Saturday, February 16, 2019

Chicken House

Kindness dwells in this place
This place of solo retreat
This chicken house on a farm by a lake in the woods
The kindness of the muses
Of the Andersons
Of the universe

Chicken house
Turned antique store
Turned guest house
Furnishings restored, preserved
Medieval desk, begging questions
How many have written here? Who has? What was?
Deep grooves, worn edges, ink stains
Antique writing table
Muses wait here, Calliope, Clio, Euterpe

Sleigh bed, camel-back trunk
Corner chair, high-back bench
Mantel of family photos, mantle of pride, love, memory, history
Hearth of copper ash bucket, kindling box
Glass cabinet of Chinese pottery, classic books
Kent's pots of earth and wheel and kiln and soul
Turned, glazed, baked
Kent's paint-splat heart, unfolded
Anderson heart

Noses Creek School of Art
Studio, quiet now, but full
Of heart, spirit, vision, purpose
Lure of art and fish
Orderly, meditative, inviting, unique
Wagon full of iron castoffs, welder's gold
Kent's giant iron sculpture of not rooster, great blue heron
Barn and shed, machine and tool
Four houses: chicken, pool, family, green

Host Tate, twin proprietor, silent protector, museum docent
Kindly understated invitations, reminders, hospitality
Vast knowledge, rapid-fire facts, origin details to the number of million years
Low-light room, bright-light beam, mineral showcase
Iridescent rocks, gifts of the earth, "Been there but didn't get it there"
Civil war relics, framed, displayed
Greenhouse orchids, hundreds, some always in bloom
Generous cuttings, gifts for the chicken house
Anderson heart


Twin lakes, upper, lower, dam and spillway between, one mile around
Boggy places, spongy, wet, black, beauty
Tranquil, ever changing, by shifts of sun, cloud, wind, hour
Colors, ripples, sparkles, patterns, on-again-off-again glass
Colossal dragonfly welcoming, belted kingfisher ratcheting
Firepit warming, rowboat waiting beside the still waters
Natural woods, fallen trees, double kindness
Of the earth, to provide animal harbors
Of the Andersons, not to remove them

Randy's Trail, faded sign, found branches
Leads walkers along near banks of lake
Twin foot bridges, wooden arches, in fond memoriam
Invites hikers to far banks, steep climbs, no paths
One could lose a phone here and never know it
Here are deep leaves, tender twigs, tough branches
Downed trunks, upturned roots
Lichen growths, nature's housekeepers, earth's consumers
Supreme quiet, divine solitude

Return to chicken house, low roof, quaint windows
Kent's hinged gate, iron art
Stone wall, brick walk, full-on charm
Camellia shrubs, full-on bloom
Birdsong unfettered
Eastern phoebe, northern cardinal, northern mockingbird
Tufted titmouse, redwing blackbird
Urgent racket overhead, sandhill cranes
Flying north to mate, full-on migration

The kindness of this place
The noisy silence
Gifts of time, gratitude, grace
Aloud reading, Mozart playing, deep breathing, slow walking
Long sitting, wide thinking, layered writing
Eighteenth draft