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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The USA (01/08/09)

TITLE: Go West Young Man
By Beth LaBuff


In Old English, on the sheepskin
Conferred from Mid-State College,
Joe Peacock proudly eyed his name
And reveled in his knowledge.

He headed home on gravel roads,
Past the dirt road junction,
With grandiose ideas to
Increase the farms production.

With eagerness to implement
New methods and techniques,
But on deaf ears his concepts fell,
Were squashed down, so to speak.

Self-righteous anger boiled to
A discontented state.
Old farmers with archaic ways—
That would not be his fate.

A deft smooth-talking salesman,
Whose snaked tongue dripped with oil,
Filled young Joe with promises
Of western fertile soil.

“A progressive farmer should not
Stay here when I’ve land to sell.
Go west, young man, and leave this farm.
Just bid the past farewell.”

Sans common sense with a sound mind,
Joe bought the proffered land.
Paid the con with currency
Then shook his clammy hand.

Joe took his old green tractor
And a wagon for the load,
Donned a sign, “Westward or bust!”
Then throttled down the road.

Drove through “What Cheer” in Iowa,
In Colorado – “Hygiene”,
Aye-yi-yi! – the names of towns!
What were “town fathers” thinking !?!

One evening’s stop at a cafe
On his cross-country tour,
He went inside a restaurant
And ordered soup du jour.

He puzzled o’er the mystery meat’s
Stringy perpetual chew.
The waitress mumbled, “jackrabbit”
How gross! Hare in his stew!

As on he traveled he recalled
Sage council from Bugs Bunny,
“Hey doc, be careful that you don’t
Turn left in Albuquerque.”

At length his destination reached,
His eyes surveyed his land.
His mind – pow’rless to comprehend
And slow to understand.

Hoodwinked! the word came to his mind.
He pondered what he’d done.
His farm was situated in
The Grand “abyssal” Canyon!

He tossed his sheepskin in the gulch
And then …he had a notion.
He’d contour farm the canyon
To stop the soil erosion.

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This article has been read 907 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beverly Caviness01/15/09
I can just see this young farmer heading out west. He's been to college and knows it all. His buying might not we so wise, but he remembers what he has learned about erosion. Good job.
Karen Wilber01/16/09
Excellent. I love the cleverness of this: "snaked tongue dripped with oil", "hare in his stew". One of my favorites so far this week.
Sonya Leigh01/17/09
This young man, an optimist to a fault, and so naive and gullible. Where would our country be without these "learn the hard way" folks? Hilarious!
Joanne Sher 01/17/09
Ooooh what a riot! If this isn't who I think it is, um...well,...hehe never mind!
Brilliant and fun.
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/17/09
This is a delightfully humorous poem all the way through with the last stanza as my favorite.
cindy yarger01/18/09
Cute. I especially liked "hare" in his food and conturing the Grand Canyon. Clever! I hope this is a win.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge01/19/09
Fun take on the topic.
Jan Ackerson 01/20/09
This is awesome! I wish I knew how to do this--funny poem, perfect in rhyme and meter, and most of all just so, so clever!
Charla Diehl 01/20/09
Very fun read and creative approach to the topic. I felt sorry for Joe once he shook that clammy hand! Pretty sure I know the author of this delightful poem, which as always, is perfect in rhyme and meter.
Karlene Jacobsen01/25/09
This was fun to read.
Pam Ford Davis 01/26/09
This is fantastic! It takes all kinds of people to make the world go around!
Pam Davis