Thursday, October 14, 2010


NanU's driving the Bus on Monday, and her challenge is to write in a time, place, or circumstance outside of our usual writing environments. 

Many times, I am struck with inspiration while driving but lose my thoughts because I can't stop to write them down. This morning, two things happened that allowed me to fulfill the Poetry Bus challenge. First, I noticed that a barn I pass every day had been razed, and second,  traffic stopped right in front of the scene. I grabbed my handy iphone and used my thumbs to type the following poem on the Notes page, then I emailed it to myself. Okay, NanU. How's that for Progress? Hmmm...


In the field
where the barn
used to stand,
progress has left
only a scar --
a few black wires
hooping out
of the ground,
brown earth
scraped clean,
packed down,
devoid of any living thing.
In the pasture,
white cows turn their heads
and look the other way.


  1. Oh, that's a wonderful poem. I'd love to see it in the next P-Bus mag! The cows turning their heads away... the random wires still sprouting from the ground...
    ...the happiness of circumstance allowing the poem to exist.
    Great work, Karen.

  2. lovely, especially the ending... cows can be so discreet!

  3. Oh the muse knows no boundary! I love it when
    she shows up like that. I carry paper with me for just such an occasion! Great Piece!

  4. Yes, a very good poem. I really like the "hooping" black wires & the cows--Niamh is right--such discretion.

  5. On My Walk

    The cows have taken
    an attitude concerning
    the state of my heart.
    I was once content
    to walk among them at peace
    but lately I've lost
    my way and the cows
    know it. They turn their great heads
    and nip at my dreams
    as if they were fine
    sprays of green for the taking
    that I no longer

  6. A beautiful, bewitching bovine verse! Have a great weekend, Karen!

  7. it sure qualifies as a poem... progress at its worst :(
    i love the cows' turning their heads away at the end, too.

    to cpature your inspirations, have you tried one of those machines that record your voice? there are so many of them i can't keep up with, you know, their progress, but there are so many possibilities now.
    i just use the old paper and pen combo :))

  8. Congratulations on the serendipity that visited you. When so much dovetails at the right moment to result in a fine poem, it's hard to believe in a random universe.

  9. This makes me think of my grandparents farm, now razed for a housing development. Fortunately? the developers didn't get their funding so it just sits, serene & peaceful for the moment.

  10. NanU - Thanks for the idea that moved me outside of my usual writing experience. I'll take anything in the PB Mag! TFE might like cows!

    Niamh - Discreet, yes.

    izzy - I do the paper thing, too, and then find my fits and starts months later. :-)

  11. John - I was struck by the colors of the scene, especially the red-brown dirt in contrast to the pasture. The black wires and white cows both stood out there.

    Christopher - You continue to amaze me!

    Jeanne Iris - Bovine verse - a new one for me! Ha!

  12. SzelsoFa - I've tried the voice recordings, but I have to see the words in writing before I can do anything with them. It is a good way, though, to capture a feeling or a beginning.

    Chris - So right about that.

    Dana - There is such a thing as justice!

  13. Oh, that's very good. So intriguing to have the history of the writing with it - such a timeless piece, and yet obviously immediate, here and now.

  14. I'm sorry to see old structures go. When they do, the only left of us (the ones who used them) are tombstones.

  15. I like the scar and the scraped brown earth. I know this is meant to be a comment on something sad and unfortunate in the name of progress, but I can't get a Gary Larson cartoon out of my head!


  16. Yes, I always listen to cows' opinions on progress. Those hooping wires set the scene perfectly

  17. I am very fond of the old barns around these parts. And so many are falling into disrepair. There's something quietly noble about them that does leave a scar when they're razed.

    I love the story behind this poem as much as the words themselves. I can just see you stopping by the side of the road, Karen, and pouring out your heart with the ubiquitous device we all seem obliged to carry, if can't entirely love (and, if you're anything like me, cursing a couple times at correcting those inevitable typos!). :)

    The last two lines are especially poignant. Cows could teach us something about slowing down...if we stopped to listen.

  18. Titus - Thank you.Wish it weren't true!

    jason - We're making our tombstones, I'm afraid, Jason, in more ways than one.

    Kat - You're so funny!

    Pete - I see everything as book titles. Here's one I'm filing away: The Cows Turn Their Heads. (Okay, Kat...go for it.)

    Sarah - I love the look of those old barns, too, and miss them terribly when they finally succumb.

    EW - Thank you!

  19. This is so sad -- the passing of a way of life.

    And I love anything with a cow in it.

  20. Jinksy said (and I inadvertently deleted): Full marks for initiative and an unusual writing place as well as subject! LOL :0)

    Sorry, Jinksy. See above.

  21. Karen S. - Every time you comment, I do a double-take, thinking I've received some aberration in Blogger that leaves a comment from me! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  22. My friend, I am inclined to agree with the cows - I turn my head on certain aspects of progress! Inspirational prompt - engaging response!

  23. Kay - Not surprised by that. I understand it perfectly. Thanks.