Them Logs


logs

The logs that was put in that barn
are up there until this day, an’ it turns out,
they were made by my Gran’pa
an’ were a part of his home a mile up this here creek
where he lived an’ where my kinfolk are resting.
Those logs are older than my Ma.
She was borned in that house after they moved there,
an’ she was borned ‘round 1891.

Yep, them logs has been there some.

An’ the house was there an’ them logs,
an’ twice since we’ve taken over the land,
since they all be gone an’ sweetly passed away,
someone has approached me to buy them logs.
An’ the first one offered me eighty dollars for the logs.
An’ Lord knows, we needs the money
‘cept I can’t sell them. They’s history in em.

They are still sound ‘cept where they’re layin’ on the ground.
The ones that were axed an’ are in the earth,
look as perfect as the day they were put there!
An’ it was only last week that my kinfolk that live up there
said some man ask him to talk to me could he buy them.
An’ they had been there that long.
But I reckon I won’t sell them,
cause they has my Gran’pa’s sweat in them.
At least eighty-five years since I’ve been here.
An’ my Pa–there’s his axe marks
where he made them, on them very same logs.

Before the Chestnut Blight (Part I)


chestnuts

 

Old people had them a sayin’,
that when the chestnuts bloomed,
they were so tall they stood straight
up above them other trees,
‘n they’d say ‘the snow is in the Mountain.’

Well, we had chestnut trees,
before the blight come in.
When my daddy cleared the ground,
you know to farm –
it was covered with chestnut trees.
He’d sifted out about an acre of chestnut trees,
for our pikcin’ up use.

‘N when they would get ready ‘n start falling.
We would get our sacks ‘n buckets ‘n stuff,
‘n the men would get up in the trees with big poles
‘n they’d thrash them out ‘n we’d pick em up

But, when they fall, usually the burrs open on the tree,
‘n they fall as they come down.
You don’t ever touch that burr,
you get those needles in your fingers, that’s bad.
You stay away from that.
You just pick the chestnuts up. They’re on the ground.
Now ‘n then you find a burr open with the chestnuts in it
‘n you can take your foot, if you got shoes on,
‘n step on them, ‘n they’ll come out.
After it frosts, they’re easy.

Anyways, we’d get them in them sacks
‘n take them to the chicken house, ‘n hang them in thar,
the empty house, it had been a chicken house,
but we had et the chickens, ‘n it were empty.

You hardly ever, at that time,
a chestnut with a worm in it.

 

Kingdom of the Child


Why do you weep, my child?
How long have you been sitting here, trembling
beneath these glossy-green leaves of the Banyan,
heavy laden with delicious figs?

Why are you frightened so?
The world is no bigger than you can handle
in any given moment, and you are not alone!
I promise.

Why do you moan, my precious one?
Have I not taught you the melodies
of your father’s father?
Shall I sing for you the soothing songs of your village
where you played “Mboo-bay Mboo-bay”
with your brothers and sisters?

Why such silence, my dear?
Do you not know that the sound of your voice
is as a thousand angels laughing and giggling
beside the cool riverbed.

Why do you hide from me?
Have I not held you warmly in my embrace
and rocked you to and fro
when you were frightened by the lions roar?

You know me, sweetness.
I rule the world with a benevolent hand
as I dry your tears, carry your burdens,
sing your songs, play your games
and hold you close.

Come, offer me your hand and rule with me.
Let us spin the earth like a child’s toy
as we munch on afternoon clouds
and drink oceans from a silver cup.
To your feet, my child.
We have other children
beneath other Banyans
that need our love and reassurance.