Thursday August 12th, 2010

The exercise:

On the way to Burrowing Owl there are a couple building remnants which date back about a hundred years, to when the area was ruled by cattle ranching. I've been wanting to get a picture of them and this morning I finally had a chance to bring my camera with me:

So today we're going to use that picture to inspire our writing. Tell a story during that barn's construction, it's glory days, its current condition, whatever.


The sign says keep out,
But I don't think that I will.
I'll just take a peek,
Since I've got some time to kill.

It smells old in here,
Worse than my grandma's attic;
There's not much to do -
Very anticlimactic.

I guess I'll climb up
And maybe look for some bats.
Nope, no luck up here,
Just more dirt and some stray cats.

Here kitty, kitty,
Let me give you a wee scratch.
That's... was that a crack?
I hope the ground's a good catch...


Greg said...

Burrowing Owl is a great place-name! Is that where the restaurant you were delivering the corn to is located? I like the view of the barn, it looks solid and reassuring (from this distance) somehow, though your poem tells a different story.... I love the second verse, especially the last line.


"So why's it called Burrowing Owl?" Jim leaned against an upright for the barn and wiped the sweat from his brow. Raising a barn wasn't an easy job and they needed to have the roof up before the rain started.
Natalie, still hammering nails into the rafter to hang the shingles on, didn't look up. "Martin, the historian, lives on the corner of Main; well he says it's a corruption of Burrowing Cow. Apparantly there was this cow that liked to dig--"
Jim's snort of laughter cut her short.
"He saw you coming there, girl!" he said. "Cows don't dig, there's nothing under the ground for them." He jumped as a heavy shingle hit the ground just inches away from his foot.
"That had better have been an accident," he warned.

Zhongming said...

Living alone most of the time
Feeling calm and peaceful
Never thought about looking around
Until someone is in deep trouble

I tried to communicate
As I could feel her agony is growing rapidly
And her patience soon ran out

Her angry thoughts made me feel sad
As I tried to enter into her world
But rejection is all I get

Love soon turned into hatred
Unable to forgive what I did
Only avoidance awaits me
And she left without a word

The one that I see is not the real one
The real one has a pure heart
Where did that pure heart disappeared to
It is always hidden within

Heather said...

Marc- I enjoyed your bit of poetry. Cute. We have some great old barns in this area, which is surprising when you consider how large the city is; not huge, but certainly not anything small.

Greg- I liked the story. It totally sounds like my group of friends, except I am not sure they would miss.

And yet another piece of non-fiction. What are you doing to me???
We sat high in the mow,touching rafters with broken pieces of straw and talking about the things young kids talked about in those days: Madonna, Guess Jeans, and who liked who. The hunts for new litters of kittens were merely an excuse to find some privacy from the adults and space from the youngest of the human litters. My sister was jumping from bale to bale, pretending to be a gymnast and choreographing her routine around the thin shafts of light that seeped around the wooden slatted walls. Leap. Twirl. Arms extended high. Twirl. Leap. Toes pointed for effect. And then she disappeared.

"Jenny?" I called, suddenly afraid. There was no response. My body stiffened a bit more and I slowly went to look for her. Peering over the bale she was last standing on, I saw her body in a heap, muddied and shaking slightly, two floors down. It was only then that I realized the trap door had given way.

Marc said...

Greg - it is (Burrowing Owl Estate and Winery, to be exact). It's also an actual type of owl, which I'd not heard of before moving here :)

The barn looks reasonably well put together - the house across the street, on the other hand... I should post that picture some time.

I suspect that there's no such thing as a Burrowing Cow, but I suppose one can't be sure of anything these days...

Zhongming - I really liked your final two verses. Very nicely done.

Heather - the image of the shafts of light is very captivating in your scene.

Also: good lord, was she okay?