raised on a farm using a team of horses to pull the rake, harow, plow and etc. He told me stories of the old ways of hard hand labor... and how he missed it. It was 20 years ago today that he passed-on, so it is perfect for me to read at this time; my memories smile, for that thank you sincerely. You write wonderfully. (Report) Reply

  • Heather Wilson (2/10/2013 4:28:00 PM)

    So true to life write, I was brought up out in the country, I remember my dad using a scythe, also being told the dangers of it, I was always amazed at what it could achieve. (Report) Reply

  • Maria B (9/12/2012 8:53:00 PM)

    ... hands like leather/that never knew the shade. Wonderful. The rhyming works very well in this poem Adeline. Thank you for introducing me to your work. (Report) Reply

  • Renee' Marie (9/3/2012 1:55:00 PM)

    I love the imagery in this stanza: 'And the storms that rage a rocky coast
    Are music to the ears
    Of one who’s known their lonely cry
    All through his youthful years. (Report) Reply

  • Alexis ... (5/22/2012 3:25:00 PM)

    AWESOME! This is really good nice flow and really nice rhythm. I had to sow it to a friend she said it's an even better compliment when you see that they're a good poet and complimenting you thanks (Report) Reply

  • Patti Masterman (2/1/2012 10:33:00 PM)

    This is such beautiful verse. It gives a peaceful feeling too, like all's right with the world. Lovely piece, thank you. (Report) Reply

  • Smoky Hoss (12/27/2011 4:51:00 PM)

    Beautiful. I am sitting here listening to the beautiful music of Kate Wolf, her voice rings like the wonder and magic of long and wonderful memories, and so does this poem. I bailed hay the modern way (1970's!) , but still this poem brings back such great memories; thanks for writing it so well Adeline.
    May those yesterdays never leave us. (Report) Reply

  • Allemagne Roßmann (8/19/2011 1:05:00 PM)

    Rhythm of scythe plume is very plume.I loved the phrase tumbled swathes of timothy.Very poignant write i must say and very scintillating. (Report) Reply

  • Joseph Anderson (2/14/2011 1:39:00 PM)

    I tried to comment on this before; guess it did'nt make it- such sweet memories
    of bygone days-I love your brevity with words-great write-a 10
    Joe (Report) Reply

  • Linda Winchell (11/1/2008 12:24:00 PM)

    I gave this one a ten! I too, as the other Linda said, could feel and smell the hay.
    I live on a small farm and have goats and chickens and bunnies. The goats eat hay and I love the smell of it cut fresh. I tried to eat some cause they make it look so yummy! Well, it isn't! LOL
    Too much fiber for me! LOL
    God Bless, and be blessed! Just another Linda (Report) Reply

  • Linda Ori (10/25/2008 2:43:00 PM)

    Ah, this is a wonderful pastoral scene you paint here, Adeline. Takes me back to a long ago time in my childhood. Pure nostalgia.
    Linda :) (Report) Reply

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