Thursday, March 30, 2017

"Farmhouse" by David Pring-Mill, Frequent Contributor

Farmhouse
David Pring-Mill

It is strange to him
How things can wind and weave
their way into earth,
while also sprouting
up at the sky;
Stranger still
how this County of huge wings
does not lift all men equally,
How the plain house
speaks no tales directly,
though it contains
the marks of many inhabitants —
Furniture dents
and botched repairs.

The young couple eyes the old farm,
considers its possibility:
The soil is still suitable
for all grains.

The eye holds ideas of beauty,
in concert with the physical world,
Like a flirtation that seeks satisfaction.
Some part of beauty is expectation,
And the rest is filled from the outside,
When the world says,
“See here what you wanted,
and now here is the beyond,
what you could not imagine,
what you cannot describe.”

And she feels this in the yard
because it makes her soul quiet,
and gives to her
a level of escape that she only
ever had through music.
A shelter belt surrounds
her newfound gasp of beauty.

They trample past grain storage,
modern machine sheds,
unloading augers,
countless bushels.
This operation also wields
the ferocious knife
of subsidized monopoly.

A Bridge Formula determines the legality
of every haul by Volvo truck —
But the whole farm is a machine,
and she runs smooth.
A set of axles, a set life.
The horizon is a mockery of mind;
The earth is flat and dreams are defined.

And then they stroll
and discuss matters
in open stands of tamarack,
with light green needles on dwarf twigs,
And her blonde hair glows in the sun
exactly where it parts,
And there the strands are inseparable from brightness.
Her green eyes await the new perspectives;
Her skin is still so smooth that it reveals
nothing of their story.

Poet’s notes:  I have probably written more city poems than I have rural ones, even though I am well-familiar with both environments. The country is filled with wonderful and timeless inspirations sights, sounds, an absence of sounds, smells even, all of which connect us to the societal foundation, to the wisdom and work that brought us up as a species. I approached this poem through the vantage point of a couple considering the purchase of a farm. The final two lines create mystery and invite curiosity. Is there something bleak and wrong within the couple’s relationship, or have they merely endured many challenges together? This is left up to the reader’s interpretation.

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