Peer Award 1999

Vanishing Barn

The man's barn is the man's worth
The cedar's pungence, the mow and the light
These legacies of line and scale
Thatch, shingle, gable and slate
From soil to shelter, from timber, honey coloured
Rubbings from hay and straw, now lichen covered,
This rhythm of the bays,
That faint hickory creak,
Those fiddler tunes,
In rafters where love once hid.

The vanishing barn, its simplicity bends slowly,
Geometry ages on the brace,
Beams hugged by dowels of oak
Where cobwebbed corners once held a song.
Quebec, Chester County, the pilgrim's grip,
The threshing floor, between cows and calf, came his step
On the echo of pigeons wings,
Beauty had this space -
Porch whispers, silence shape,
The earthy smell of harvests long past.

Paul Kloppenborg

Copyright © 1999 Paul Kloppenborg

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