Sunday, February 13, 2011

Why Are These Chairs in the Snow?

On the heels of my post about contentment (below) came hard news, coupled with a game of tag with pneumonia again. Hardship doesn't change my point of view. Storms can rage above the soil, but the soil rests unchanged.

After days spent in bed, I checked in with the world renowned Poetry Bus and found the Love Bug's photo prompts for Monday's bus tour, coincidental with Valentine's Day. The eclectic band of poets around the world will do wonders with the prompts. We're linked here. I offer this dirge, constructed out of sadness and sickness.

Why Are These Chairs in the Snow?

The roof caved in
the first dereliction
I thought it better built than that
its mathematical strength collapsed
beneath the first frost

Then someone came and took the glass
in the dead of night
good windows they were
but not paid for
a double pain that

The door was next
solid oak and fireproof
not proof against the vagaries of wind
the neighbor heard it howl
as the hinges tore

That wall went
with the next big snow
unsurprising with the gaping hole
of the fleeing door
and purloined windows

Two more collapsed
in the following thaw
warping wood ripped out nails
poorly placed
poorly pounded

The north wall stood
a mass of ice
until our mattocks tore it down
to fuel the fires
in our separate homes

All that’s left
of your inheritance
are the chairs where your parents sat
and planned your legacy
claimed by squirrels


Dianne said...

pneumonia, huh? I think this perseveration is an obsession by your lungs for a better owner!?

my illness is obsession, and I ask
God to take it away today, I will pray for you!


Magpie said...

I would never have imagined what you did from this photo. You look so much deeper than most. Hope you are on the mend.

The Bug said...

Chris - I'm sorry things are so hard right now! I guess it's a blessing that your poetry hasn't suffered. I really like this piece - so descriptive of a home falling apart, in more ways than one.

TechnoBabe said...

Room by wall and room by room the house fell. Interesting. Two chairs left to the elements and the critters.
Hope you are feeling better and can finally whip the pneumonia.

MuseSwings said...

What an amazing verse for the chairs in the snow! The ones "where your parents sat and planned your legacy claimed by squirrels." Exquisite!

120 Socks said...

The house falling down bit by bit, great take on the prompt. Hope you feel better soon,and keep away from the snow!

Elisabeth said...

Get better soon, Enchanted. Those chairs and your take on them are wonderful.

izzy said...

Sorry you aren't well- I just caught some
thing, too. I couldn't get a poem, just a conversation- yours is more than mine! thanks.

Marion said...

I'm so sorry you've been so sick, on top of hard news. But this poem is so good...I could visualize the destruction so easily. You amaze me!

Hope you feel much better've been ill for such a long time. xoxo

Zed said...

Your poem is so sad, poignant, beautiful. I hope you feel better soon. Zed (

rosaria said...

So sorry about your nasty cold! Have a great day. Your man, he is keeper, just like your poetry.

Peter Goulding said...

As usual, Chris, you come up trumps. What an unusual take. I love the way your mind works and what a devastating ending.
Hope you can outwit that pneumonia. At least pneumonia is better than the old sort.

Syd said...

Happy Valentines Day, Chris. I guess that the squirrels claiming the legacy are as good as any human.

Brian Miller said...

ugh hope you are feeling better...glad you got one that obviously cares for you. smiles.

Scott said...

sad indeed? it made me smile, that last little bit did!

I sure hope you feel better Chris... hang in there :-)

Emerging Writer said...

That's wonderful. Falling from the outside in.

Karen said...

Wow, wow, wow! You are one amazing poet! This is a wonderful take on the prompt -- so rich and powerful, that with every piece of that structure, I fall a little, too. Excellent imagery and wonderful words. You are the whole package, my dear! Now, get well!!!

Kim A. said...

I've missed greeting you each morning. I'm slowly thawing out, mind and soul. The winter days have found me much like that oak door, trying to remain in place against the forces of nature. Take the time to rest and recover. Get well soon.


Totalfeckineejit said...

Blasted pneumonia is a feckin curse. I wish you a speedy recovery.
Love the poem , you are incapable of a dirge.A different take really well thought out.
Incidentally a penny dropped for me . I always (mistakenly ) thought a mattock was a mat axe.Doh!

Erratic Thoughts said...

Chris hope you are doing well...
You are so gifted with imagination, who would have thought of such a nice interpretation of this pic! :)
~Take Care...

Jinksy said...

I like the way you saw slow deterioration of a whole home to leave merely these remnants...

RNSANE said...

I'm sorry you're not feeling up to par but you're writing doesn't reflect it. Wish we were both in better shape. Just had a biopsy of small mole on the side of my nose - it's been there all my life but the doc and I are both sure it is a basal cell CA - I'll have to have more done at the UCSF MOHS clinic when the results are in!