The Friday Poem on 30/06/23
We chose ‘Big Barn Migration’ by D. W. Evans to be our Friday Poem this week because so many of its phrases offer an arresting idea or image – the barn as a bird about to take off; rust running down the chopping block; the spiders’ webs in the “gallows joints” of the beams. It is colourful, noisy, and full of life, with everything seen just a little bit askew. We enjoy the sonic echoes running through it – barn / intoned /can / sang / banged / gone – and its confident, worldly tone.
Big Barn Migration
The bowed roof of the side-less barn
shows and tells two things easily:
firstly, red oxidised neglect runs like bloody farewells
spilling over the wooden block reserved for chicken necks;
secondly, for years it’s screeched, intoned,
hummed intentions of leaving the field next storm,
eloping with gales of November when it can.
‘No bugger will miss me,’ it sang,
screamed, banged, ‘until I’m gone!’
For decades rainwater’s run through pitted holes,
revealed moons in the wake of lost galvanised washers;
singled out clusters, novel pin-prick constellations
lucky spiders can wonder at –
a remapped universe, a pitted planetarium!
FREE ENTRY for all arachnids that care to look up
from taut homes in jaunty nooks of gallows joints
or those disputed fishing spots under gutters
where nets hang heavy with juicy fat baubles –
each little body saved like a thermos of liquidised supper.
After sixty pre-fab years the barn enjoys its epilogue,
joining the colours of autumnal music –
I mean the late season pageant:
rust days following winsome yellows and crimson intentions.
The wind rises, Big Red flexes ready to fly
like the two failed farmers under its arches
and all the owls it ever homed.