IN A BARN
The shortening days of lemonade summers
herald the green season's end
wherein the yellow dandelions fade
and columbines' scent is no longer sent.
Where spiders their silken webs they do mend
and shouts of ballfield boys so resound.
Where bicycles round the last block
and head for lazy river's great bend.
When poets' thoughts are inwardly bound
and farmers of their harvest take stock.
Where daffodils and old windmills
play in the warm and breezy wind.
To bluejay's scream the ear doth lend.
The buzzing bees and willow trees
pay notice to geese who've begun to take air
and memories fade of the Stone County fair.
While old cattails stand their futile watch
and temperature slowly creeps down a notch.
Fall and her coming colors seep,
flaming reds and some reluctant yellow
while cider in the barrels mellow.
I spied an old barn a ways off in a dale!
It is of it I tell thee in this my short tale.
I meandered toward it as if drawn but resisting.
I did not really have the time -
but it kept on insisting.
Conspicuous, the barn revelled in its redness.
Contemptuous, the cottonwood seeds
floated through the air
without the slightest worry
or remotest care,
while reflecting the slanting late day sun.
As daylight waned I began to hurry,
feeling an urgent sense of gladness.
As I quickly walked through the tall grass,
whole armies of grasshoppers leaped up as if one.
Tree frogs and crickets were croaking and chanting.
The barn's door hung open on one hinge, as if beckoning.
I hesitated then went inside the strange barn
not sure if what waited there for me
was involvement or reckoning.
Deepening involement in mankind and nature,
or reckoning for shortcomings of my past.
A feeling of impending doom
weighted down my steps,
but it did not last.
I soon awoke to the miraculous room;
miracles of life,
miracles to share.
Cows and goats, chickens and horses,
made their homes there.
A likeable, seemingly friendly old barn!
I realized that this was all happening now.
No dreams of the past, the future not here.
This and the moos of the cow
brought me great cheer.
I controlled my wild thoughts
concentrating all on the now.
I heard nothing except the rise of my breath,
the beats of my heart,
the bleats of livestock,
the crickets, the frogs
and the wind through the trees.
All governed by Nature's inexorable clock.
Then this owl it let out a hoot;
it gave me quite a start!
I tripped and I fell upon some old logs,
scraping my knees and losing one boot.
I hit my head hard, flashed before me my death.
What angel did I appease,
that helped me now not to depart?
I shakily stood in the midst of the barn.
A barn that seemed more quiet than before.
I looked back at the door.
It was still quite ajar,
but looked as if it now was quite far.
The fields of my extended mind shrank down,
down until just 'round my body.
The sounds of life gradually receded to silence.
All I now heard was the sound of my breath.
In through my nostrils and out again and again.
Breathe in the sufferings of all mankind,
breathe out the healing thoughts from inside.
I closed my eyes and focused on nothing.
Just me in a barn.
All one and all now.
mindbringer, 25 September 2011