Thursday, May 09, 2019

Too Soon Gone

Lyle Hill, aka goatman, died March 22, 2019, from complications of multiple myeloma. To all those who followed his blog postings and whose blogs provoked his grins, groans, growls, and laughter, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping to lighten his load as he dealt with his illness during the past nine years. He did consider you his friends.


Monday, December 03, 2018


This old piano in this old house of neighbors (wish I had known them, but I arrived late). One can only imagine the harsh acoustics and tinkling-sound of the old tunes' notes  -- I found no music sheets.  How  it must have been a great pleasure to family and neighbors, especially in the days before REA electric brightened the scene and the evenings.
House is now in disrepair.  Once the roof goes, the structure goes, eventually.  I haven't been back in several years so maybe the piano is still there.  Probably, as it is long abandoned and very heavy.

Usually not much left of old lives -- a tombstone and a memory, if you're lucky.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

WW One (The Great War. The Last War)


Under his helmet, up against his pack,
After so many days of work and waking,
Sleep took him by the brow and laid him back.

There, in the happy no-time of his sleeping,
Death took him by the heart. There heaved a quaking
Of the aborted life within him leaping,
Then chest and sleepy arms once more fell slack.

And soon the slow, stray blood came creeping
From the intruding lead, like ants on track.

Whether his deeper sleep lie shaded by the shaking
Of great wings, and the thoughts that hung the stars,
High-pillowed on calm pillows of God's making,
Above these clouds, these rains, these sleets of lead,
And these winds' scimitars,
-Or whether yet his thin and sodden head
Confuses more and more with the low mould,
His hair being one with the grey grass
Of finished fields, and wire-scrags rusty-old,
Who knows? Who hopes? Who troubles? Let it pass!
He sleeps. He sleeps less tremulous, less cold,
Than we who wake, and waking say Alas! 

Sunday, October 14, 2018


Elgie Tapp's barn.
  He was a neighbor down from Chicago to central Missouri in the 50's to purchase 200 acres to farm with mules and raise a family.  Refractory clay was found on the land,  and extracted to form four fish ponds (after) and at 20 cents a ton was enough to purchase a tractor and mechanized equipment.

The barn and he are gone now but the structure lasted as long as it could with a compromised roof.
Made of  local oak and nailed when oak was new and soft.  Over the years oak becomes very hard and must be drilled before a nail is possible.

Oddly enough I found a poem about barns:


What holds up
the toothless barns;
their sun-bleached beams
textured and warmed
to the touch;
alive with memories
and long forgotten hay?

Oh, those winds, do blow
howling through
each opening
trying to force open,
the resistance of owls-
eyes and feathers
softly occupying
rafters without pigeons

You’ve sloped,
here and there,
into the body
of the landscape,
surrounding you

You’ve sheltered
young lovers, vagrants,
and beer-drinking youth
in your senior years
Loyal and steadfastly
upholding your purpose-
refusing to retire

Your beautiful bleached bones
familiar etchings
across lines
where land meets
blue skies-

The sun
sets and rises
around you-
You, that
holds time