Sunday, October 15, 2006

The barn

The sky was dogback dark
Close but still somehow too distant
To scratch where it itched.

I was in the empty barn of my life,
in turns, collecting the belt
with the red, raised skin of my back,
saving it for happier days,
to remember how to smile
(and why),

in turns, I was hollering
in the emptiness, looking
for the corners and edges of my voice
in the squalling building
where life went on –
independent –
of punishment and loneliness.

In the barn you see
shovels in the stalls
waiting by the manure,
you can pick right up
where you left off.

Even if I castrate my days,
send them to the office
for coffee and politics,
when I collect them in the evening
they head for the barn
to figure it all out again
as soon as my head hits the pillow.

22 comments:

Aurora said...

Dear Russell:

Please stop making me say "Wow". :)

Okay, really, this poem is excellent! The barn analogy is a perfect and compelling one. Well done!

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks Aurora! I like it when you say Wow;) I'm glad you found the analogy so workable. Thanks for the great comment.

Pat Paulk said...

We all have our piles to shovel. How well you've written about it!!

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I really enjoyed this! Well said-

Russell Ragsdale said...

Hey Pat, jump right in, the job market is wide open on this one! Thanks for the great comment.

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks J. Andrew! I thought this might strike some chords. Thanks for the most welcome words!

csperez said...

'dogback dark' : incredible and you are forcing me to steal that line ;)

hope you are well and properly grammarized for the new week at work

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks csperez! Glad you liked it! Thanks, I am well and hope you are too (I don't think I'll ever be properly grammarized). You can't steal what I give away. Enjoy!

gautami tripathy said...

It suits my present state of mind to a T.

"I was hollering
in the emptiness, looking
for the corners and edges of my voice
in the squalling building
where life went on –
independent –
of punishment and loneliness."

How well it depicts that...

Louise said...

This was my first time stopping by your blog and I will definitely be back.
I was especially struck by this part:

"in turns, I was hollering
in the emptiness, looking
for the corners and edges of my voice"

Wow - I love it.

Sue hardy-Dawson said...

Really like the metaphore of the barn and the way you escape by sleeping or perhapse come closer to your self

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks gautami tripathy! I hope this was usefull and enjoyable.

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks miss richardson! Glad you found me, I've been enjoying your poems. I'm glad there was something to your liking here. Looking forward to seeing more of you. Thanks for the great comment.

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks Sue! I'm glad the barn works both ways, as a physical structure and as a metaphore. Thanks for the great comment.

polona said...

you can't escape from yourself... love the metaphor, love the poem!

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks polona! You certainly can't, every time I think I've gotten away, I see myself coming around the corner. Thanks for the wonderful comment I'm glad you enjoyed it.

ozymandiaz said...

Great analogy. I particularly love the piles of crap (I need a bigger shovel).
I've always been more of a belfry guy myself (as in bats-in the)...

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks Ozy, glad you liked it! The belfry poem sounds cool. Lots of literary greats up there to keep you company. Who are you going to pick to be Quasimodo?

M. Shahin said...

The barn analogy is wonderful and unusual. This poem speaks and I enjoyed reading it.

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks m. shahin! I'm glad you liked the music of this poem. Glad you liked the analogy too. Thanks for the great comments.

mariamaria said...

Than kyou...wonderful and lovely how you string the words together to create a mood, picture, feeling.

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks mariamaria! Glad you enjoyed this and your Clamshells was da bomb! Thanks for visiting, leaving great comments and, of course, come back often.