July 6, 2018

Two Poems by Sue Ann Kautz Owens: "Death of a Farmer" and "The Ransom for a Queen"

Sue Ann Kautz Owens was born in Indiana and graduated from Indiana State University. She now lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband and son. She is a published novelist and published poet.

Death of a Farmer

My father died in the early spring
And I saw the fertile fields he left behind grieve
The want of green was bursting
Through the seams of the black earth
That he had tended for half a century.

The loss of him left his ground orphaned
Hopeless of turning the fertile seed
Into food for the hungry
Never to be broken again by his plow
But only barren and left to the uncaring.

My father died in the early spring
The commitment he had with the land
And his fellowship with it is now the past
He knew that the earth is the other world
That keeps the living alive and no one
like a farmer Has the love of it and pride.

His hands that planted seeds
Are now crossed upon his chest
And the unspoken know that he has gone on
The one who loved the laws of nature best.

My father died in the early spring
And the hearse on its weary way
Paused as it passed his farm
Before it continued on
Up the hill to the cemetery.

That night the nature spirits mourned him
There was a sudden gale
that awoke those who slept
In the old farmhouse
Surrounded by his land
Such a wailing wind that sang
An ancient song to pay tribute to him
that would not be heard
In that place again.

The Ransom for a Queen

I wanted to buy a flock of sheep before I died
I bought a spinning wheel and a floor loom I haven’t tried
I would sheer my black-face sheep with so much care
They wouldn’t bleat from fear while I was there
I’d spin their precious wool into soft yarn
And weave it into blankets for the farm
But living in the city takes its toll
And only dreams of green fields still my soul
And watching little lambs be born and grow
Would be sweeter than the ransom for a queen.
Would be sweeter than the ransom for a queen.

Sue Ann Kautz Owens


  1. AnonymousJuly 20, 2018

    Death of a Farmer is my favorite poem in this issue with many fine works. Great job. Andrew Hubbard

    1. Thank you. There are so many fine poems in this issue and I am happy to be among them.

  2. Two lovely poems from the heart written by once a farm girl in the Heartland.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. It really means a lot to me.

  3. Real love for Indiana. Write more.

  4. Yes, I do love Indiana. Thank you for your encouragement to write more. Very thoughtful of you.

  5. Beautiful work Sue Ann. Those Indiana farming roots deliver such strong and positive memories.

  6. Thank you. Yes, lovely memories this time of year.


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