Tenderfoot

Companion

Author

Ruari Jack Hughes has published poems and short stories in Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, U.S.A., and Zimbabwe.

In 2012 he published Memories, a collection of his poetry, in collaboration with the visual artist Janet Yates.

Currently Ruari is working on a PhD in Creative Writing at Murdoch University, exploring the role of memory in the process of adaptation.

 

by Ruari Jack Hughes

Cast broadly over the land, the seeds fan in shimmering arcs,
Falling in random choice, separate the seedsman's will,

Washed below by the falling rains, descending underground
To lie ensconced in the womb of the warm, dark earth.

Days turn to weeks turn to months until the appointed season,
Now the rising up, thrusting through soil, bursting forth,

Leaf and stalk lifting towards the sun in unfolding joy of growing,
Glowing golden and full, multitudes standing in the fecund fields.

All things have their time; there is a rising up,
And a cutting down, the harvest also must come,

The reapings taken up, sheaved and husked,
Cobs carted to the mill, the pounding and the grinding.

The old form is lost, given in the joining,
Entered into the mass, made ready to be remade,

Lifted up in the bread-maker’s hands, kneaded, rolled, drawn, moulded,
Set on the board, waiting... before the fire, the fire.

Delivered from the furnace, risen once more,
Changed from nature to serve the nature of others,

The grain become loaf is laid on the table,
As bread to feed the body; as host to feed the spirit.

 

Exegesis

In the beginning was the word and the word said, let there be light.
We took the light to measure the vastness of the universe.
We took the word to imagine that same immense demesne.
The light measures the universe in approximations; nothing is final.
The words of poetry ask questions; and again nothing is final.