Painting By: My Great Aunt "Phoebe Harney" (Circa 1916)
Where Ice Winds Blow
A mighty forest once graced the dell,
So green and lush, the lungs would swell.
The birds so numerous and full of vigour,
The skies back then so blue and bigger.
Our home was built long ago,
Where harmonies been and spirits grow.
Crystal waters blessed our land,
Along the mighty River Grand.
In life we toiled in rock and earth,
Our blood n’ sweat, death and birth.
Fate our own, belonged to none,
And everyday came the sun.
Alas the darkness brought its weight,
Outside the barn, the post of fate,
Trails in snow, deep red and black,
Each animal sacrificed n’ hung out back.
A child sobs his curse for food,
Eyes so flush his grief imbued.
Outside, the evening’s cold and damp,
While oil wick Flickers inside his lamp.
Melancholy howls, sing through the night,
T Wolves in prayer, under moon's light.
Sleep is restless, nightmares surge,
Drawn in fear where guilt’s converge.
Inside our haven, fire crackles with heat,
This prairie bungalow kept warm and neat.
Canning done, jars waxed and sealed,
now packed away, our autumn yield.
Winters barren lifeless thatch,
Bundled carefully behind the latch.
Fields now barren and covered in snow,
Whistling gusts, where ice winds blow.
About this Poem: A photo struck me in a Poetry contest I entered recently, called “Outback Shed”. The Photo prompt in the contest was of an old homestead in the Outback that conjured up a memory of a painting my great-aunt made and gave my grandfather in 1916 (100 years ago.) The painting, depicted above, is of a farm at night, where outside, clearly visible is a trail of blood leading into the barn…the painting left an impression on me for a long time, that I’ve just now expressed in this Poem. Life and times were very different 100 years ago but this painting will always remain chilling with a reminder to me that all life is precious…