Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rocking Horse Rider: Totally Optional Prompts


The Rocking Horse Rider

When he was three or so
his Pa whittled a flute
slipped the willow bark to wood
smooth and white
as cream in a brown bucket

At twelve
too tall for his stallion
he remembers the secret bones
of his small hands
stretched to match
the long wooden bones

Rocking he sang
John Daddle he dreamed
that his daddy was dead
and his daddy he dreamed
that John Daddle was dead....

He remembers shadows
of clustering leaves
across the scrubbed walls
of his house
rising and falling like dark fish
in clear water
he remembers a whistling
of barn owls
blinded by sunrise
remembers the wooden horse
lifting him far beyond the horizon
of cornfields
on wind whistling over the hills
like a slip-bark flute




From: In Willie's House. The photo is of my dad, taken circa 1910.

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12 comments:

Jo said...

Love this, so atmospheric! And we both wrote about barn owls, how cool!

LJCohen said...

"slipped the willow bark to wood
smooth and white
as cream in a brown bucket"

Great use of sound and rhythm here.

enjoyed.

tumblewords said...

I like this - the photo is such a reminder of the past and the words are so current and full of life.

Andy Sewina aka Danny Wise said...

I can almost hear the slip bark flute - wonderful imagery.

paisley said...

the simple joys are oft times the most memorable aren't they?????

gautami tripathy said...

Very nostalgic feel to it. That picture is worth thousand words.

Dick said...

A wonderfully sustained sense of dream & memory.

Alan Bender said...

I hear the lonesome flute.I remember and so does my dad. Family Treasures

Tiel Aisha Ansari said...

Reminds of the old ghost story "Rocking Horse Winner".

Endment said...

Great match of poetry and photo. I have a rocking horse from the past but it is in a box out in the shed - sigh

kimberley said...

The piece is like silk, pulling me along until the last silken lines:

lifting him far beyond the horizon
of cornfields
on wind whistling over the hills
like a slip-bark flute

wendy said...

I have this in thr book. Makes me giddy to say that...like I am in the inner circle..owning copies of your words on the real page.

lalala hehehe!