Janet, at Another Porch,, went walkabout with her camera. She placed a collage of photos from her walk on her post. Clicking on the collage will enlarge it somewhat, enough to see the birth of this poem.

by Mike Patrick

Photo by Janet Martin

They come here to die;
old farm implements
that left their hearts in the land.
This simple place,
nestled between a creek and an overgrown fence,
becomes their burial ground.
Within this hallowed acre,
untended, they pass away.
A graveyard it is,
and they, their own tombstones;
sticking up out of the weeds,
still seeking the sun they worked beneath;
dreaming of one more day
behind a tractor or a horse.
Slowly, they are covered by growing things.
They like that;
that karma of returning to their roots.
Conceived in graceful lines of art and utility,
the steel, cold in death,
melts into the ground it once tilled.
Blades, tines and shears,
honored with their welded wounds,
once shiny by their labor,
turn to rust;
succumb to the elements of their god.

This entry was posted in Aging, Death, Free Verse, Nature, Old Times, Organic, Poetry, Un-rhyming and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to GRAVEYARD

  1. Janet says:

    I dare not tarnish this with words…but I will pick up my jaw, try to get my breath back and revel in beautiful tears! The last line…oh my!

    • Mike Patrick says:

      Thank you, Janet, for the idea and the photo. It is the exact photo that started this train of thought. It took me back to the farm where I grew up, and the description of the “hallowed acre” came from those old memories. Thank you again.

  2. vivinfrance says:

    Oh Mike, this is so lovely. I have often looked at the collections of old machines that farmers leave to rot, higgledy piggledy about their land, and mourned them. Your free verse poem captures that mood absolutely, and the poem was a calming treat to come home to, after an evening of stimulation among a group of gifted poets.

  3. This is wonderful Mike. I always feel sad when I see old things discarded and try to imagine the life they once had. You’ve captured that well here, “the steel, cold in death, melts into the ground it once tilled. Beautifully written 🙂

  4. Mike, I do believe that even farm implements have a bit of a soul. In fact, Tracy Kidder wrote a Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel called, “The Soul of a New Machine”!

    Your ability to place yourself inside these tools, to touch on karma and the circle of all life… thanks to Janet for inspiring you! I’ll go take a look at her blog too, and I’ll let her know how I got there. “Their welded wounds,” an excellent, vivid turn of phrase indeed! Amy

    • Mike Patrick says:

      I’ve actually ridden on one of those seats attached to a sickle bar while cutting hay. When Dad first got the farm, that was the only kind of mower he could afford. The rider had to lift and lower the sickle bar when making turns or going over stumps or rocks. I enjoyed it, one of my fondest memories of the farm.

  5. Very Very nice! I think I will go look for that book tomorrow. My days are numbered now…lots of time to read. Take care and I will still read your poems, just might be ckicking Like for a bitm bit know I am reading. Take care

  6. Altonian says:

    I do like this poem, especially because I like people who have a sensitivity to, and appreciation of tools. My own weakness is for the Joinery and carpentry tools of what is becoming a lost craft.

  7. oldegg says:

    There is great beauty in the sight of such relics. Not only do they tell of the past they remind us too of our own past and of our mortality. Beautiful words.

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