Stored in the Barn
A Comment Poem
The Cunning Poets Society
Jim Schmotzer, Kelly Langner Sauer, Erin Kilmer, Val, Lorrie Ransom, Kathleen Overby, Maureen Doallas, Russell Holloway, Larry E., Krist Fornshell, Susan Etole, Glynn Young, Monica Sharman, Linda Schontos, Bradley J. Moore, Laura Boggess, Melo, A. Jay Adler, Fishing Guy, Marcus Goodyear and Nancy Rosback.
Edited by Nancy Rosback
Morning light filtering through rough cockeyed slats
I guess at what was knowing
I fall short of reality
Another’s dream, labor of love
Voices hammering memory,
Nails into strong shelter.
After all these years
Rough and splintered, empty and useless
Is this all there is of me?
The devastation of time
And splendor of the past
Reveals an opportunity today.
Against my cheek
Batik and quantum glassy
Veil of wonder shrunken,
Dry, broken beauty
The warmth of living
Held in the pores of her wooden walls
So wide the slant of light still
Reflecting and illuminating,
Urging me to cast my eyes
Up beyond the surface
Of my worn decaying shell.
I rest in shadow,
Sun inviting, waiting.
Someone see me venture in;
Unbury my treasures.
I am yet standing still.
My hand reaches out
And touches a smooth forehead
Of someone unseen
Standing in shadows between broken patterns of light ,
My feet disturb ancient dust, sending it swirling
Through the stilted sunbeams shimmering through broken slats,
Twirling through my memory the summers on this farm.
And forming within the air long forgotten faded faces,
That when I reach dissolve again in dust and past.
Dark and deep
Times long ago:
Frosty mornings ,
Grandpa’s mud caked boots ,
Frosting of ice on an old tin roof,
Hauling up hay bales to store for the Winter,
Sweet smells of Fall harvest ,
Muscles aching, mind content.
Bustle of city life now ,
Missing the farm.
Memories don’t rust nor dry rot.
Lumber and slumber ,
Time has its way .
Hit the hay
Leaning on another’s arms hoping for more time
There was a barn raising, once;
Horses and cows snorted and jostled, once;
Hay was baled and lifted, once;
I lay on the floor to fix the oil leak on the John Deere, once;
The we-regret-to -inform-you -telegram came to me there, once;
I lay dying while they stored my coffin there, once.
Slat-filter is what I need to let through only the pure light,
The oldness and pain strained away by sieve of wood still standing.
Beams of light revealing pieces of the past,
Days when all was prosperous and we filled the air with laughter.
Waiting and weathered,
This beaten brown chicken wired life ;
This Broken down body of boards,
Planks, subject to the elements’ decay.
But beautiful rest.
Yet- sun-bleached beauty tells story of my heart
Sated with life holding in memories
Laughing in the wind.
Hold up this old skirt one last time
And twirl in grasses swaying at my hem
I am ready to die now.
Touched lives unseen
Sheltering still ,
Shedding skin ,
Turning to sun and moon murmuring softly
Burrowing beneath each other and earth,
Crumbled leaves, scattered remains,
Remnants transfigured another life .
Sheltering still .
Woven together grass
Thread and fur tucked between mud.
Clinging heart singing beneath eaves.
Helplessly open mouths and eyes not yet seeing
Wait in line,
Skew to the pitch of a truth I tell.
I once stood strong against the wind.
I did not quake n or did I bend
And now the end is drawing near
I face it now seeing no fear.
Dust in the air and under my boots
Must contain the life that passed through their stock.
This space plows my faith and memory into neat rows
Waiting for someone to sow.
January 21-22, 2010