The Headed Grass



Light and wind are running
over the headed grass
as though the hill had
melted and now flowed.
~Wendell Berry “June Wind”

It will soon be haying time, as soon as another stretch of clear days appears on the horizon.  We missed a haying window last week, and now are staring at 10 days of forecast rain and clouds.

The headed grass is growing heavier, falling over, lodged before it can be cut, with the undulations of moist breezes flowing over the hill.   It has matured too fast, rising up too lush, too overcome with itself so that it can no longer stand.  It is melting, pulled back to the soil.  We must work fast to save it.

The light and wind works its magic on our hill.  The blades of the mower will come soon to lay it to the ground in green streams that flow up and down the slopes.  It will lie comfortless in its stoneless cemetery rows, until tossed about by the tedder into random piles to dry, then raked back into a semblance of order in mounded lines flowing over the landscape.

It will be crushed and bound together for transport to the barn, no longer bending but bent, no longer flowing but flown, no longer growing but grown and salvaged.

It becomes fodder for the beasts of the farm during the cold nights when the wind beats at the doors.   It melts in their mouths, as it was meant to, as we are meant to melt and flow.







2 thoughts on “The Headed Grass


    What shone green turns brown,
    earth deep, the grasses lie,
    kneel in sacred rows—there—
    what seem such sacred rows,
    asleep in nature’s raw pews,
    their ranks silent as stone,
    their hue transformed in time.

    Could this be about us—
    proud grasses brought so low?
    Heads too weighty to hold?
    Are these grasses, or signs?

    We shy from certain truths,
    especially those rich in death—
    rotting apples upon dry ground,
    leaves rolled in autumn wind,
    grasses lying in solemn lines.


    … thanks, Emily


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