Rewrite of a poem from 5-years ago along with a new photo.


The Old Barn

An old abandoned barn lies on the east side of town, at the end
of Baker’s road, where the tar abruptly changes to gravel, dusty this
time of year as rain has been scarce and the crops are wilting.

Coming up the driveway, a neglected John Deere
greets you with rust and smeared green paint, revealing the steel machine
underneath, a workhorse in the fields, taking stalk after stalk

from the earth, a bounty each year for the family with hopes
of selling a few bushels at the market on main street.
That is the past now, rain has not visited, people have

not visited, a once lush yard, crunches beneath my feet
impending fire permeates the air, timber from the fence
I built last summer, blown apart by that storm, a tricycle

faded blue kids pool, half a tire, a 1938 Studebaker
– how I would still like to restore that – and a menagerie of
other things are carelessly strewn about near the for sale sign.

I remember the winters spent in front of the potbelly stove,
a wool blanket for one stretched to two –
whose turn is it to fetch a few more logs, the flame is getting low.

One last trip to the barn, the scent hangs in the air,
you may still be here, but I do not hear any voices
as the fire takes hold and ashes replace hay bales.

Snow begins to cover the empty field
as the trees hold up the graying sky.

I want to bury my head into
the snow and mud,

I want to find a way into
the earth,

while I do not understand where
this world is going and the heavy thoughts,

and when I lift my head
I am living in a cartoon

where the scenesare surreal
and at the end we can erase

our actions and past
and start over.

On our daily walk,
we follow the same worn trails,

make the same turns,
and pass the same trees.

That pond is empty,
covered with algae.

That one is home to
busy and noisy muskrats.

So many times we have
have come this way

that I follow the dogs
as they know where to go

which trail to take
which hill to climb.

Yet this is a new day
filled with nature

and there are infinite mysteries
in each leaf and grain of sand.

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I have been down that path
beneath that same sky before
but still, each time it is new,
on a different day, with a different
mindset, with intentions to make
the most of the time given.

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Leaving behind the city
we pass the line separating
concrete and dirt path.

Recent snow has hardened and crunches
with each step.

I pause and silence myself
and hear ravens nearby.

I pause and hold my breath
and imagine what secrets are beneath the empty field.

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On the earth I walk with light steps
and place fallen branches in the pit.

To the sky I gaze through pine trees
and watch smoke disperse to the heavens.

To my future self I set the path,
wash away the dirt, and cleanse the soul.

I walk the worn dirt path
circling the overgrown fields
where the winds have abated
and the grass, flowers, and
trees have grown deep
roots while the land has
gone back in time before
the cities of industry.

My breath from the trees.
My liquid from the oceans.
My feet upon the earth.

Each day, each second
should be in your honor.

Each task, each decision
should be in your image.

Through you we can attain peace.

From http://www.inhabitots.com/happy-earth-day-2010-from-inhabitots/
From http://www.inhabitots.com/happy-earth-day-2010-from-inhabitots/

Scouring the landscape
the earth is overturned
and what was buried and waiting
surfaces and life continues the journey.

The road home, over the hill, into the sky.

Road Home
Road Home