Bill Chatterson - "Sugar Beet Harvest"
We purchase our food in a world of barcodes and scanners. It's boxed and labeled and stacked in cavernous warehouses. The almost limitless aspects of our abundance is staggering. Yet before our food is organized, packaged, and processed for sale, it's all culled from the dirt. Farmers and their field hands provide this raw material. They follow natural cycles much like wild animals. When a field is ready to harvest, the work requires 24 hour a day action until the job is done. To see a night field lit up with harvesting machinery is awe inspiring, and led to the first lines of "Sugar Beet Harvest." Later, after the harvest, when I saw a group of whitetail deer eating the leftover beets, I felt something magical and I knew I had all the raw materials for a poem.
Bill Chatterson was born in Flint, MI, and received a BFA from University of Michigan School of Art. Bill has been a Carpenter, Museum Preparator, Exhibit Designer, Millwork Salesman and Truck Driver. Since the Great Recession he's worked in the oil fields of Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, North Dakota and California. He lives with his wife Ann in Petoskey, MI.