Red Barns and Green Fields Poems of Rural America Most of America's land area is rural and most of it is rich - rich in natural beauty and rich in the character of country folk. The deeper we dig into the soil of rural America, the deeper we dig into its soul that longs for the fresh and the free. The deeper we dig into its people, the deeper desire we have to be self-reliant, patient, and trustworthy. This collection of 64 poems celebrates and expresses gratitude for rural places, rural life, and rural people. Selections: From "Date Stone" I wonder how they hammered and plowed and cooked, And how they played and loved and looked. I wonder too how they sang in church in monotones And how they cut and carved their date stones. From "Mail Pouch" My mind had a chew of scented country bravado As I imagined a farmer enjoying his Mail Pouch tobacco, High on his faded green tractor in pale blue denim overalls, Spitting at the dark red dirt, and waiting for dinner calls. He opines, "My Mail Pouch is always close to my vest. I treat myself to nothing but the best." From "Beach Walk" There were several docile painted ponies staring at me from the grassy dunes. The sandpipers' claws skipped across the sand like tiny sowing machines stitching a beige coat. The swirling scavenging gulls thought I might have some bits of food for them. The shells and driftwood were still sound asleep. From "Real Faces" Faces that that are no fools. Faces that say what they mean. Faces to look up to. Faces you can count on. Tom Despard has authored four poetry collections about faith, beauty, and life. He resides in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware with his wife Gayle.