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Sodbuster's Creed

Updated on November 18, 2014

By: Wayne Brown

This hard-scrabble ground has remained the same

Ain’t changed one damn iota from the day we came

If we grow anything, poor is the best that we’ll do

Rain is ever so mighty scare and the yields are few

That ol’ sun blazes down upon us day after hot day

Burnin’ the life out of every little thing in its way

Evaporating the precious moisture; robbin’ our life

Leaving us but little ’cept our own sweat and strife

The winters are cold; too cold for the likes of man

Everything is frozen until spring thaw comes again

We rip up the ground and plant our precious seed

With hopes that the crops will bring what we need

We ain’t got much but we had less when we came

As poor as it sounds, we are winners in this game

We have fought the elements, sun, wind and draught

We have stayed the duration; you can’t run us out

Folks like us don’t give up easily; we stay and fight

We’re not quitters by any means; it wouldn’t be right

Man was put here to till the ground and provide

It’s not impossible; just need some luck on our side

This piece of ground and the roof over our head

Is far more than some have; this is our homestead

And we’ll work it until the last of us finally drops

When we pass this world and our last breath stops

We are thankful for what we have; some got none

Life is hard but we are amongst the chosen ones

To have a little food, a roof, and a warm place to lay

Is more than a lot of folks got at the end of the day

Every time precious rain falls from the sky up above

We fall on our knees and thank God for his love

We pray that our crops will flourish and survive

So we can share with them with no luck on their side

Some folks never even had much on which to hope

Some gave up too quick, they just couldn’t cope

We figures that something beats nothing all the same

God's blessed us with more than we had when we came

God never promised that life would not be a chore

He gave us all we bargain for and maybe a bit more

But no matter how hard it is, we’ll never turn away

We’ll work and see this ol’ farm to a better day

So as we stand here on this hard-scrabble ground

We look upon much to be thankful for all around

The hard work, the pain and struggles of just living

Are much to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving

©Copyright WBrown2011. All Rights Reserved.



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    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Poignant and descriptive poem! Great job! Reminds me of the events of the Dust Bowl during the 1930s. You did an excellent job on describing the plight of our poor and disinherited farmers!

    • vrajavala profile image

      vrajavala 5 years ago from Port St. Lucie

      that is amazing.. Nice work.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Just a few decades ago, most Americans worked on farms like the one in the poem. Those were the days before big farm machines, so the labor had to come from men, mules, and horses.

      Today, monster farm machines have reversed the situation, and most of us now work in towns and cities, but all that depends on a steady supply of fuel for those machines. Should our supply of fossil fuels be cut off, we will all be back on the farms, with our horses and mules!

      This is a very good Hub, Wayne.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

      Beautiful poem. l love the way those people were proud of their little piece of land and a roof over their heads. The way you put it into verse was wonderful.

      Loved the video too. Who was singing. ????? It was great!!!

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

      Sodbusters teased life out of desolate pieces of land. And fought plagues, weather, and bad circumstances along the way. Truly the salt of the earth kind of people. Beautiful tribute Wayne.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I'm sure this was the way it truly was for those tough, resilient trailblazer's trying to live off the land. Apparently, illegals, who have recently been sent off the farms and deported to their homes, managed back-breaking labor that American's can no longer do. News coverage relayed that only one American worker remained on the job for 2 weeks before quitting, despite the high rate of joblessness. Its killer work, and American's are no longer accustomed to the hard physical labor that our ancestors did to survive. Great nostalgic piece, Wayne, that makes me appreciate the hardwork and dedication of farm workers. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Very good hub. Those days were very sad for those poor people. Voted up and awesome

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Reading your beautiful poetry, Wayne, of the plight of those early farmers reminds me why it was so easy after the Industrial Revolution for so many farm workers to give up that 'hard-scrabble' work, and move to the nearest towns and cities to earn an easier living.

      Voted up, pardner.

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

      Awww, Wayne! This is GREAT!!!

      My kin were sodbusters, and I was busting it myself by the time I was in kindergarten. Thankfully, Wabash/Ohio valley soil isn't like Texas soil. Softer dirt makes for a whole lot easier digging.

      There's something about farming. Like writing, it digs into your soul and it's nearly impossible to be torn away from, even when the floods rise, or the sun's too much and burning up the plants ... farmers kept at it, kept hoping, praying and farming.

      I have to share this with some of my kin. They'll like a lot!

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

      @gmwilliams...Yes, and most of the late 1800's as well. Folks were elated to get a homestead but it worked many of them to death just ekking out a living. WB

      @vrajavala...Thank you, I appreciate the good words. WB

      @WillStarr...Right on, Will. There was a lot of impetus for mechanization in the farming process...much motivation. Up to that point, it just broke a lot of backs and spirits. WB

      @Dim Flaxenwick...Thank you. The singers were Larry and Carol Ellis who copyrighted it in 1994. It is published on "YouTube"...just search "sodbuster". Thanks for the great comment. WB

      @A.A.Zavala...Farmers were just that...sodbusters until mechanization came along. Many a man and woman worked themselves into an early grave just trying to get by on one of those hard-scrabble farms. Thanks much. WB

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

      @Amy Becherer...You are so right. The cottonpicker machine was invented because people got to the point where they wouldn't pick cotton...rather go hungry. We have become a much softer society. Isn't it amazing how much you can take when you don't know there is any other way? Happy Thanksgiving to you, Amy. WB

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

      @writer20...Very sad days and they are in our not too distant past. My dad's family were sharecroppers...just one generation back. Thanks much. WB

      @drbj...Very true. The same thing is occurring in China at the least to the extent that the government will allow it. China's industralization could cause some serious food issues for that country in the future. WB

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

      @femmelflashpoint...As were mine...sharecroppers diggin' in the hard scrabble ground. I guess that is the reason the verses came to me so easily. I was looking for something to be thankful for and realized that these people were enslaved to these farms but oh so thankful to have them. Thanks much! WB

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

      WB - Your poem and sentiments are a real tribute to the farmers of yester-year -- including your own grandparents. I was fortunate to meet Allen Shamblin (c/w songwriter) a few weeks ago. He is from TX, and talked about his inspirations for songs. Memories of his Grandfather are credited for "I Thought He Walked On Water" made popular by Randy Travis.

      Love the line: His hat seemed to me like and old halo . . . and though his wings, they were never seen . . . I thought that he walked on water.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

      @Truckstop Sally...I was sitting at the computer thinking about Thanksgiving and how there are so many relative ways to be thankful and this came to me. This is something a rich man would not give praise and thanks for but for folks who were living a survival based life on a daily basis, a piece of ground and some hard work meant more than anyone could imagine in their quest to just stay alive. Thanks, Amy. WB

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 5 years ago

      Progress is definitely a double edged sword. Up and awesome.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

      @breakfastpop...Yes, in this case, a double-edged plow! LOL! WB

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