Tag Archives: Land


Asking six hundred thousand

Six hundred twenty thousand dollars

For that place.

Honestly, for that place?

The little farmhouse, larded with the excresence addition, no windows.

Fixed shutters, crude, coarse, wrong.

The garage with the convenience store roof.

Crisp white fences, manicured lawn in front.

The barn repainted.

Ten acres, trees girdled, land overgrazed, pond churned to mudhole.

They’ll get it, of course.

Someone with more money than sense will buy it

Indifferent to the abused history, the misused land.

You can’t make a living off the hobby barn. Too small.

You’ll need to be repainting that fence, again.

You’ll be wanting boarders, well, not wanting, but needing.

People who haven’t yet bought their country property, people who need a place for their horses.

People who treat your house as theirs, your things as theirs, you as their paid help.

People outraged by what you charge, honestly, you should pay them for the honor of having dear Scout in your barn. Well, he kicks, but he’s highly bred.

You might want to be making peace with the neighbors, but they’ll know, of course.

They’ll remember how the house used to be, how many people have tried to make it there.

Shoehorning too many horses onto weary land. Hosting boarders who flounce.

It’s not that kind of neighborhood. ¬†We drive tractors, not sports cars. We talk crops.

We shake our heads.

Six hundred thousand. Six hundred twenty thousand.


Angle of repose

Such a good thing.

An excellent book.

That slope at which a hill will not fall, will not move inexorably down, felling trees, sweeping rocks, engulfing roads, sucking houses into a muddy maelstrom.

That slope at which a hill resides.

Needful for engineering, for mining, for those who see mountains move, who know the consequences.

For the rest of us, that hill just is. Is there.

It is quite absurd that a hill should move.

As absurd that a mountain should explode, or a city tremble and collapse, or a landscape be swept by inferno. Or an ocean rise.

Living here now, I know these things can be true, I have seen the aftermath.

I know that the world changes. People hurt. People die. There is loss.

But we go on. We live still. By the river, by the sea, by the mountain. In knowing that epic change may happen, we go still to the brink.

Being there, being still, we become a fragment of the landscape. Deeper vision, deeper hearing, deeper roots.

Earth abides, and so, presently, do we.

Regardless of wind and water, falling leaves, passing time, we seek our angle of repose.

Relatively immobile, still, while the world moves on about us. Rooted here, in the still.



The Gate

The gate remains.
The fence is gone, gone long ago, but the gate remains.

I prefer it closed, which I know is absurd.
But there is solidity in a closed gate, there is definition.

From the street, the open gate invites travelers, passersby, to enter. To come up the driveway, past the house, into the sanctuary of the back.

I dislike travelers moving into my space, my haven.

So I close the gate, as I close drawers and push chairs under tables and straighten pictures. Because that is the truth of them, that is their proper resting place.

As is mine. Resting in place. Solaced in the angle of repose.