Something a little different

I used to write poetry. I don’t know why I stopped, or if I didn’t stop and am in remission. One of my poems was selected for an anthology published by the North Carolina Poetry Society way back in 1992. It was inspired by the number of arrowheads my husband found while we were living on a farm in Pennsylvania. I was wildly jealous, because while they seemed to leap into his hands,  I could never spot them. We are on vacation this week in Pennsylvania, so I leave you this poem instead of a rant blog.

Searching for Arrowheads After Plowing

Newly turned, the earth seems stunned

at its exposure, shrinking from the sun’s

burning eye. Clods of dirt crumble

beneath the brightness of that searing gaze.

The flint’s scalloped edge gleams

where the plow has scraped it clean:

an alien shape rescued from the roundness

of the stones, the earth, the sun.


The  arrowhead summons a vision

of the patient artist

who shaped his splintered bits of rock

by chipping away at the fragile edges,

wetting them with droplets of water,

(sighing perhaps at the ache in his bent back)

binding them with deer-gut thongs to a peeled shaft,


to make a child’s first arrow,

or a warrior’s spear.


One shaft must have missed its mark

and burrowed itself into the leaf-rich loam until,

time-cleansed of all but its essential shape,

it sank through the waiting earth

like a shell drifting slowly downward

through a bottomless sea.


Artist, hunter, and prey, all silent

as the voiceless song of the vanquished forest,

until the iron plow split the waiting field apart

and spewed in its plodding wake

their mute and ancient epitaph.

©1992 Sandra Z. Bruney




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