Greg German






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Greg GermanGreg German
was born and raised near Glen Elder, in north central Kansas, where he farmed with his family for many years. He is a two-time graduate of Kansas State University and holds a B.A. degree in English/Creative writing and a B.S. in Education. After living overseas on the Caribbean island of Dominica for a number of years, he currently lives in Kansas City, Kansas, with his wife, Regina. They have one son, Alden.

A poet and essayist, Mr. German has been published in over 50 academic literary journals across the U. S.  His publications included: Poet Lore, Kansas Quarterly, Negative Capability, Rattle, WIND, Mid-America Review, Midwest Quarterly Review, Flint Hills Review, Hawaii Review, Alaska Quarterly. Samples of his "harvest" themed poems were placed in the Kansas Historical Archives, in Topeka, KS.  His essay, Far Away Places, won Emporia State University’s Flint Hill's Review, first annual non-fiction essay contest, in 2000. More of his writing can be viewed at www.limestone9.com

Mr. German own and operates his own consulting and website business (Limetone9 Consulting) which provides website design and development, needs assessment, educational training & consulting, free-lance writing,  photography and more. He also taught English at Junction City, Kansas, high school for a number of years as well as college level writing classes and workshops.

Greg was especially privileged to be the Special Project Coordinator for Jonathan Holden during his tenure as Kansas’ first Poet Laureate during which time he produced, directed and hosted Shop Talk a television program featuring the Laureate.    View Shoptalk Page


A Tired Farmer Goes To Town

                       --Fifth day, wheat harvest--


A locally scattered thundershower

comes through on a full stoked

locomotive wind and slams

past his house.  He gets out of bed

to watch and stands there

in the storm's confused

reflection, more a shadow

than a man.  Raindrops,

big as boots,

kick at the windows.

Then it's over.

The farmer can't sleep.

At first light

he gets in his pick-up

and goes to look at his land.

The sun rides up

on a clear sky, a shiny spot

on a porcelain plate.

An eye-batting breeze

flirts with the damp

flour scent of a delayed

harvest.  At the 5-mile corner

the farmer knows that he has drawn

out of a full-house.

He looks at his field

like it was never there.

When hail comes, size don't

matter.  Five minutes

of the pea-sized stuff

is all it takes

to iron a wheat field

flat.  He is tired

and considers never going home.

At the restaurant, some men

are not tired at all.  Conversation

spills across the contour

of damage.  To stop the erosion,

they pull their best jokes

out of their pockets and plant them

between cups of coffee.  Before noon

the farmer antes and goes back

into his country.  He greases his combine

and enjoys the dust.


Originally Published in Kansas Quarterly
                               -- 1993 V.24, #4




Sow 32 In Stall #9


Ten fresh pigs, their tails

pumping with pleasure, bubble

along her milk filled tappers.

But something deep inside her

is stuck.  Too long

since her last delivery

she is tangled in contraction.
Too weak to push, the wave

breaks, and drains away.

I am ready for this

to be over.  At three in the morning

I roll up my sleeve

and let her oven heat

wrap around my arm.  My hand

soaks through the dark.  Elbow

deep, I find the fourth brother,

and by his gumdrop-slick hoof, pull

the last pig home.


Originally Published in Poet Lore
                                --1986, V.81, #3


All poetry on this page
© by
Greg German, 2006


A Brave Farmer Goes To The Bank

          --farmer--/'farm r/n  1:  a person

             who pays a fixed sum for some privilege

             or source of income  2: a person who cultivates land

             or crops or raises livestock  3: YOKEL, Bumpkin

                       Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 1981


He parks right out front

where his neighbor's mud

has hardened

onto the asphalt,

and walks

straight to the bank's thick glass

door.  The door is placed

to reflect everyone's image,

and the farmer sees his T-shirt

is untucked.  The door is easy

to open.  It shouldn't matter.

The banker is his friend,

and behind a plowshare-styled smile

that can't break crust,

he welcomes the farmer

with interest.  They both fake it.

A mystic, the banker pulls

his pile of paper, from somewhere,

and begins to read the future.

The farmer is afraid,

and imagines himself swallowed

by the chair that holds him.

He is paying for his life

with his life.  He leaves

the building with the mystic's fee

printed on pink, and feels the stiffness

of the concrete

move into his knees,

proving that he is not ageless.


Originally Published in Kansas Quarterly
                               -- 1993 V.24, #4




 8 Neighbors & 27 Hundred Bales

                                      "Heat-alert, caution, stay indoors, avoid

                                        stress, and drink plenty of cool liquids." 

                                                                              --KSAL radio, Salina, KS


An hour into night

the day's heat is finely

wrapped with darkness,

the last bale packed

tight before our sweat

dries from its brown twine

ribbon.  The whole stack's

a package and we glance at it,

over dirt piled

shoulders, while shaking

the chaff in our underwear

down into our salt-cured

jeans.  At home, the porch light

invites us in.

We make it only as far

as the front yard,

sit there on overturned

buckets or lean sun-stained

backs on the grass.

The dog takes his turn

at our curious scents.

Beer tastes the way

beer should,

and even though chores

and supper wait, we laugh again

at the afternoon radio's

scratched record warning...


            "Heat-alert, caution, stay indoors,

             avoid stress, and drink plenty

             of cool liquids."  


Originally Published in Permafrost  
                                --1987, V.9, #1

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