Not sure if it is the weight of the world,
or abuse from every second of the past days,
the aches and pains have a burning flare,
numbness and tingling with every step,
when in youth could run during adventures,
now a reoccurring limp that comes with the seasons,
you can hear the creeks and snaps,
with steps taken forward,
age and weathered time leaving scars of use,
never allowed the years to fully heal,
most days finding strength not to crumble,
or stumbling to a slow crawl,
not wanting to look forward,
to the misty sunrise of tomorrow,
when the old bones cannot move anymore.
THE VULTURE KING
(Italian Sonnet 1)
The Vulture King sits, distinguished, royal,
imposing vision coming from the throne,
menacing eyes that turn water to stone,
harshness for peasants that are disloyal,
sent to faraway lands to burn in sun’s oil,
take what was yours to make the kingdom’s own,
stealing flesh from unexpected bare bone,
corpses ripped open like an exposed boil,
talons always taking from the poor and weak,
to build walls between fiction of the mind,
to add to the desolation and sting,
cloak of finest fur taken from the meek,
thirst of greed suppressed by weakness in mankind,
bloat the expanding, smiling Vulture King.
Lace up these old boots every morning,
over a hot coffee between four and five,
sun, rain, sleet, or snow,
stalls need mucked, animals need fed,
the weather does not matter to them,
been doing the same thing for thirty-seven years,
since my father gave this farm to me,
built proud by his grandfather,
and handed down through the generations.
They say we farmers are a dying breed,
replaced by factories that do the same thing,
people know that the food I grow,
the animals we nurture, taste differently,
given to them with hard work, care and love.
Think when I plough the land’s soil,
it is a shame that I will be the last,
the last to plow these fields, enjoying the sunrise,
the kids moved away long ago,
never had the same interest in working like this,
the long hours did not give them the same reward,
though each holiday, they enjoy the fruits of this labour,
sure that when I pass, this ground will be gone,
sold to the highest bidder for modern day development.
The money coming in is not the same as it used to be,
nature has reeked havoc in the soil,
crops taken away have led to some lean years,
the wife had to take a small job at the local diner to make ends meet,
she holds the smirks given to her by locals so elegantly,
she understands what this tradition means,
and she is always there beside me.
It will turn around one of these years, I have faith,
has to, this work is all I cared to know,
until I join this land, every morning I will just lace these old boots.
ANDREW SCOTT is a native of Fredericton, NB. During his time as an active poet, Andrew Scott has taken the time to speak in front of a classrooms, judge poetry competitions as well as published worldwide in such publications as The Art of Being Human, Battered Shadows and The Broken Ones. His books, Snake With A Flower, The Phoenix Has Risen, The Path and The Storm Is Coming are available now.