What Once Was
We stayed at "The Homestead" on my Uncle's farm at Christmas and there are many really old things lying around. They make me wonder what they once were and are proof that possessions are all going to fade away and turn to dust.
I walked around "The Grave Yard" which is full of ancient (and not so ancient) vehicles, machinery and huge piles of rusty things. There are also lots of sheds and cottages full of old things. The place that once was a stable is closed up and the tack room now has bottles of poison in it. Along with some hooks over which is draped rotting bridles and other spider web and dust covered things. A bowl of rusted horse shoe nails sit on a shelf next to a brush (for horses coats) that is entangled in webs of thread and dust. A scattering of mouse eaten feed lies in the bottom of the places where horse food once filled. Cows, chooks and dogs are the only animals on the farm. Coal mines are buying nearby properties and knocking down forests. Paddocks where cattle once grazed are now a pit in which mine vehicles rumble.
So I wrote a poem and as you can see/guess it is here, (well not exactly here, down the page a little). It is not a rhyming poem which is unusual for me, but a poem does not need to rhyme.
What Once Was
Old harnesses hanging in the shed
High and dusty, sitting on a rail
I look up there and wonder
I see them and think
What was it like back then?
What things did those harnesses pull?
Old cart slumped in the grass
Cart wheels and rotting frame sag
I see it drooping and ponder
I gaze at what is left
Where are the horses that pulled it?
Who sat in the driver’s seat?
Old windmill standing all alone
Timeworn, broken in its age
I see it twisted and I reflect
I watch it standing still
Where are the tank and trough?
Who once built the windmill here?
Old cottages sinking into the ground
Timbers falling apart onto the dirt
I watch the stillness and wonder
I see no movement any more
Who lived here, long ago?
Where are their children, grandchildren now?
Old car under a peppercorn tree
Bonnet covered in rust
I run my hand over the lichen
I frown over the rust and contemplate
Who bought this car when shiny new?
What places did it drive?
I can only guess because things just don’t last
Old is all that’s left of what once was
Those days away have passed.