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The Cocks Crow

Updated on September 6, 2013
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It’s hard labor working these fields

pulling potatoes from the dirt

ain’t no easy task

no quarter given

and none to ask

Irish, Asians

Africans, and Mexicans

we know our rows

and don long sleeves

scarves, hoods, and sombreros

cause this ain’t no time for tanning

this bent over heat

will grind you into the dirt

and leave you to the crows

but we walk home straight

when the suns ember smolders

wash off the dust

and laugh like a sinner

Mama brings strong drink

to spice up our dinner

and after pushing our children

in swings made of tires

we tuck them in

and tend to our fires

the men and women

loving hard and long

like the life they live

and a field picking song

then sleep through the night

till the crowing of the sun

and the rising of the cock

for to smile a new day

at the passion we have known

at the harvest we have reaped

and the seed we have sown.




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    • wayne barrett profile image
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      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Deb, it probably explains your deep love for nature. thank you.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Been there and done that. You described it perfectly. We awoke every day with a smile on our faces, for then we knew that we accomplished something. We did what needed to be done.

    • wayne barrett profile image
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      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you, Nell.

    • wayne barrett profile image
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      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you very much Kim.

    • wayne barrett profile image
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      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Very true, Nellieanna. And Mother Nature will help the process, because she most certainly has a way of weeding out the weak.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      My great great aunt worked out in the fields for a farmer back in late 1890s, and we grew up with the stories of the hard work, and toil, so this is wonderful!

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      ocfireflies 4 years ago

      So nice when one can capture a scene and give it the dignity it deserves.

      Nicely done sir!

      Wishing you a great weekend,

      Kim

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 4 years ago from TEXAS

      You've every reason to be proud of your family's endurance and fortitude. My parents set out with nothing in an earlier era and kept on keeping on to make a life for themselves in a harsh & rugged uncharted landscape. People in each of those circumstances just didn't let the challenges discourage or defeat them. I suppose there is still that kind of grit in action but it seems to be more and more rare. When it was a matter of living off the land, the challenges were clear & fit the circumstances. Now there are different kinds of challenges & seem less clear-cut; but unless the same kind of grit in meeting them is to be applied, there won't be the same triumphant results. Hope people can rise to the new challenges.

      As you say - the seeds of the cycles of life are the main reward and prize of that kind of persistence and guts, whatever the kinds of challenges arise demanding to be faced & all the determination needed applied to new kinds of challenges.

    • wayne barrett profile image
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      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thanks Michael. Always good to hear from you.

    • wayne barrett profile image
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      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you very much, Mary.

    • wayne barrett profile image
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      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you, Faith. I appreciate the compliment to the poem and to my art.

    • wayne barrett profile image
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      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you Sha. I too agrre that it would be better for this planet. Use our hands instead of mass destructive machines.

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      cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      great poem Wayne ..love the words..1

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 4 years ago from The Shire

      Beautiful poem... a take on this life that we don't often see.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Love this, Wayne, really great write here! I believe this is my new favorite and I love your art there. So much talent, all the way around.

      Up and more and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • wayne barrett profile image
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      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      jhamann, thank you sir! So how was your Burning Man trip? Or have you gone yet?

    • wayne barrett profile image
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      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Wayne, why do I get the feeling that you have worked up a sweat quite a bit in your lifetime? : )

      Thanks for stopping by.

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      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you Susan. There is nothing quite like eating food that you have grown from soil that you created.

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I have to tell you, Wayne, the title grabbed me from the start. The message however, kept me reading and nodding my head. Oh, how I wish we'd go back to the days of living off the land. Tending the land and allowing it to do what our great Earth was meant to do - to be fruitful and multiply.

    • wayne barrett profile image
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      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Why, thank you, Billy. I knew there was something I liked about you! : )

      I know you are in Washington now. Is that where you were raised?

    • wayne barrett profile image
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      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you very much, Vincent. The share and support are appreciated.

      In honoring these people...I am honored; because these were my people. Actually they are all our people. We need to remember; we are all in this struggle to survive together. We are one big village. One big family.

    • wayne barrett profile image
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      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Nellieanna, I appreciate the lovely compliments, and of course, the lovely visit! : )

      I grew up in a farming community to a farming family, and I myself have worked in those fields. The camps and shanty's that now house the Mexican immigrants are the same ones that housed my grandparents when they moved to California from Oklahoma. It is a hard life, but nothing to be ashamed of; Quite the contrary. I am proud of my family and where we are today having come through those struggles. Like I said; hard working and hard loving. And there are other seeds sown than those planted in the earth! It's the cycle of life!

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 4 years ago from Reno NV

      Well crafted and to the point. This is the labor that has made history. Jamie

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas

      I think I worked up a little sweat just reading this one! Nicely done, Wayne! ~WB

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I can imagine what it would be like to be a farmer, and how gratifying it would be, to be at the harvest reaped from the sown seeds.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      So very well-written, Wayne! I come from a farming family and have written often of the hardships they faced....sturdy bloodline for sure. :)

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      Vincent Moore 4 years ago

      Wayne by the sweat of brow, the toughness of heart, the determination of lions, the agility and students of their crafts, these peoples, led the way, for so many to follow. Without their courage, fortitude and down right vision, the seeds of hope may never have been given, let alone planted. I lift up my cup in humble gratitude for all the men, woman and children who grew from the soil, a strong nation with all their plantations. Beautifully expressed in your verse, bravo, I applaud you fellow poet. Tweeted, voted and shared.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 4 years ago from TEXAS

      I'm delighted at the courage and heart in this view of one bleak episode in our nation's history, which wasn't - isn't - a closed chapter. Among forgotten workers, share-croppers (even with less sharing involved), there are always the repetitions of going on beneath most people's line of view & compassion.

      But the spirit of the souls as you eloquently describe rises above any tribulation or squalor to triumph all the more gloriously. In the end, it is the spirit of souls which has the ability either to succumb or to triumph; - nothing else at any level of society does or can.

      Thank you for an inspiring glimpse into that particular era, Wayne.