The old barn

A respectful pilgrim
In the portal of a sanctuary
I stopped to look
At the scene, astonished.
“All around, on every peg
Harnesses hanging
Dust-covered equipment, cobwebby
Trappings of horses
In one corner a furze-crusher
And other disguised tools”
Museum or ossuary?
Open to the four winds
No need of a door
These things were left
And who would come to take them?
It’s hardly with leather
That bicycles are harnessed
And it’s not with dwarf-furze
That they are fed.

The stable

The door is closed. Locked.
Its windows well hidden in the tall grass
One old horseshoe remains
On the stone horseblock
On the half-moon shaped window
There is still a pair of hobbles.

The well

The iron and wood bucket is rusty.
The chain of the winch is red
Moss is growing on the step
And tall grass between the stones
Green with moss
Are its five cornerstones.
Modest ivy hides
The dislodged stone at the well-top
In which a sparrow nests.

June 1967.
Translated by Lenora Timm

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