for dVerse: Drought


The Aftermath

My sister has a photograph,
a study in monochrome,
and it’s a story of not
what you actually see,
but what was once there.

An ox stood there once,
stood in prairie grass
that reached belly high,
and there was a red barn

for shelter, a farmhouse
filled busy with noise.
Orchards. Apples. Windfall.
Water drawn from the well.

But what you actually see
is a scrawled landscape.
Stone-dry. A tick’s scourge
with a clay chimney standing
like a lone arm stretched,

and an ox skull staring
with its eye socket frozen
toward a barren nowhere.
It’s a past buried
that refuses to die.



Soon to be published in The D’Verse 2016 Anthology. Written for dVerse “Drought” Photo is from the US National Archive on Flickr. No restrictions: CC0

11 responses to “for dVerse: Drought”

  1. An interesting point of view, Marilyn! This poem brings the story teller out in you. I can see letting a mind wander to flesh out the tale, but you bring such heart to it on its own! Superb.


    1. My sister actually has a photo (B&W) of an old dilapidated barn with the sun-bleached bones of an ox on the ground. The soil is completely dry and cracked. I wish she’d give me a copy of that photo…


  2. “a barren nowhere’is quite chilling…may be that’s what we’ve already turned this world into….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It sounds like a tick’s scourge. I think he sucked it dry. Thanks, it sounds like a long time ago

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like this story inspired by the photo. But there are real landscapes like this abounding. So many deserted places on the face of our earth. I’m afraid there will be more and more as time goes by. Excellent work.


    1. I think so, too, and I fear it’s too late to set it right.


  5. So well done. A photo that is actually of what is not there. That absence, captured by the camera.


  6. Fossil Records of
    Drought and
    Deluge same
    in Nautilus
    are paltry
    built.. what
    comes in wet
    or dry leaves a foot
    print in sand
    or Stone.
    and haha..
    noW as rains refuse to
    dry up on webs that never fALL..
    in server
    draw noW
    and pAint
    in Nautilus
    sheLL hALL..;)


    1. *stately or
      not are
      as gOld
      sAMe foR noW..;)


  7. I thought the A tick’s scourge and ending lines captured it very well Misky.
    It’s a past buried
    that refuses to die.

    A haunting photo it must have been.


  8. Hello Misky!

    Can you please contact me at ? Thanks!


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