Dusk fell across the valley like a funeral shroud;
obliterating the light of day and hiding its wretched decay.
The hollow below held no trace of vegetation;
the furrowed land sat fallow and empty,
not even possessing the essential nutrients
to imply that the soil was once fertile.
The chain link fence held it in containment
as it rose above the barren void.
It gave the appearance that the Grand Master
had taken His pencil eraser and wiped
all that was beautiful and promising
off of His canvas. But it was a recipe
that had provided many great things.
One could be forgiven that the valley
lay disinterested in its plight.
The right Operator would return her
to its former productivity. Patience will grow.




  1. Excellent use of metaphor, Walt. Wonderful from start to finish.
    No-one ever called you “crazy”, 😉

    btw: Your linky is sending us to last week’s poem, thought you might want to know.

  2. Willow

    Powerful statement on the misuse of nature, whether it be a bomb or bad agricultural practices, or perhaps nature, fire from a lightening strike. I love, eraser of the Grand Master, an excellent visual. Love, “Patience will grow.”

  3. Laurie Kolp

    Love this, Walt… especially:

    It gave the appearance that the Grand Master
    had taken His pencil eraser and wiped
    all that was beautiful and promising
    off of His canvas

    … and the ending of hope.

    1. Chuck Mangione’s “Children of Sanchez” has a great lyric which are my words by which to live:

      “Without dreams of hope and pride, a man will die. While his chest still moves, his heart beats in the grave…”

      There is always a hope for a better ending. Thanks for the visit, Laurie.

  4. It’s interesting the way night can veil, yet romanticise, the most mundane of landscapes. Your Operator could be a metaphor for sunrise. For once, I see metaphor everywhere in this poem, and I’ve read it three times now.

    Is ‘off of’ an American expression meaning from?

  5. Pingback: Hello again Sunday Whirl...missed you |

  6. I’m finally getting around to reading from last week…I’m on day 57 of daily posts for a “100 day” challenge, which cuts into reading. But I’m glad I found this one. With each time through the meanings and metaphors deepen, which makes it difficult to pick a favorite line. But I’ll say I like that you said “It gave the appearance that the Grand Master…” — on second glance, it’s not always what it seems. Which means (to me) to not lose hope. Thanks for a great poem you’ve shared with us.

    1. Thanks for you kind words and analysis, Paula. 57 of 100? Quite an undertaking. I’ve reeled it in lately. too many irons in the fire. You’re right, not always what it seems. I had expressed words about “hope” to Laurie up above. The song speaks to me.Always dream, always hope; it keeps us alive.

      1. Ah, I’d missed Laurie’s comment and your reply. I normally love reading through comments to see what others might have seen…but in keeping with the pace of posting, that’s an area I have scaled back. Reading the plethora of comments on the poems I’ve read. That’s a great line from that song…says a lot. Blessings on you and your hopes and dreams. ~Paula

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