On Modest Mussourgsky’s “Bydlo”

A shape appears
and is gone,
comes into view,
disappears, until,
cresting the hill,
the spot
blotting the sun,
a cartload of hay,
takes shape.

the wagon,
oxen-drawn, a juggernaut pulled
by two thousand pounds,
rolls between fields–
grinding dirt,
crushing stones.

Sweating flanks
of coarse,
matted hair
cause slow,
rhythmic hammering,
dull thunder
as hooves pound earth.
The ground moves
to the sound
of these hardened

Beast and wagon pass,
as if solemn,
and then recede
out of sight.

A wake is left–
strong pungent odor
of musk

with the sweet sharpness
of the cut stalks
being carried
to the village beyond.

©2017, Bill Cushing


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

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