"Almonds and Dust"

Submitted: Jun 01, 2014
Badlands Journal editorial board

 "Almonds and Dust"

(Tune of "Diamonds and Rust," J. Baez)

 Bill Hatch


Well I’ll be damned

Here comes your dust again

But that’s not unusual

It’s just I had a summer cold

When the harvest began


And here I sit, hand on my oxygen

Hearing that sound I’ve known

Decades of bumper crops ago

Tractors, trailers and trucks.


As I remember your days

Got grayer than rain clouds

My farming was small time you said

Where are you coming from?

A Farm Bureau banquet.



Ten years ago

I bought you some bee hives

You bought me a cigar

And we both know what farming can bring

It brings almonds and dust.


You hit the TV scene

Like a confection

Overweight in overalls

Knee-deep in nuts

You begged like little farmer dolls.


And there you played

Permanently late at night

Tractor drivers, truckers, forklifters,

Simple, honest and strong

Applauded your pitch.


Now we see you going hunting,

Rooster tails of dust behind you,

New Stetson on your head

Waving to that Winnemucca waitress

The desert full of game in season.


You’re puffing on a big cigar

Turning snowflakes gray around you

You kept your fire in the motel rooms

As the deer and the antelope played.



Now in this drought you’re claiming

That you never speculated

On dry pasture, where’s your flakmen now

Who cried wolf for 30 years?


Please bring back that sweet advertising,

Your whining riang out so purely

I believed in country oh so clearly

But, all you’ve got is almonds and dust

And I’ve got COPD.





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