Category Archives: farming

I Take Hope In That – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

“A bird that fears falling off a tree branch is ignorant of its gifts.” Matshona Dhilwayo

I Take Hope In That

I closed my eyes and 
ran my hands along the top rail of the farm gate,
its gnarled timber long massaged by many hands, 
washed smooth by decades of rain, 
opening up the ancient grain with 
striated streaks along its length, 
where moss and lichen breathe and tiny
things hide beyond the eye,
the smell of lanolin brings welcome memories,
and though its nails and screws are looser now, 
a sag visible with scrape lines in the dirt, 
the gate is ever strong, standing firm, 
and I take hope in that.

Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®️


Filed under bush walking, farming, Free Verse, life, mindfulness, poem, quote

For Maxima Acuna – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

2016 Goldman Environmental Prize winner for Peru, Máxima Acuña (Photo: Goldman Environmental Prize)

“This isn’t a cause of fear for me – it’s not a motive for us to stop fighting, to stop defending.” Maxima Acuna(when asked if she was worried given Berta Caceres’ assassination)

Maxima Acuna is a wife, mother, farmer, weaver, environmental activist who has had her home destroyed (twice), has been beaten unconscious with her daughter, has been physically beaten with her husband, and has had false charges laid against her. I really admire her tenacity, strength, and sense of justice in the face of pure evil in both protecting her way of life, her rights and the environment.

There is a short video worth seeing at –

For Maxima Acuna

In the Northern Highlands of Peru the
diminutive Maxima and husband Jaime
bought a farm in the Tragadero Grande,
they built a simple earth shack to raise a 
family, and they respectfully subsist and
produce while caring for the land
but came the miners with engineers, 
security, even local police to raise their 
home to the ground for a mining company,
some time later they returned to beat her
and her daughter unconscious and despite 
the recorded evidence no appeal to the 
courts would be heard, instead Acuna was 
blamed and false charges stuck against her,
resulting in an eviction order with huge fines,
until outside voices raised the alarm,
but the dismissal of the false charges has
not lessened the threat and abuse, beatings,
and intimidation of Maxima the farmer, the
weaver, the maker, the land and water carer,
who refuses to surrender the land and life
in her care.

Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®️ 


Filed under awareness, Economics, environment, farming, Free Verse, injustice, life, poem, quote

Sweet Dreams – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: from “Protracted fight against all injustices.” Protestors in Paraguay drawing attention to the loss of land and human rights in the face of mining and forestry businesses.

“Disadvantages faced by indigenous peoples are related to dispossession and exacerbated by powerlessness and poverty.” Roberto Mukaro Borrero

Sweet Dreams

There is no edict for you to leave your
home tonight as armed militias glare
at you with trembling trigger fingers,
while benign police stand back shrugging.

No one is bulldozing the graves of your
loved ones or setting fire to community 
facilities in order to persuade you to leave
the place where you have set down roots,
generations of love and friendship and work.

No one is turning your land in to agribusiness 
at the cost of community, even life,
you are not losing your freedom tonight,
or your basic rights, even your dignity
remains in tact despite corrupt politicians.

No one is making laws to target you as an
enemy of the state because you refuse to 
surrender your home and land from which 
you sustain life and no one despises you 
because you refuse to surrender your heritage.

But if you live in Paraguay then,
this night they will indeed come and
kill, burn, rape, torture and imprison
while stealing your land under guise of
legislated corporate rights and resumption.

Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®️ 


Filed under awareness, Economics, farming, Free Verse, Indigenous, injustice, poem, protest, quote

Fair Fare – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Linda is hosting the Quadrille with an invitation to write using the word fair.

dVerse Poets – Quadrille – Let’s God To The Fair


“What makes the farmers market such a special place is that you’re actually creating community around food.” Bryant Terry

Fair Fare

There's anarchy in mung beans,
promises in adobe dung bricks,
salvation in fenugreek and cumin,
the whole world's a natural honey,
a string of beads strung by Saffron 
one full moon of love ago in this 
strange fair of life whose fare is smiles.

Copyright 2021 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®


Filed under community, farming, food, Free Verse, Gardening, life, poem, Quadrille, quote

The Drought – Haibun by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Frank is hosting Haibun with an invitation to write about the eagle.

dVerse Poets – Haibun – Eagle

Photo: showing a wedge tailed eagle.

“Fierce eagles do not produce timorous doves.” Horace

The Drought

45c and the road, straighter than straight, rolling beyond what the rusted sign advised. Blues, liquid, twelve bar, driving through this dry land. Paddocks hollow and stricken, rain forsaken for so long now, nothing holds in this dust. Crows picking the eyes out of everything that ceases to move, that cadaver buffet for pall bearers.

The gates blur in fifth, the barbed wire whispers strained songs of lament and I weep as I pass the delusion of hope trying to bale non-existent hay, the sadness of twenty bales to a hundred acres. And I weep for this place where endings complete and there are no obvious beginnings.

I slow as I see the spectre eyeing emaciated sheep. The angel of death eyes me and I nod in deference, better an ending than tortured horizons. I wave my blessing, thankful that the feathered euthanasia will ease the shepherds pain. In this moment the eagle is surgeon, priest and mourner, holding a ritual, taking death for life.

Life now surrendered
throat offered for sacrifice
feathered friend loves life

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Filed under awareness, death, farming, Haibun, Haiku, life, nature, prose

The Very Fruit – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Rosemarie at dVerse has invited us to write a poem using the word wheat, or any of its derivatives. dVerse Poets – Poetics – Wheat

Photo: Combine harvester working a wheat paddock in Western Australia.

“In the very end of harvest, scarcity and want shall shun you; Cere’s blessing so is on you.” Ceres – ‘The Tempest’ Act 1V Scene 1 – William Shakespeare

The Very Fruit

Mungo hummed a tune as he circled
the paddock in steely revolutions,
a sacrifice to the gods as the
whirling blades cut swathe after
swathe of golden denison, 
the very fruit of Ceres hips,
sown broad in ripe April's arms
detined to crust his lips
with loaf and brew along
that old Friday fertility rite,
and Mungo hummed a tune.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Denison is a wheat strain used in parts of W.A.
Ceres is the Roman goddess of the growth of food plants. 


Filed under Farm, farming, Free Verse, life, Mythology, nature, poem, quote

Beware, The Magpies Are Singing – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Corvid – 2020 Weekly Challenge 13 (Final)


“There are many rhymes about magpies, but none of them is very reliable because they are not the ones that the magpies know themselves.” Terry Pratchett

Beware, The Magpies Are Singing

Like the sound of a drunken black cockatoo,
the windmill squeaks its grinding rotation,
tail flapping in the breeze
which cools the sweated skin,
it's early, but it's hotter than hell,
a sinister augury of the day's endurance
that only cold beer will quell at its end,
right now the magpies are singing their song,
carolling their advent of spring's enterprise
and the need to stay out of their range,
for they've hatched a plot for a geography
they intend to defend.

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Filed under bush walking, Country, farming, Free Verse, life, nature, poem, quote

Every Time – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

RDP Sunday – Masterpiece


Photo: from and the story “Forty Years Ago This Man Planted A
Tree That Created Amazing Opportunities For His Island” by Lauren Fazackarly –  The Story of Jadav Payeng who began planting trees at sixteen and is still going.

Please note: this is only one story, there are several stories from all over the world of people doing similar feats to greater or lesser extent.


“Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.”  Greek Proverb

Every Time

He settled in the dust of his soul,
the sun beating down and
mocking his every effort
drawing his moisture to his brow,
and yet every day he rose and
without fail, made his way
to his field of dreams
that barren canvas of life’s struggles,
of course, without knowing,
passers-by smiled their condescension,
to them he was an eccentric farmer,
while in his own mind he was an
investment banker, and adventurer, a rebel,
and every time he planted a tree he knew
he was painting a masterpiece
whose abstract nature only he could explain.

©Paul Vincent Cannon



Filed under Country, environment, Farm, farming, Forest, life, love, mindfulness, nature, poem, quote

Advent Herald – prose by Paul Vincent Cannon

dVerse Poets – Prosery – Jim Harrison

Linda at dVerse has invited us to take a line from the work of Jim Harrison – “A cow is screaming across the arroyo.” taken from his poem ‘Cow.’




“Moo may represent and idea, but only the cow knows.”  Mason Cooley


Advent Herald

A cow is screaming across the arroyo as the weaners are drawn aside. The cattle-hands working the herd, the weaners easily pushed across the arroyo to the feeders like children to a lolly counter. I listened to her screaming, a gut-grief heartfelt, and though I cannot speak it, a warning was implied. Burgers or breeders, the children are consumed. And as I walked reflecting, I wondered about all the herding of life, this arroyo is not the Rubicon, but a die was no less cast.

I came to the creek-line with an angel or devil, I’m not sure, but I left the gate open and the screaming cow dove through. She spoke so clearly as we passed, “Those who lie or sup from the manger will be crucified one day.” Startled, I ran through, I’ve been wandering un-herded ever since, across that arroyo.

©Paul Vincent Cannon




Filed under challenge, farming, Free Verse, life, mindfulness, nature, prose

The Old Farm Gate – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon


Photo: Farm gate – found on Pinterest

“Men are not so much the keepers of herds as herds are the keepers of men.”  Henry David Thoreau

The old Farm Gate

I leaned on the old gate as I was wont to do,
and it seemed a good thing,
the gate offered no objection
rather, a welcome to reflect as I
leaned and looked out at all that was before me,
in the dry of the day the rust
like barnacles clung to the wizened steel,
but some flaked and powdered
and I felt its roughness
a reminder of the many winters it has endured
since it was hung in less complicated times
when boundaries were respected and a
gate was merely a choice of
coming or going, to be in or out,
this gate might not make another hundred
but for now it has more stories to tell.

©Paul Vincent Cannon



Filed under Country, Farm, farming, Free Verse, life, poem, quote