Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Out-House Ode

Tom and collaborated on this poetry broadside (or "broadsheet," as they are sometimes called). Tom wrote the poem and I drew the drawing. We gave it to Nancy, Tom's sister, for her birthday. Nancy now owns the property where this venerable out-house still stands, just down the driveway from our house.

Here's the poem for those of you who don't have a magnifying glass to hand:


When I pulled with my tractor the dead

oak limb poised to crush the out-house,

and it fell, kicking off a patch of shingles

and scarring the roof, I wondered at

that out-house, unused now sixty years,

thought of your satisfying plops and farts,

Russell, you who built it next to your magnificent

concrete bridge, you, dead now half a

century, who sailed your yawl to Nova Scotia,

old charts stashed in the main house still

bearing your waypoints and courses,

and your meadow, boat-house, wooden

row-boats, the long brass telescope

to watch, you said, yachts run aground

in the cove, all of this in the place you

gave abruptly to our family sixty years ago,

I thought of you, relieved in your

outhouse, planning projects with your

shackles and lines, your taps and dies,

your water-cooled grindstone, and I thought

of your wife reading her French newspaper,

brewing tea to serve on the fine china

that you also left in this house on the Maine

coast, a gift of high kindness by you, to us.



ocmist said...

Now THAT's an interestingly different post... Oh the stories that so many old buildings, trees, rocks, etc. could tell of days gone by...

MaineCelt said...

Beautiful work from both of, from all three of you, counting Russell! Thank you for celebrating the glorious commonplace in word and image.