Spreading the word

The Farmer and the Ad-man: A Play for Two Voices

Guess you’re wondering
How I stand it:
Sitting here
Behind the wheel/At my desk
Of this big John Deere/Staring at the screen
All day
Spreading this stuff around:
A winter’s-worth/The empty words
Of rotted dung and soiled straw/You’ve read a hundred times before
From the farm behind the hill/In the world of buy-and-sell
But though it offend
Your every sense/Your intelligence
It nourishes
The sleeping seed/The constant greed
The groping roots/The men in suits
Promotes strong growth
In next year’s crop/In profits and the bonus pot
The endless wheeling of the seasons/With half-truths, lies, invented reasons
Unbroken for ten thousand years/The endless wants, the nameless fears
And after all this time
I find I hardly notice
The stench.

12 thoughts on “Spreading the word

    • Thank you so much David. I wrote this a while ago but just filed it away; it ‘came back’ to me yesterday when I was out riding, not sure why. Anyway, I’m pleased you think it works; one never quite knows with these things. Best of all would be to get together and take one ‘voice’ each (you choose) – with your brogue and my burr, I reckon it could sound pretty good!

  1. 🙂 Wow. I like this dialogue very much. The start, for both jobs, the difference and alike-ness of both proffessions. Though the countryside can really have some bad aroma’s, I can well imagine the work of copywriter isn’t always rosey too.
    We get used to the downsides of things we like to do.
    Not too sure if it works like that with babydiapers (I just got a granddaughter on the 17th this month 🙂 )

    I think it would be a great idea to hear you both read this!

    • Thank you Ina – and congratulations on the new arrival! I spent today spreading some very non-rosy stuff, but then we had our orchestra rehearsal this evening, so I’m feeling much calmer and happier now! I’m glad you agree about a reading with David – we should try to arrange it sometime.

  2. Ah Nick, I think I would have to take the farmer role 🙂

    I used to live in a little village just outside Keighley. At muck-spreading time the tractors and trailers of manure were on the go 24 hours a day. I never minded leaving my window open and waking up to that smell. 🙂

    Although I wonder if I would be the sort of farmer who would ban an under-dressed pop star from his field 🙂


    • The smell of muck is never offensive to those who understand it. Knew you were a man after my own heart – and of course you can have the Farmer role. Technology must make it possible for us to record the two parts of the poem ‘at a distance’ then mix them together. Does your recording know-how stretch that far?

      • Hi Nick,

        My recording knowledge is well short of being able to do that.
        But I will make some time to try to investigate the possibilities.
        I am sure it must be possible.
        My first task will be to investigate recording my own voice.
        So far I have only done it via my camera. But my computer tells me I have the facility to record via a microphone. I will see where I get to 🙂


  3. Hi Nick, maybe you both could use Audio posts, on wp dashboard you find them. I just did so for my last posting about my grandaughter (in Dutch,) . In the edit section you can just c&p them and maybe if you join them, it can become one file?

    (I think I know what I mean.)

    [audio http://heteiland.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/audio-post-2011-10-20-12-46-55.mp3|titles=Audio Post] I first recorded this one by phone on a blog I don’t use anymore to try out, then copied the thing into my posting. 🙂

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