Archive for April, 2013

A FIELD’S FAREWELL

| April 3, 2013 | Comments (0)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Another photo from my  visit to the country last weekend  continues to resonate, causing me to write this sad verse.)

 

It’s quiet.

Winter’s over.

Hunters with their pop-pop rifles

No longer tramp my acres,

Their dogs straining and  yapping.

My ground is hard,

Not yet ready for

The gnawing plow

That will chew my soil

For hay planting.

And corn-raising.

These two hundred years

I have been harvested,

Giving grain and food

To those who woo me.

Old wagon tracks

Cut  across me

Like a lovely necklace.

If you listen carefully

You can  hear

The squeak of  wheels

From long ago.

I was a fertile provider

Before Lincoln gave

His Gettysburg address.

In my prime,

Indians crouched in trees

by the creek near our farm.

Yesterday I was visited

By serious men in suits

With clip boards.

They measured me,

And there was a shake of hands.

I heard from my neighbor,

The grapevine

That I will be sold and

The farm will  no longer be

A farm.

Those men mentioned

The word “shopping center.”

They said I would make

A perfect parking lot.

One hundred cars could fit

On the gentle grass

That covers me.

But how can I breathe

If I am covered with asphalt ?

So I bid you farewell.

You may laugh

When I say,  “It’s been grand

Being a field.”

But it’s true.

There’s nothing better

Than being a field.

Goodbye.

 

 

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AN AGING BARN

| April 1, 2013 | Comments (0)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past weekend we went to our old friend’s farm in upstate New York. He is  92 years old and the farm  and its buildings date from the 18th century. I love our visits to Dunn Farm on Browns Road. This Easter Sunday the late afternoon light was especially mesmerizing as  sun and shadow fell on  one of the barns. We took some photos and on returning to the City I looked at the pictures and was struck by the poetic, almost “human”  nature of the old structure. Writing to a friend in France, I sent him this verse about the old barn.

 

LAMENTATION D’UNE VIEILLE GRANGE

Je dors dans un déjeuner de soleil

D’un après-midi  décroissant.

Mes murs fragiles s’ébranlent quand le vent souffle

Et a l’ interieur ou autre fois des petits poulains gambadaient

Il n’y a que grains de paille dansants.

Pour combien de temps

Puis-je rester encore debout?

Mon maquillage se fane

Et mon corps est peu pulpeux.

Jadis j’étais bien belle

Très, trés séduisante…..

Mais maintenant

Personne ne veut danser avec moi….”

 

TRANSLATION

 

AN OLD BARN’S LAMENT

I bask in the late afternoon sun

And my fragile walls shudder

When the wind blows.

Inside colts once gamboled,

But now only straw dust dances.

How much longer

Can I stand?

My make-up is fading

And my body is no longer shapely.

Once I was beautiful

And very seductive,

But now nobody

Wants to dance with me.

 

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