An eclogue is a poem that explores rural life, usually via a dialogue between shepherds. The tone is usually very sympathetic to said rural life (as opposed to the corruption of urban/city life). If you have read some of my other work you will know that I struggle with optimism, my natural tendency is a cynicism that rejects sugar-coated sentimentality. Having grown up in a rural setting I feel that I have some authority to recall what I know about life amongst the death and dust.
For more information on the history of the eclogue you can check out: https://www.britannica.com/art/eclogue
I remember the sound of livestock
Being pushed and prodded
Some onto trucks, some to the chopping block:
Their fates hastily recorded.
The mournful bellowing
Of cows losing their calves.
Memories slowly yellowing-
Fragmenting into tiny halves.
I remember the smell of the dust,
The way it blew into my eyes.
Fine particles the colour of rust
Filled the air, company for the flies.
And I could tell you about
The crow a storm blew in-
We cared for it through flood and drought
Needing something to cling to, something living.
The horizon stretched on
Under a sky too blue, too wide for comfort,
At night millions of stars to wish upon
Hiding unspoken dreams, my last resort.
But I do not tell you everything
Those more unpleasant memories
Are not the gentle rural idyll ramblings
Just the scars and regrets of distant yesterdays.