Sunday, October 4, 2009

MICHIGAN FARM, 1940s

Ox Team, 1911, Mesick

Michigan Farm, 1940s

Our grandparents came before
the virgin forests were cut.
They blasted and burned,
denuding fields cleared to the horizon,
revealing light shows at sunset
and the late night aurora borealis,
which entertained us in childhood.

When we were small, we could lie down
on prairie grass and stubble;
native weeds so brittle,
they held us up above the earth
like eastern mystics on a bed of nails.

Our father cursed that sod
when he plowed the quarter acre
garden in those fallow fields
that had failed him years before
forcing him to take a city job.

Over farmed, the Sandy loam
that remained, was held firmly
only by sod which went dry in summer,
under the sun's hot eye,
siphoning water from the surface,
as the rest, on deeper levels
sought its way to lake level

We should have worshiped
the quack grass with its matted roots;
thanked it for holding the topsoil,
and preventing the relentless prairie wind
from taking what little dirt was left.


Well Readers, I am finally back from many summer distractions, including eye surgery to mend a macular hole, which caused a distortion in the center of my vision. I am still trying to catch up with both the yard, house and creative work that was left undone. Things seem to be improving, and I am able to use the computer again. Please be patient and expect that my return to this blog will be a slow process.


Writing and Images are the © Copyright of Ruth Zachary, as of the date of this post.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A MOTHERLESS DAUGHTER


A Motherless Daughter. Vintage Montage by Ruth Zachary


As she grew, her mother's photograph
Peered down over the top of the piano,
somber light eyes grave and stern
watched while she learned the keys
making magic chords transcribed from
sounds the spirits played upon her skin,
scales fingered in wordless harmonies there.

Her mother's picture hung upon the wall,
sainted now having died of scarlet fever
days after giving birth. She too, had scarce
escaped, found hanging off the bed
in her long nightdress, up-side-down,
like a cat in a sack, hem held fast
under her mother's body, she had been
scooped up by a watchful grandmother.

Sometimes she felt her grandma’s arms
holding, rocking, until sleep came and dreams,
where she could sink into a warm watery world,
where breath did not matter, and the universe
pulsed in her head, keeping steady rhythms
and harmonies, until surrendering, she could
escape those relentless haunting fears.

Sometimes at night, sleep refused
to carry her away, and she would float, adrift,
the raft of bed pushed hard against her back;
body pressed tight between deep
bedding, and weighted darkness.
Overhead, a cold dark cloud seemed to scream,
but she had no breath; no voice, no light.


*This post is out of sequence and should be placed following the entry of Dec. 12, 2008.


All Images and Writing are the exclusive property and Copyright of Ruth Zachary.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A COUNTRY BOY

Farm Boy. Photo Montage by Ruth Zachary.
Click on bottom to see enlarged view.

In a Pig’s eye

Heart pounding,
he knew the pig knew.
It screamed before
the knife struck its throat.
The pig knew he was the predator,
having already heard
six brothers bellow their last curse
in rage and terror.

But …
this one looked him in the eye
as its blood soaked the ground.
He was the last sight
in the the dying pig's glare.
He saw his own silhouette
fade slowly in its gaze;
felt his own seventeen year old
innocence disappear, deaden.

Work incomplete,
he used the gun on the last two.
Avoided that last accusing look,
But it was too late to escape
the wound inscribed
in his own breast,
scar etched into memory.

That night he wrote,
"Butchered hogs today.
Stuck 7, shot 2."

Images and poems are the exclusive copyright of Ruth Zachary.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

KINGSLEY GRADUATING CLASS 1904

Lillian's 10th Grade Graduation. 1904 Lillian at right. Click on image for larger view.


An Unfair Portion

It was always my lot in life to receive
the lesser portion of good fortune.

My sister was given great
talent as an artist, but I received
not half as much, a talent I coveted,
as I longed with all my heart
to excel at something; God
only knows how much, and why
my sister was taken to Heaven
never to use her great gift on Earth.

I was saddened by the death
of my elder sister following
childbirth. I wanted a child, myself,
but the fruit of my womb was
a tumor, removed in my teens
which made me childless.
I might have been the one taken.
Or, I might have raised my niece,
but I was still a school girl at the time,
and my mother became attached
to the child, spoiling her lavishly,
unlike myself or my sisters.

I wanted to be a teacher,
but the education required
was not available to me,
as it was later for my niece,
seen to by my own parents.

God took my sister to his bosom
while I endured to struggle on,
endeavoring to learn the lessons
of deprivation that were my lot,
for all my ninety-eight years.

Since music was my only talent
I served the Lord in hymns of praise,
thankful for the meager gifts I was given,
and I surrendered my life to the will
of God, and made it my mission
to be an adamant witness to others
On the behalf of righteousness,

a habit that did not endear me to them.


This poem is the Copyright of Ruth Zachary