Sacred Charm

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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The dear old farm has a sacred charm
That extends to farthest bound,
Every rock and tree is dear to me,
And hallowed seems the ground.

Its beautiful stream whose waters gleam
As they dance on to the sea,
Sings sweeter song, as it moves along,
Than other waters to me.

No leaves are so green, as those that screen
The revered old farm-house doors,
From the burning sun of torrid June
When his fiercest rays he pours.

Each grove and field doth a mem’ry yield
Of dear childhood’s blissful hours,
And in accents clear, voices I hear
That have now augmented powers.

My father’s care and my mother’s prayer
Are now ended here on earth,
But as time rolls on, since they have gone,
I shall understand their worth.

There’s a sacred charm in the dear old farm,
For loved ones have trod its soil,
And much I now see, appears to me
As fruit of their faithful toil.

– “Old Farm” by Jared Barhite

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Gone, Gone Again

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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Gone, gone again,
May, June, July,
And August gone,
Again gone by,

Not memorable
Save that I saw them go,
As past the empty quays
The rivers flow.

And now again,
In the harvest rain,
The Blenheim oranges
Fall grubby from the trees

As when I was young
And when the lost one was here
And when the war began
To turn young men to dung.

Look at the old house,
Outmoded, dignified,
Dark and untenanted,
With grass growing instead

Of the footsteps of life,
The friendliness, the strife;
In its beds have lain
Youth. love, age, and pain:

I am something like that;
Only I am not dead,
Still breathing and interested
In the house that is not dark:–

I am something like that:
Not one pane to reflect the sun,
For the schoolboys to throw at–
They have broken every one.

– “Gone, Gone Again” by Edward Thomas

Abandoned Barns Defend Abandoned Men

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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Nature remains faithful by natural light, only.
Immeasurable, invisible in the wind.
Visible when blades and branches bend.

The wind speaks fluent rain.
Despite it the rain falls straight.
And beyond it abandoned barns defend abandoned men.

– Prayer’s End by Brooklyn Copeland

Grieve Not

Via Flickr:
© 2012 Loren Zemlicka

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Grieve not that winter masks the yet quick earth,
Nor still that summer walks the hills no more;
That fickle spring has doffed the plaid she wore
To swathe herself in napkins till rebirth.

These buddings, flowerings, are nothing worth;
This ermine cloud stretched firm across the lakes
Will presently be shattered into flakes;
Then, starveling world, be subject to my mirth.

I know that faithful swift mortality
Subscribes to nothing longer than a day;
All beauty signals imminent decay;
And painted wreckage cumbers land and sea.

I laugh to hear a sniveling wise one say,
“Some winnowed self escapes this reckless way.”

– Walter Clyde Curry, "Grieve Not"

Any Road Will Get You There

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

– Lewis Carroll

Fixed as a Fencepost

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Stand in a field long enough, and the sounds
start up again. The crickets, the invisible
toad who claims that change is possible,

And all the other life too small to name.
First one, then another, until innumerable
they merge into the single voice of a summer hill.

Yes, it’s hard to stand still, hour after hour,
fixed as a fencepost, hearing the steers
snort in the dark pasture, smelling the manure.

And paralyzed by the mystery of how a stone
can bear to be a stone, the pain
the grass endures breaking through the earth’s crust.

Unimaginable the redwoods on the far hill,
rooted for centuries, the living wood grown tall
and thickened with a hundred thousand days of light.

The old windmill creaks in perfect time
to the wind shaking the miles of pasture grass,
and the last farmhouse light goes off.

Something moves nearby. Coyotes hunt
these hills and packs of feral dogs.
But standing here at night accepts all that.

You are your own pale shadow in the quarter moon,
moving more slowly than the crippled stars,
part of the moonlight as the moonlight falls,

Part of the grass that answers the wind,
part of the midnight’s watchfulness that knows
there is no silence but when danger comes.

– “Becoming a Redwood” by Dana Gioia

The Approaches

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM