one plus five/noun + verb + object -the Wakefield Doctrine-

Welcome to the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)


Shake is the word of the week.

By word, I mean ‘prompt word’. (By prompt word, I mean the nucleus (actual or figurative) of a story of six and exactly six sentences)

By week, I mean every Thursday zoe hosts the Six Sentence Story bloghop.

This is one of them.*


“You wanna stay upright, here at Parchman Farm, you best learn to keep your head down and your heart with Jesus.”

The words passed down the line of men. Like a lost species, drawn back to a life-giving ocean, they waded through the shallows of dust that rose and covered a hundred worn and tired feet, “You keep shakin’ your head when the bossman talkin’, you ain’t never gonna see your family.”

In the griddle-flat bottomlands of the Delta, the Mississippi dawn was slow to burn away the cool green of the eastern horizon; like a young drunk, it spent its anger first thing in the morning, not caring about how long the day would be, confident it had more heat than the earth could absorb.

The line of men from Camp 11, pulled back to the fields by invisible threads that bound them to the endless scattering of white cotton bolls, spent their days, backs bent, dragging 11 foot sacks that clung to them like burlap tumors. As the cool of the dawn faded, a song grew quietly, not rising enough to be heard by the men on the horses that rode the day, “Judge gimme life this morn’in, Down on Parchman Farm.”**





* For whatever reason, Parchman Farm lodged itself into my brain this week and the internet being the wonderful thing that it is, I came to having an impression of the place that wouldn’t let go and so, zoe’s wonderful bloghop being the entertaining and instructive writing exercise that it can be, I decide to write me a prison six

** ‘Parchman Farm’, Bukka White (1940)



clarkscottroger About clarkscottroger
Well, what exactly do you want to know? Whether I am a clark or a scott or roger? If you have to ask, then you need to keep reading the Posts for two reasons: a)to get a clear enough understanding to be able to make the determination of which type I am and 2) to realize that by definition I am all three.* *which is true for you as well, all three...but mostly one


  1. Damn, Clark. Most excellent story. Excellent writing.
    I daresay seeds for a future book? :)

  2. Moon says:

    Clark, this is most brilliant – both the facts and the descriptions. I didn’t know what Parchman farms was or where until i read this. Now i am looking into its History to learn more. Thanks so much . This is certainly a “future book material “.
    Best wishes,

    • clarkscottroger clarkscottroger says:

      Thanks, Moon

      jeez, the thing was monstrous… funny how an idea or notion gets stuck in ya head… thank god for the internet (The name, ‘Parchman Farm’ but I had no idea what it actually was, until this week.)

  3. valj2750 says:

    Quite dusty and vivid in your descriptions. At first I thought slavery, but prisoners fits right in as well. My favorite line – griddle-flat bottomlands. Way to set a setting.

    • clarkscottroger clarkscottroger says:

      Is it me or is there a secret synchrony developing here at the Six Sentence Story. some weeks there’s a similarity (which is cool) other weeks there’s a reflective complementarity to some of the Sixes… (don’t tell anyone, they’ll think I’m weird)


  4. phyllis says:

    I looked up the prison on the web. It matches your story very well. You do well for six sentences.

  5. And you’ve taken up this story and told it so vividly that we are there toiling endlessly among the rows of cotton too. If you’ve ever spoken with anyone who has had to pick cotton, you know it’s a miserable task, made even more so by the relentless heat and humidity of Camp 11’s locale. I really liked the contrasting soft and hard tones to this story, one of your very best I think!

    • clarkscottroger clarkscottroger says:

      and from what little I read the leaves (or pods or whatever) can be really sharp and doing that all day ayiiee (2 cents a day I believe I read somewhere, once they started ‘paying’ the prisoners).

  6. messymimi says:

    Reminds me of what i’ve seen at Angola. You describe it well.

  7. Loved the descriptions. Way to go with the prompt.

  8. Such a vivid setting you have woven, I love these lines as well_{ dragging 11 foot sacks that clung to them like burlap tumors. Take a bow, Sir.

    • clarkscottroger clarkscottroger says:

      you know, one of the things I most enjoy about writing is learning new things. those ’11 foot sacks’ (actually most sources said they were 12 feet long) but there were several sizes of sacks for putting the picked cotton in and the place I picked up the trail (to this information) was in a version of the song, ‘Parchman Farm’ and one the lyrics was ’11 foot sack’ and so, naturally I googled it and… lol