Grass Waving Under Wind, A Collection | The New Engagement

Grass Waving Under Wind, A Collection

By Duane L Herrmann


Six outbuildings   
one, a small barn,   
no house   
and just one tree;   
obviously, once   
there was a house   
and, likely, more trees -  
and flowers.
It was a family farm   
but the family is gone   
and the farming too,   
just grassland now.   
The soil was too poor,   
or insufficient rain,   
to sustain a farming life,   
or improvident decisions,   
or banker’s greed,   
ended hopes.



A strange year   
of prolonged autumn,   
midway to the equinox  
it snowed   
somewhat over an inch  
to cover the ground   
and grass.
By the end of next day  
it had melted   
for north facing pockets.
Spring proceeded early,   
as did summer.
It would be named,   
“Year of one-day winter”   
if we still named years,   
and more believed the warming.



For ninety-seven years   
the man   
had spent all,   
or most,   
of every day outside   
working the land   
or, in later years,   
walking his farm   
just to see that it was there.
Then, suddenly,   
without knowledge or consent,   
he was imprisoned   
in a box of other boxes   
for his “safety,”   
he was told after falling.
What safety is a prison   
where he could not see
the sun   
or feel the wind?
“The healthiest man   
I’ve ever checked in,”   
the doctor said.
“And the oldest,”   
he added in amazement.
But health was not a factor   
six months later   
when he died.

A reluctant carbon-based life-form, Duane Herrmann was surprised to find himself in 1951 on a farm in Kansas. How did that happen??? He’s still trying to make sense of it all but has grown fond of grass waving in the wind, trees and the enchantment of moonlight. He aspires to be a hermit, but would miss his children, grandchildren and a few friends. His work has been published in many physical places and online, even some of both in languages which he can’t read (English is difficult enough!). He is known to carry baby kittens in his mouth, pet snakes, and has conversations with owls, but is careful not to anger them! All this, despite a traumatic, abusive childhood (first suicidal at age two) embellished with dyslexia, ADHD (both unknown at the time), cyclothymia, and, now, PTSD.

Read more from Digital Issue No. 18

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Flash Fiction Contest
On May 1st, we announced the winners of our Flash Fiction Contest: Thomas Garcia (1st), Rick Krizman (2nd), and Rios de la Luz (3rd). Read more.

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It is with great pleasure that we announce the winner of The James Baldwin Literature Prize of $1,000 to Hafsa Musa. Read more.

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