Poetry of Kansas

Farmer Jones On Inflation.

So the law is passed. I suppose it's no use to talk,
And I'm not a public man___I travel a private walk.
But, all the same, I should like to say my say,
Although my way of speaking is a homely way.
Slowly I follow my plow, and think and think,
And it seems to me there's somewhere a missing link.
I read the papers and speeches that come to hand,
But something looks dark; I cannot quite understand.
Softly the lawyers talked on the capitol floor,
(How tender-hearted they were!) of the suffering poor.
Money! to pay the workingmen, starving for bread!
Money! to save the dying and bury the dead!
To the farmer was promised a new and a dawning day;
Fair prices for produce, where now he but gives away;
More he should get for his wheat, his corn and rye,
But nothing they said of things he would have to buy.
If wheat goes up, but little's the good to me,
If up with a jerk goes sugar, and coffee and tea:
I have to pay more for a reaper, a horse, or a hand,
And, if I am homeless, more for a house and land.
"Inflation is sparkling wine," some one has said.
"If it starts up the pulse and blood of sluggish trade,"
But wine is a mocker; we dream we are rich and great;
Then comes the drunken panic; then___why, we re-inflate.
Inflation is gas! and up and away, to the tune
Of forty-four millions, soars Uncle Sam's balloon.
But a storm is ahead; the dark skies scowl and frown,
And, stripped and riddled, the thing has got to come down.
Such are my thoughts, as I toil for my daily bread,
And follow the clean-cut furrow with steady tread.
I am not skilled in the hidden tricks of the law,
But I've learned to trace a current by the course of a straw.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 47-48

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February 17, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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