Quarantine Farm Diary March 13, 2020 – March 30, 2020. A poem by Ronald Tobey

horses feed night stalls
goats sulk at hay manger rain
phone chimes you ER
you OR baby
wood stove heats empty cabin
cold rain few birds chirp
from incisions groans
semi-trucks rumble on highways
your baby stays home

hawks’ nests high in trees
brush piles thick with trimmed branches
rabbits meadow bold

deer kill at the creek
coyotes tore to shreds no howls
drumming rain we slept

bear bumps our cabin
still dark dog hackles up barks
storm clouds crest mountains

wood stove backdraft smokes
fog sleeps in morning’s meadow
cows calm on grass float

spring’s church choir peepers
five warm evenings in a row
isolation room

cows in front pens feed
horses romp rain sheets barn field
three workers furloughed

birds chirping spring gray
The girl from Hinton laughing
sunshine help today

peepers in the marsh
not on the road migrant toads
deer graze with cattle

lamentations rise
red with the dawn as fog lifts
humanity splits

daffodils in rain
bow weakly in golden pain
I sort worn laundry

wind gusts lift away
field work needs no gloves today
my cream gray ball cap

tractor harrows grooves
riding arena’s lime sand
no distant freeway truck noise
black lab jumps in pond

red cardinal on gate post
horses on dry field buck race
heifer gulps cool spring water
goats rest hill field greening grass
black clouds flood the sky
pass by


Ron Tobey grew up in north New Hampshire, USA, and attended the University of New Hampshire, Durham. He has lived in Ithaca NY, Pittsburgh PA, Riverside CA, Berkeley CA, and London UK. He and his wife now live in West Virginia, where they raise cattle and keep goats and horses. Ron writes, from personal experience, poetry of place, moods, and the worlds of work. His poems have appeared in Constellate (UK), Prometheus Dreaming, Fishbowl Press Poetry, Truly U Review, Nymphs, Line Rider Press, Bonnie’s Crew (UK), Broadkill Review, The Cabinet of Heed (UK), and The Failure Baler (UK). Poems are forthcoming in Better Than Starbucks, Truly U Review, 3 Moon (Canada), and The Line Rider. Say hello on Twitter.

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