POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.


For some reason, when someone stops to ask us for directions we tend to lead them based on points of interest that we assume they have a vague idea of knowing.

But we’re not asking for directions. Here is your charge: Choose a local monument or landmark of some import to your locale. Make that the subject of your poem or at least a major point in said verse. Any style, rhymed or not, metered or not… the only direction you are given is to be our tour guide and sell the sight!

Marie is slowly making her way back, although I’m not sure if she’ll join us for this prompt or start fresh next week. Either way, we anticipate her return.


Almost Home

 The sun peeks in the train’s window
Where I found sleep
sound and deep
awakening me to its rising
over bean green or wheat brown
red barns
white or brick farm houses
picket fences
my heart senses
 I’m almost home. 
© Copyright  – Marie Elena Good – 2013



Buffalo’s New York Central Terminal

Life Support

A tower rises, a beacon
seen from far and wide.
inside, the hollow shell
of a once upon a station.
New York Central’s
less than Grand sister.
She missed her heyday.
Fallen into decay
but restoration on the way.
Terminal clinging to life.

© Copyright  – Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

Single Post Navigation

227 thoughts on “MONUMENTS AND LANDMARKS – PROMPT #110

  1. William Preston on said:


    Water pooled here, once,
    over the stream below;
    within these stone-cut banks
    it wound to Buffalo.

    Packets passed here, once,
    atop the stream below;
    mules, with glistening flanks,
    pulled them to Buffalo.

    The longer line boats, once,
    surmounted the stream below;
    in memory the gliding ranks
    still pass to Buffalo.

    Once, people gave thanks
    they could travel a water road.
    Now they drive to Buffalo,
    never seeing the stream below.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  2. William Preston on said:


    On Cooperstown’s walls, in the Hall of Fame,
    are the names of men who’ve played the game,

    and more can be found in the spaces above
    the trademarks of bats, or sometimes a glove,

    such as Cobb and Wagner, Speaker and Chase,
    the corkscrew brain who played first base;

    and Gehrig and Hornsby and Foxx and Ruth
    and Greenberg too, all sluggers, forsooth,

    and Mantle and Mays and Aaron and Griffey,
    who could turn on a hard one, quick as a jiffy;

    and fielders as graceful as waves in the ocean,
    like Ozzie and Luis, slick as hand lotion;

    and pitchers like Mathewson, Johnson, and Plank
    and Koufax and Gibson, pure cash in the bank.

    I’ve heard of them all, even Van Lingle Mungo,
    but who the hell is this bozo, Fungo?

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  3. I wrote this a couple days ago, but it seemed to fit.

    Lightning Riven (line messaging form)

    A tree is standing on its own,
    Lifting its boughs to the sky;
    A solitary thing, alone,
    Shaking as the winds pass by;

    Its trunk’s broad, but lightning riven,
    Twisted and gnarled and scarred,
    Marking what the sky has given,
    Showing where the lightning marred;

    Its branches are dead, no green here,
    No sign of life can I see,
    As to the top I squint and peer;
    Still, it has a strange beauty.

    Independent message:

    Shaking as the winds pass by,
    Showing where the lightning marred;
    Still, it has a strange beauty.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

    (This tree isn’t actually around where I live. It’s at a place where we camp frequently, and no one who has seen it will ever forget it. The lightning wrapped itself all around the tree, and there is a huge scar that twists all the way up the trunk. The tree is totally dead, but so beautiful! I don’t really know how to describe it well. 🙂 )

  4. Laurie Kolp on said:

    Directions From the Absent-Minded

    Start at the park, you know the one
    across from that middle school.
    Go toward the highway and turn left
    at the third light. I live on the street
    right before Thomas, you know the one
    with all the mansions? No, the homes
    are more servant-like. Go down about
    five houses, hmm… wait a sec, maybe six.
    Just look for the one with dogwood trees.
    I’ll be waiting for you, but if I forget, just honk.

  5. Small Diner/Family Cafe that’s been in the family 30+ years Now owned by a brother and sister in-law.


    By David De Jong

    Whether you’re ridin’ an old plug er a pampered breed,
    Take time fer one stop, the stop to make, ya really need;

    Head down Main; Winter, Spring, Summer, er Fall,
    Pop yer head in and say, “howdy”, place we call; Central.

    The grub’s fresh, home-made, and hard to beat,
    Plenty-a room to hang yer hat, an’ grab a seat.

    They’ll greet ya friendly like, when ya come in the door,
    Just clean the cow-yard from yer boots, help save the floor.

    It’s a first rate, family place, to some a tradition,
    Its kin up front, way in the back, even in the kitchen.

    There’ll be folks spendin’ more time in the booth, than at home,
    You’ll see early an’ late risers, who can’t seem to use a comb.

    Snow will be flyin’, wind howlin’, temperature dropin’ like a brick,
    You’ll see some youngin’s come in dressed like its plum tropic!

    Its always entertainin’, absolutely fillin’, easily habit formin’,
    Fer some a little too much; ya can tell, by the shape they’re in.

    Mostly good folk come in, and enjoy the place,
    If she were a deck of cards – definitely be ace.

    Yer Ma might not appreciate ya comin’ in, takin’ a look,
    It’d be little embarrassin’, they do better, than she can cook.

    Pies made fresh everyday, coffee, always ready and hot,
    Fer some its like church; always sittin’ same ol’ spot.

    Ya can bring yer own mug in, er use one-a-theirs,
    Sit in a booth, er gather-round, in table-n-chairs.

    They is country folk; farmin’, cattle raisin’, horse ridin’ type.
    Ain’t gonna pay with plastic – no machine to make the swipe,

    It’d be cash, check, er washin’ dishes, to pay,
    Just might be convinced, to earn yer meal balin’ hay.

    The beef an’ such; mostly local grown, the help; occasionally little loco too.
    If ya be needin’ a meal, make sure to get inside, before they turn the lock at two.

    Never knew of anyone unsatisfied, plum full, after cleanin’ their plate.
    When it gets crowded; just hold yer horses, it’ll be worth the wait.

    It can be a might hectic russlin’ up all that grub, fixin’ it just right,
    There be; biscuits, burgers, fries, an’ shakes, none, any too light.

    Hot beef sandwich, a popular choice; piled high meat, potatoes-n-gravy, enough fer two!
    Right prime beef; cooked hours on end, slow and careful, just like grandma used to do.

    Its all made up fresh, from scratch, right there in the back,
    When ya order fries, better have room, it’s a heck-of-a stack.

    It’s a proper, fittin’ place to stop fer a cup any time of the day,
    Prior to eatin’, you’ll see many-a-folk tip their hat, bow their head, to pray.

    So make a plan to git yer self in there, but come hungry and willin’ to eat.
    If ya sleep too late on a Saturday, ya might have bit a trouble gettin’ a seat.

    Make sure to leave Deb, yer waitress, a respectable tip,
    Yer coffee cup will get refilled prêt-near every sip.

    A dyin’ breed what it really is, would be a great loss if she’d ever close,
    How many more years the doors will be open; only the Good Lord knows.

  6. Prompt #110 (Describe a Landmark)

    “Southboro Park”

    A landmark is a place forever there.
    Southboro Park was not so far from school.
    Forever pasted in my book to share:
    I do recall that day I was a fool.

    Was summer’s end and picnic was the fest.
    My gown a strapless, Lerner’s stretchy bust.
    My mother warned against such choice of dress
    for adolescent boys are curious!

    So promptly did we play a game of tag
    and reaching hard, one grabbed my dress around!
    Appareled as I was, no lad could lag
    and walls of Jacqueline came tumbling down!

    Oh, vivid still! ( that place and Park for me)
    A landmark’s where you lose all privacy.

    (this happened over 70 years ago. Amazing how some things stick in your memory, huh? I remember exactly how the dress was made!
    I was absolutely ‘mortified’ when it happened and still remember the boy’s name who mischievously grabbed my dress.)

  7. Mesa Verde Tableau

    Highway winding up
    Like castle movies
    Clear blue sky, hot, dry
    Pinyon, juniper
    Gnarled, twisted, thirsty
    Ship rock, desert sea

    Reach large parking lot
    Near welcome center
    Din of languages
    Ask rangers, tickets
    Flyers and a plan
    Videos, post cards

    Museum marvels
    Ancient one models
    Half-Naked natives
    Brown skin, black hair, small
    Yucca, pottery
    Manos, metates

    Far View, Hiking trails
    Balcony House, steps
    Thirty-foot ladders
    Cliff Palace, Step House
    Spruce Tree House, Long House
    Wetherill Mesa

    Tucked tight under cliffs
    Mud-structure village
    Multi-story rooms
    Rectangle series
    Circular kivas
    Thousand-foot-drop yards

  8. What Passes for Landmarks

    They’re calling me more frequently to ask,
    “Where are you? Are we lost?” They’re always close,
    moving in circles like birds honing in
    on nests now hidden under limbs, obscure.

    My litany of landmarks and place names
    I recite to them as they drive along:
    the lake bridge, stop light, school, a silo where
    an ancient barn once stood, the belted cows,

    the farm of sheep and goats, the quick turn lane,
    a row of mail boxes, a stand of pines,
    but they only remember one small house,
    green shingled but faded a hazy mint,

    not really green at all, unless you squint.
    I told my neighbor years ago, the house
    is my landmark, to tell folks where to turn
    onto our drive, that they see green and say,

    “Aha! We’re here! “ and turning look ahead
    to pond and woods and wooden pasture fence,
    that I would help to paint it green again,
    but she declined the offer and expense.

    “It’s OK as it is,” she always says,
    because she is next door, and she’s not lost.
    “You need another landmark,” seems to me,
    she says, and our eyes scan the hills and see

    redundant pastured landscape as we walk.
    “Maybe that donkey there, guarding the cows.”

  9. William Preston on said:

    I love this; it’s reminiscent of directions I’ve heard in farm country for years. The last line is funny, in a gentle way. For me, this has a feel of Frost.

    • janeshlensky on said:

      Thanks, William. It cracks me up when locals give directions by what was once on a property, not what’s there now. That requires a peculiar history of place, no?

      • William Preston on said:

        Your comment reminds me of the old joke: a city fellow is lost. He sees a farmer at the side of the road, so he asks, “Does this road go to Binghamtom?”

        The farmer replies, “Dunno.”

        “Well,” the fellow says, pointing the opposite way, “is that the way to Binghamton?”

        “Dunno,” the reply comes back again.

        The fellow points down a third road, “How about that one?”

        “Dunno,” he hears again.

        Exasperated, the fellow says, “You don’t know much, do you?”

        The farmer replies, “I ain’t lost.”

  10. janeshlensky on said:

    This is an old poem, published by the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature in 2011, but it fits this prompt and gives a glimpse of the storytelling you get for the price of asking directions down south.
    If you haven’t submitted poems to the Dead Mule but have connections to the South, check them out. Sorry the poem is so long, but that’s the south for you.

    Simple Directions from Southern Elder

    A farmer’s market you’re wanting? There’s one
    by the old fair grounds. There was a time when
    you could buy farm goods all along these roads,
    sold at stalls right along the way, fresh bread
    and eggs, jams and jellies, every kind of vegetable
    and fruit, honey and ham. I sold some myself,
    my wife too when she was alive. My specialty
    was corn, silver queen and golden harvest, the
    best around. So many cars stopped that traffic
    snarled, and our stalls were closed until they
    collected us at that market. It’s just open
    on Saturdays and Wednesdays, you know.

    Yep, the farmers market. You want to go back
    toward town—not much of a town really, but now
    with a stop light, a bank, and a post office the size
    of a postage stamp, and, yes, a McDonald’s.
    We used to just grill our burgers at home and
    they were better too, you can bet.

    You’ll pass an Esso station, even that’s Exxon now,
    and turn right by a barn with three silos. That used
    to be owned by Sadie Newell, but she died and
    it went to her daughter and then was sold right quick.
    Young folks don’t want a farm and dairy life any more.
    That place used to have two barns but now there’s just
    the one. Fire, you know. Lucky they didn’t lose everything,
    and you can bet that ‘un lit up the night sky. Some said
    it was lightning, but I ‘spect it was teenagers smoking pot
    in there that sparked it. Kids today.

    So yeah, you turn right there and follow that road
    down to where the Missionary Baptist meeting house
    used to be. There’s a foundation and the sign, but
    the building’s gone. Their new preacher got a dream
    sign that they’d prosper only near flowing water,
    so they dismantled that church, put it on trucks and
    drove it across the river, where it sits today, right near
    a spot that’s just mangy with water moccasins.

    Go left at the church sign to a two-lane windy road
    and that will take you right past the old fair grounds
    and your farmer’s market. We seldom use that spot
    any more, since we built a bigger fair ground
    a decade ago. Old folks like me liked the old grounds,
    but the young folks and new-comers liked more rides
    and exhibits and the like, but that’s change for you.
    The only thing we can count on.

  11. Pingback: Stripped | Whimsygizmo's Blog

  12. An Anatomy of Landmarks

    The pucker of home-stitching
    at his thigh,
    a scar across his wrist
    down to his thumb,
    a wiry muscled arm
    and hard-worked hand,
    a rippling ridge of dark skin
    from a burn,
    a crooked ridge marking
    a broken nose,
    his chest, his side, his hip
    dotted with bullet tucks,
    a gift of war,
    leaving a constellation
    on him now,
    she follows with her fingers
    headed south.

    Her feet are bare,
    her toes tucked over his,
    her legs more muscled now
    from standing firm,
    a baby on her wide
    child-bearing hips,
    a mountain range
    he reaches for and smoothes,
    the slope of waistline
    stretch-marked, gentle flab
    that softens her
    a line of scar across
    her abdomen,
    her breasts pendulous
    and lovely all these years,
    her longish neck and chin,
    her blue-green eyes
    marked by her many cares,
    the gentle lift of lips,
    her liquid mouth quick with a kiss.

    They travel these old roads
    marked by a past
    together and apart
    but fused into
    a history of skin,
    stories that bit
    into their bodies,
    leaving long-worn paths
    to take them home,
    beloved landmarks,
    living signs that love
    survives most things
    that human fate designs.

  13. Laurie Kolp on said:

    OK. Here ya go. I’m off to the airport now, will visit as soon as I can. Thank you!


    Lucas Gusher

    Oil spewed in 1901
    Spindletop, a gush of wealth,
    black gold skyward bound
    150 feet in the air.

    Money lost
    in my hometown
    when oil spewed,
    priceless gains in history.

    A monument, Gladys City,
    one can go and see
    where oil spewed,
    walk through old-time town,

    a trading post and barber shop
    saloon with hitching posts–
    I’m sure the horses flew
    the day that oil spewed.

  14. A Reminder

    At the bottom of our lane is a crossroads.
    Stop at the Eastern arm of the X
    and reflect on the bravery of the airmen
    who were downed on D Day 1944.
    Five flags point the way –
    British, French, Australian and US of A
    and the fifth, the roundel of the RAF –
    to five polished granite stones.
    Each bears the name of a member of the crew.
    On the sixth of June each year,
    we meet to remember them
    with music, stories and flowers.
    Later, across the little country road,
    a multinational mixture toasts their memory in wine

  15. DebiSwim on said:

    King’s Castle

    It’s a landmark that few have seen,
    behind our house a hill, a steep incline really,
    and halfway up a big, looming pine
    with two smaller ones beside.
    The kids played there in the shade
    Master’s of the Universe and G.I. Joe,
    Construction vehicles making roads
    and keeping it bare of grass.
    Last summer a grandson was digging there
    found a broken gun and rusted fishing box
    full of super heroes and soldiers that his uncle
    had hidden in the pine’s roots. So, excited
    was he with his pirate’s loot.

    Then further up there is a ridge
    with a jutting rock formation, a small cliff
    with crevices where some critter might live.
    The children would climb to the top
    and play king of the mountain
    or knights and dragons
    and so it became King’s Castle.
    The stories have grown some in the telling
    when the sisters and brother get together.
    Now children’s children play the games
    under the trees and to the top
    of the hill at King’s Castle.
    A landmark for generations hence,
    small in size but in fun immense.

  16. Marblehead Lighthouse

    It rises from its sturdy base, its walls
    Gleaming white in the sunlight.
    Tourist climb the narrow stairs
    Admire the great beam, quiet now
    In the daytime, ready to guide all
    Mariners as it has done for almost
    200 years through fog and darkness.

    We grew up to the deep bass call
    Of the foghorn, fell asleep to the
    Giant beam of light as it circled
    Through the darkness, guiding all
    Sailors away from the peninsula’s
    Rocky shore.

    This is what we have left, here on the
    Peninsula. The land too rocky for a
    Good crop, the Whitefish gone, the
    Walleye & perch clinging to survival
    And the great limestone quarry which
    Once brought hundreds of workers from
    Eastern Europe to Ohio, now on its last
    Layers of stone, the steel mills closed
    Automotive industry down-sized
    The construction industry –the last hope –
    Now also not what it used to be.

    So we welcome the tourists that come
    To admire our lighthouse, built in 1822, the
    Oldest continually operating on the great lakes.
    We hope that they will dine in our restaurants,
    Buy gifts and souvenirs in our small shops,
    Perhaps party a bit in the local taverns before
    Boarding the ferry to the islands where summer
    Is still a continuing party. The fishing is good,
    The water-parks are open, the lake is, as always

  17. Forever in Flight

    Unaffected by weather
    Not grounded by the sequester
    Forever in flight
    Proudly bearing Navy blue
    Yellow letters and highlights

    People pose for pictures
    Children wonder at the sight
    And wish that someday they
    Could command such power

    Two of them fly low
    One East and one West
    Below the radar
    Below the clouds
    Far below FAA rules
    Motioning upward
    Banking to the left
    As if taking off
    Yet frozen in time

    They fly in all weather
    Sunshine and hurricanes
    Day and night
    Always in the air
    Always marking the way

    One East and one West
    On Interstate 10
    In the Panhandle of
    The Sunshine State

    You don’t need a mile marker
    A GPS
    A map
    Or a guide to know
    When you’re closing in
    On Pensacola

    All you need to do is
    Look to your right
    No matter your direction
    And when you see
    The Blue Angel
    Suspended in flight
    It will mean that
    You’ve arrived

    Welcome to Pensacola

    • We’ve watched those Blue Angels many times, Earl.

    • William Preston on said:

      Thank you for this. I am not a veteran, but I love naval history, and NAS Pensacola is a big part of that. I’ve always wanted to see the museum there, and your poem reinforces that desire.

      • The Naval Museum at NAS Pensacola is amazing. Also on NAS is Fort Barrancas, Barrancas National Cemetery, and the first lighthouse built by the US on the Florida coast.

        And, there’s a museum near Eglin AFB in nearby Fort Walton Beach. But the best military museum is the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson, Ohio. (of course, I’m retired AF, so I’m a little biased)

        • William Preston on said:

          I’ve been to Wright-Patterson, and I loved it. That’s one reason I wanted to see Pensacola too. I think the NC-4 is there, and that; like the Spirit of St. Louis and the Wright Flyer, is one of the lodestone aircraft, in my opinion.

    • janeshlensky on said:

      Earl, I like that the landmark to the city is in the sky. Follow the road by looking up…sometimes.

    • Oh how I would love to see them! Great poem, Earl.

  18. Pingback: Fed | Metaphors and Smiles

  19. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Dreamy Directions to a Quaint Cafe

    “Do you remember how to return to the place where we ate lunch?”

    You turn right
    at the big, blue

  20. sheryl kay oder on said:


    I hope the above link works. It should show images of the Cloud Gate.

    This poem is a description of some pictures I have taken of the Cloud Gate, informally known as the bean. That is how I have snapped the Bean.

    The Bean can be found in Millennium Park in Chicago, IL.

    Snapping the Bean

    A couple in silhouette
    multiplies into black ripples
    soon merging overhead.

    Zoom in closer and reflect
    a curvy abstract of tiles
    and clouds surrounded in black.

    Snap a man touching its surface
    to create an upside-down shadow
    beneath jagged clumps of snow.

    See it become a giant inner tube
    with backlighting on tiles
    and snow clouds floating by.

    Reflect on this.
    I have snapped the Bean.

  21. Ghost Bridge

    Around these parts, everybody has a story,
    true or trumped up, no one knows.
    The big house burned in ’66—June sixth, in fact,
    the devil’s number, sparked by a lightning strike.
    Boys rode their bikes from miles away
    to watch with crowds that gathered
    when even the firemen called it a lost cause.
    All that stands now, the columns on four sides,
    mortar made of sand, horse hair, and molasses.
    Kids on grade school field trips traipse
    up the hill to see the view, to hear the tales.
    Andrew Jackson’s kin built her, lived here,
    buried their dead in the graveyard there;
    the slaves lie in unmarked mounds nearly lost.
    We heard the other story too—the daughter,
    meeting a slave each night on the dark bridge
    over Cypress Creek, finally followed, caught.
    They say his body was thrown over the railing,
    his spirit still walks the road, a lantern swings
    to mark his movement toward the bridge,
    still looking for his lover, long dead.
    Boys bring dates here, stop on the bridge,
    tell the story with the windows up, doors locked.
    Everyone knows someone who claims
    to have seen the light on lonely nights.
    Speaking in whispers, no one voices doubt.

  22. Liberty Memorial

    Built after WWI
    with pennies given by school children.
    Commerates “The war to end all wars.”

    Eternal flame burns atop the tower.
    Overlooks Union Station,
    Hallmark cards, and downtown Kansas City.

    Now national WWI Memorial
    with museum added,
    although attempted, wars remain.

  23. William Preston on said:


    When I was young, my mother used to say,
    “The day will come when you must make your way;
    you’ll need a steady job with steady pay,
    so go to work for Kodak.”

    Almost as though in step with Hamlin’s fife,
    in Rochester it was a way of life
    for many a man and often, for his wife
    to go to work for Kodak

    and know security was guaranteed.
    Even Xerox people would concede,
    the Eastman firm took care of every need
    of those who worked for Kodak.

    But that was then. These days, at Kodak Park,
    the former sea of buildings now is stark
    and vacant space, an exclamation mark
    for all who trusted Kodak.

    The city I call home, “Smugtown” to some,
    now bears a countenance so worn and glum;
    there’s little reason now to beat its drum
    and little left of Kodak.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  24. Landmarks

    New York City has Lady Liberty
    Freedom Tower and Central Park
    Dallas has Cowboys Stadium
    St. Louis has that might Arch

    D.C. has the Washington Monument
    And so much more along the Mall
    Philadelphia has the Liberty Bell
    And it’s old home, Independence Hall

    Devil’s Tower highlights Wyoming
    Hollywood has that famous sign
    New Mexico has the Very Large Array
    Listening for life of another kind

    Orlando has Cinderella’s Castle
    The Gaylord Palms and the Epcot Ball
    San Antonio has the Alamo
    Where many fought and gave their all

    Honolulu has the big pink hospital
    Known as Tripler to we military types
    Arizona has that grand Grand Canyon
    A trip to the bottom is more than hype

    Four stoned Presidents in South Dakota
    Look ever forward in memoriam
    New Orleans is next on our agenda
    The Superdome, the most recognized stadium

    So may famous landmarks exists
    Throughout this wonderful nation
    I guess if my town had a landmark
    It would be our Tom Thumb gas station


  25. William Preston on said:

    “Four stoned presidents…” That beats the Tom Thumb station!

  26. Big Red Barn

    They built the Countryside Farmers Market
    just as the economy went to seed.
    It was catastrophic timing. Indeed,
    they never really stood a chance. They bet
    their shirt that busloads of tourists would get
    sucked in by “Amish” trinkets without heed
    to price. That plan failed. But what guaranteed
    their fate was their anti-local mindset.

    Maybe if they hadn’t set the building
    downwind from the dump and next to the jail
    more locals would have brought them some business,
    but most of us went once and quit, pointing
    out there weren’t even vegetables on sale!
    They soon closed, brought low by debt – and hubris.

    • William Preston on said:

      This well-written sonnet resonates with me; I sometimes think there are more farmers’ markets than farmers.

  27. Since only four years have passed living out of New York, I felt more comfortable giving a New York landmark kudos.

    Flatiron Building

    Building in the shape
    of an old time iron
    juts out on the corner
    of twenty-third and fifth,
    proud triangular example
    of the first skyscraper.
    One hundred ten years
    later, it remains
    a fascinating landmark,
    unique in architecture
    and view. Winds whipping
    up women’s skirts, prompted
    police to give oglers the warning,
    ‘twenty-three skidoo.’

  28. William Preston on said:

    Wonderful, especially bringing in that old chestnut.

  29. Angels Stand Watch Over the Place Where the Old Hay Barn Used to Be

    “We shall find peace. We shall hear angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds.” ~Anton Chekhov

    Angels in shadows. Stone-carved faces.
    Each keeps the secrets of the past.
    All memory is marble-cast
    Quietude. Each angel graces

    threshing floors, but there’s scant traces
    of what was once, but couldn’t last.
    Each keeps the secrets of the past.
    Angels in shadows. Stone-carved faces

    fill the ruins. Fill the spaces.
    Would they could talk. I’ve tried. I asked.
    They stare beyond; their eyes are glassed,
    and yet I feel their warm embraces.
    Angels in shadows. Stone-carved faces.


    Not far from where I live is Duke Farms. It is what remains of Doris Duke’s New Jersey estate. The property is now open to the public as a nature sanctuary, where visitors can walk or ride bikes around the grounds. Near the South Gate, there is a place of serenity and stillness, which at one time was the hay barn. Parts of the barn’s old stone walls still stand, but that is all that’s left of it. However, there is something else of note: amidst the ruins, there is a garden of statuary angels.

    These angels, and this magical place, inspired my poem.

  30. Once again, this isn’t something around my own home, but I live close enough to Seattle to see it quite often. 🙂

    Seattle’s Space Needle

    It was once the tallest building
    West of the Mississippi River,
    Six hundred and five feet, rearing
    Into the clouds, ending in a point;

    Seattle’s biggest attraction,
    Along with coffee and fish tossing;
    Amazing to think construction
    Of the Needle took less than a year;

    It’s height seems less impressive now,
    Dwarfed by skyscrapers on every side,
    But to me, peering from below,
    Its about the most wonderful thing I’ve ever beheld.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

    • William Preston on said:

      Thanks for this. I love the Space Needle too. Hard to believe it’s over 50 years old now; I remember when it was built for the World’s Fair. It always struck me as a waltzing obelisk wearing a porkpie hat.

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      Love your capture…especially your last two lines!!

    • sheryl kay oder on said:

      I haven’t paid attention to the Needle, but remember “coffee and fish tossing.” Our daughter and son-in-law live in Seattle.

  31. Pingback: The Old Wicker Bridge | Misky

  32. The Old Wicker Bridge

    Wicker Bridge isn’t wicker anymore,
    nor willow, birch or elm. Wicker Bridge
    is stony cold and mortared thick
    with tears. Its high stone arch is soaked
    with loss but mostly Wicker Bridge
    echoes expectant cheers. This bridge
    was the last that some people saw
    but bad people aren’t hung from this
    bridge no more ‘cause Wicker Bridge
    isn’t made from wicker anymore.

    Notes: The old Wicker Bridge that crosses Gatwick Creek was repositioned when a new sliproad to the motorway was built in 1996. The bridge was disassembled, each stone’s position marked and numbered, and then it was put back together further down-stream. It was a great family day out when a person was hung, a carnival atmosphere with picnics and games for children. The first wicker-construction bridge was built by the Romans on the creek, and there’s been a bridge there of some sort or another ever since. It was used as a gallows until the 1800s.

    • William Preston on said:

      I beg your pardon for gallows humor, but your charming little piece recalls for me, of all things, the Golden Gate Bridge. Many suicides have happened on that span, and most jumpers have jumped from the landward side, folks say, because the last think the jumpers wanted to see was their beloved city.

  33. Henrietta Choplin on said:


  34. William Preston on said:


    Let me tell
    of the Target Ship:
    today a blur,
    a wisp, a blip

    that sat for years
    in Cape Cod Bay
    and slowly, wholly
    weathered away

    to a point past caring,
    a place beyond grief;
    the eternal wreck
    that became a reef,

    till one riprap
    became the feet
    of what once was
    the James Longstreet.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

    SS James Longstreet was a Liberty Ship, named for a Confederate general. It was built during the Second World War and used for ferrying dry cargo. She ran aground in 1943 off Cape Hatteras, was declared a total loss, then was patched up and eventually scuttled on New Found Shoal off Eastham and Orleans, Massachusetts, in 1945. She was used as a naval gunnery target until 1971, then was allowed to rust away in Cape Cod Bay. By 1993, essentially all that was left standing was the bow section. By 2000, the ship was all but gone. In 2013, only a buoy marks her position. Underwater, however, is a thriving artificial reef.

  35. In at the last minute! This has taken all week, a) because I’m rushed off my feet and b) because there are no monuments where I live, not a one, not a sausage, bugger all! And not much monumental in my nearest big town or the provincial capital!

    The Square

    An autumn Sunday afternoon or,
    a balmy Mediterranean summer night,
    the only place to be seen in town
    is as busy as a hive.

    The wind blowing forty knots,
    or the marina, like a mill pond;
    the bars and cafés around the edge
    are humming with life.

    Flamenco dancers or live bands or,
    children playing games till two a.m.
    parents having tapas or cocktails
    as laughter fills the air.

    So for breakfast, around eleven
    or lunch, somewhere close to four,
    or dinner and drinks into the early hours:
    the Square’s the place to be.


  36. Pingback: San Antonio | echoes from the silence

Plant your poem or comment here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: