red clay baptism

Heather T




leaves sweep songs with rustled breeze

of stalks' last tassled summer stand

before autumn's alchemy bedecks

new color and whisper sounds


nearby, coy Jomeokee attends

regal blasé hides blue mountain grin

near two months assurance before

her own tartan frock of time's turning


hunkered close to clay, bees protest invasion

their thick shade, tossed and plundered

by nimble pickers, orange-stained,

and careful of dainty threads and flower


sings soft-plucked snap of slender pods

wrested from birth shrubs to thud-

bucket percussion, as rows below

another toils louder bass drums


careful toss of heavy fruit

light-ripened luscious; her red and yellow hues

almost summer ghosts, joining ranks of others

that lay perishing in early season rows


yet harvest's hope is just beyond

as skyward crows caw toward pond

September's tendriled promise clusters

cloistered in pregnant arbors


awaits sun's kiss to blush her ripe

slip-skinned southern jewels

to gold-green, bronze, and purpled blues

scuppernong and muscadine


still, in the now of August

red laborers from hours long leaning rise

in sweat, but for God's stirring finger

survey blessings of small resurrections


in cakes of Adam's clay, baptized


  • Author: Heather T (Offline Offline)
  • Published: August 13th, 2017 13:36
  • Comment from author about the poem: My grandfather has a large farm (where I was raised), and on it we have big family gardens that all of us contribute to. This piece is from our hours worth of labor Friday evening picking green beans for canning. The foothills of NC are known for our red clay. We have all toiled in it to produce tobacco, wheat, soybeans, grapes, corn, and a wide variety of other vegetables and fruits. There are three ponds on the expansive farm, and the common dirt road leads all the way down to the Yadkin River. The drone footage above was taken by a cousin visiting from Florida. This is only the front of the farm. The last house shown is my grandfather\\\'s, previously owned and built by hand by my loving great-grandparents. The rest of the farm stretches behind that house. Every inch of the footage shown is only part of where I rambled with all of my cousins as a child. Many of the other homes you see are my relatives. Side note: Jomeokee is the Cherokee name for Pilot Mountain, \\\"Great Guide\\\". Hope you enjoy this tiny taste of my home.
  • Category: Unclassified
  • Views: 63
  • Users favorite of this poem: Fay Slimm., FredPeyer, HChristian74.
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  • Fay Slimm.

    Loud applause for this glorious peep into your family farm-home Heather - - words tumble to tell out the work of harvest and fruit-stores to come when the "now of August" awaits later sun-kisses for more. Must read this gem of a write all over again - for sure a favourite.

    • Heather T

      I'm just so grateful to have you read and appraise, Fay. My youngest sister and I were gathering green beans and tomatoes for several hours late Friday. The day was (thankfully) overcast with a tiny breeze. It's such hot work, and I was happy to have a cooler time to pick. Gave me enough sense of mind for reflection instead of brow wiping! Thank you so much.

    • Fay Slimm.

      Wow - - how enormous the effort and work on a farm such as this - just breathless with awe at your large mountain home - -thanks so much for sharing Jomeokee with us.

      • Heather T

        Happy you enjoyed the footage! I hope we can film some again this fall when the leaves change. It was amazing to have a bird's eye view of what we take for granted each day.

      • Michael Edwards

        Loved the footage and loved the poem - in awe of the size of the farm .

        • Heather T

          Glad you did, Michael! Not all of that view belongs to my family, since the drone started at the mountain. Most of grandpa's acreage spreads out left, right, and behind the last house viewed. It's right at two hundred acres.

        • FredPeyer

          Definitely a favorite! The video took my breath away, made me realize once again how limited everything is on our little island. You are a very gifted writer!
          And btw, the earth where I live is also red. One cannot keep white running shoes white.

          • Heather T

            Gosh, Fred...that our humble home takes away the breath of one that lives in paradise just amazes me. As grandma used to say, "once in, that red mud don't come out." Thank you for the kind compliment, my dear friend. I hope we can film again so you can see more. Means much to share this with friends. Aloha from the foothills!

          • WL Schuett

            Very cool good interaction film and poem also like your explanation

            • Heather T

              Now you know why I fell in love with your barn painting, other than it being stunning work! Thank you much.

            • Goldfinch60

              Very good write and wonderful insight into your life, thank you for sharing.

              • Heather T

                Thank you for giving me your time!

              • lastbadbrad6

                very descriptive, very well composed

                • Heather T

                  Much appreciated!

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