Premature Harvest


The long grass that waved so bravely

Head high and haughty in the lush meadow

Shining its green gold in the June sun

Has been trampled and laid

Flat by writhing bodies

And careless feet,

No longer waiting erect for the blade of the reaper

So that fodder for cattle may result,

But mangled and muddied

As the plains of Vietnam

Under the heel of war.


Children and cattle

Grow thin in the famine;

They hunger and starve,

Die with pop bellies and eyes set astare,

Beaten to earth by a callous indifferent foe.


Now sparrows in hundreds feast and are filled

With the heads of the downtrodden grass;

As vultures and carrion crows gorge and grow fat

On the dead in the war-blasted fields.

And the sea-swamped deltas of rice.