Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Photographing the Barns

The farm dogs greet and wriggle

like sausage in a pan. We’re friends.

I’ve come to photograph the barns

leaning into the view to the east,

where Fall Mountain bobs above trees

scruff and jagged as my beard.

The barns offer fistfuls of splinters,

rusty implements, buckets, sleds,

a Volkswagen in faded red

with a “Stop the Arms Race” sticker.

Bags of fertilizer and cement

huddle out of reach of weather.

Spiders decorative as doorknobs

waddle across elaborate webs.

The silo exclaims itself

in unpainted planks worn black

by tireless seasons. I point

and shoot and expect the results

to justify ignoring the dogs,

who regret every lost petting,

the chickens wriggling in dust baths,

the honeybees knee-deep in pollen.

The barns pose as formally

as possible. The sunlight inching

across the chipped and faded paint

feels tonic enough to salvage

the saddest of my varied lives,

The dogs, Spud and Jupiter,

nuzzle up. I pack the camera

into my tote bag and drop

to my knees to look more acutely

into their brown ceramic eyes.

Dog-thoughts blossom. The barns

sway in the solar wind. Chickens

ripple like living footballs.

Apple trees flutter, dropping petals,

and the early snow peas ripen.

The entire farm is a muscle

working itself to flatter

the simple demands of the land,

and the dogs and I tremble

as something below responds.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Broad Brook Garage

This little service station in Broad Brook, Connecticut, has long been one of my favorites.