Thursday, March 12, 2009

CXXXVII - The Graveyard

Spent a couple of nights at a farm. Like so many farms, it was surrounded by defunct,
but not discarded, farm machinery. I have used the Villanelle form for this poem.

The Graveyard

Anything that comes, forever stays;
Worked to death and left to rust:
The russet bones of bygone days.

Around the bodies, cattle graze
Sharing the enemy: heat and dust.
Anything that comes, forever stays.

Skeletons shimmer in the haze,
Fringed with weeds, skywards thrust;
The russet bones of bygone days.

Metal can fight against Nature’s ways
But fails in the end, as metal must.
Anything that comes, forever stays.

The evening sunlight warmly plays
Across the carcass: rotting and bust;
The russet bones of bygone days.

Broken bodies, held in trust,
The remnants of those who could not adjust.
Anything that comes, forever stays;
The russet bones of bygone days.

© J Cosmo Newbery
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  1. You shouldn't talk about my mother that way. But it's OK... I won't tell her ;)

  2. Wonderful use of the style. That was haunting :)

  3. Diane: You had better hope genetics favours your paternal side!

    Marc: Thank you.

  4. I could read this over and over again..So I will be back later.
    Encore, encore encore.

  5. You are brilliant, brilliant indeed.

    I love seeing old farm kit lying around, especially when it really is defunct.

    My father-in-law had a farm until he sold it last year, and there was an old plough that was over 100 years old, just lying there in a lovely landscape.

    I so wish I had photographed it.

    Loved the post.

  6. Very evocative - love the line: 'the russet bones of bygone days'.

  7. in the Beginning...
    a tree has hope, if it be cut, it grows green again, and the boughs may sprout.
    Though the root be old in the earth, and its stock be dead in the dust, at the scent of water it shall bud, and bring forth leaves as when it was first planted.
    (and though this may not sound like rust
    or old metal passed to dust,
    in the end most life calls it to mind,
    most life holds this small hope to find,
    It has not passed away as so many thought it must.

    But death is a stranger none living know.
    When done with this, where do we go?
    to Heavens gates
    where our family waits?
    or into the Spirit of the Crow?)

    the first much older than I by millenia,
    and of course, the 'limericks' by me.
    The heaviness had overcome me by ya,
    and anyway, that's what the crow said by the sea

  8. I think farmers work on the "It will come in handy, even if I never use it" principle.

  9. J...wonderful! I love your imagery and I learned something today...the Villanelle. After this post I am googling it! Thanks for the education.


  10. J,
    I'm back from Google. After reading how restrictive and tight a Villanelle form is even more amazing to a non poetry writer how you can get across a thought, let alone a very entertaining, introspective thought. I am in awe. If a reader of this post does not know what a villanelle is it and then come back and read the poem again.


  11. Eery, but musical. It reminds me of Edgar Allen Poe.

    So that's where you were!

  12. Hauntingly beautiful. Wonderful...

  13. Dan, how kind is Mr. Newbery?
    a quick glance and you'll see,
    he left a link for us all, so, very

    Not many would, or are that merry,
    but it appears to most, not just me,
    He has a fine heart and does not tary.

    Well, I'm sure this is tossing the style off the ferry,
    Not as disciplined, not sure of the key.
    And, all in all, a bit contrary.

    Yes it's true, instead of thrust, I parry.
    If I want an apple, I climb a tree.
    (nevermind that it's an elderberry)

    But, that one thing true, so very,
    Can't get around it at all, you see.
    One to be looked up to would be Mr. Newbery;
    And for sure he'll always be honored by me.

    (probably close, but, no cigar...)

  14. I gotcha Mr. Boneman...I did not notice the Villanelle hyperlink! It is actually a link to Wikipedia which is where I ended up through Google!


  15. I had heard that the best way to learn a thing was to try to do it.
    It actually gets easier, though, I do take to monkeying with rhythm.

    Oh well.
    It's still fun!

  16. A villanelle? Sounds like a 17th century French dance. Yours is very lovely poem, however, and full of measure and grace.

  17. "The remnants of those who could not adjust" any of us?

    Love the repeating lines.

  18. each line brought forth images of my very elderly uncle's farm in the deep south. i photographed many of the rusted farm relics last year. i loved them.


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