Peter's Field

In Peter's field
there
he toiled and toiled
and
toiled

there you would
find him
in the great dusk

there you would
find him
just before Dawn

there you would find him
when the stars wept
and
giant tears
down the heavens crept
there
there


he lived a life
he lived alone
no child he reared
save
just himself 5

but
then Age reached him
Age
had him bent

no longer work
could he
let alone
as work before

and
on a stick
tottered he
no longer work

one Dawn they found him
yet
in his fields
this time not moving
yet cramped in hand
a note of writing
found they and
read
'long, long, I seeped
my life continous
in toil and toil
and
what I reaped?
Beware who read;
do not as me
if you will not
as me now be.'

by Emmanuel George Cefai

Comments (1)

The thrust of this poem points to the futility of human effort. Peter's posthumous message certainly is despairing and my heart is hurt by his hurt. But the description of his life-long efforts is heroic and whether he knows it or not Peter is a kind of hero, an ordinary hero, not a mythic one who imposes his will on the world. Peter is the one who keeps his hopes alive, makes effort worthwhile, teaches us by his example. Your poem reveals the true Peter.