Crosscutting / Night Strands / Homesteads



Cypresses deadfall
near the delta.

Wisps blow
from their branches
as they faceplant
on the grassy knolls.

Dusk overshadows the crests,
smooth sailing wavelengths.

Beavers at the dam
take no prisoners.



The Learned Pig



Night Strands

Early nights cut from glass,
crab apple pastoral pond.

Under the burnt
orange pallor,
flower garden’s IV
drip, drip, drops.

Father’s penchant
for dozing off
before the summer sunset
predates to the farm.

Till the fields
until they smile back
or you’re weather beaten
to a different dimension
of Idaho, loneliness
preceding loneliness.



The Learned Pig




Grasshoppers pitching tents
among orchards, antsy campers
that cannot sit still
for longer than three seconds.

Crickets housed
in Queen Anne’s lace
and yarrow, overcrowding
in the neighbourhood.

Fifteen minutes from here
is the Frederick Banting

Take a tour.

Pick up brochures
or insulin – both grow
on the farm.



Image credit: Russell Lee, Cherry orchards and farming land, Emmett, Idaho, July 1941, via Library of Congress


This is part of FIELDS, a section of The Learned Pig devoted to exploring fields as natural and (agri)cultural, invisible and visible, poor and productive, created and creators. FIELDS is conceived and edited by Marloe Mens.


The Learned Pig


Samuel Strathman

Samuel Strathman is a poet, author, educator, and the founder/editor-in-chief of Floodlight Editions. Some of his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Orange Blush Zine, Bengaluru Review, The Soapbox Press, and elsewhere. His debut chapbook, "In Flocks of Three to Five" was published by Anstruther Press (2020). His second chapbook, "The Incubus" was published by Roaring Junior Press (2020).