‘Rendering Ruins’ by Leland James The Society April 12, 2022 Beauty, Poetry 14 Comments . Rendering Ruins A barn abandoned, left to drift alone, wind torn and breached upon the reef of time; fields, now dust, where summer wheat was sown, the wagons heaped with grain stood long in line to fill the grange of this once mighty ship, now but a shadow, listing, ghostly gray. Raw winds and pelts of rain how cruelly whip the wounded roof and soak the rotted hay —the roof, an April green in days before, a farmer’s name upon it stitched in white. This ark of kittens, bawling calves, no more. A rat gnaws on a crib, the final rite. Yet on this easel, raised by bardic hand, forgotten barns, forgotten not, still stand. . . Leland James is the author of five poetry collections, four children’s books in verse, and a book on creative writing and poetry craft. He has published over three hundred poems worldwide including The Lyric, Rattle, London Magazine, The South Carolina Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New Millennium Writings, The American Poetry Review, The Haiku Quarterly, The American Cowboy, and The Ekphrastic Review. He was the winner of the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award and has won or received honors in many other competitions, both in the USA and Europe. Leland has been featured in American Life in Poetry and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. www.lelandjamespoet.com & https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/leland-james NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 14 Responses jd April 12, 2022 Lovely. Thank you. You’ve created beauty where none seemed to exist. Reply Wayne April 12, 2022 well spoken, thank you Reply kate farrell April 12, 2022 I like your poem – shades of “A Forgotten Garden” by A.C. Swinburne? Reply Paul Freeman April 12, 2022 Refreshingly unique. Thanks for the read, Leland. Reply Cheryl Corey April 12, 2022 This poem evokes a sense of nostalgia and sadness for all the once-sturdy red barns that are now slowly falling apart. The only question I have is regarding the line, “Raw winds and pelts of rain how cruelly whip”, shouldn’t it read “now cruelly whip”? Reply Leland James April 13, 2022 Actually, either one would have a correct sense. I meant “how ” as an intensifier. Idiomatic. Thanks for reading. Leland Reply Joseph S. Salemi April 12, 2022 In line 5 of this poem, note that Leland is using the word “grange” as an unusual metaphor. The word literally means a large barn, or a farmhouse with its attached land and properties. But Leland speaks of the grange as a “once mighty ship,” and the metaphor’s terms are reversed — “grange” now means the hold of a sailing vessel rather than a barn. This involuted metaphor is deliberate, since in the previous quatrain Leland had described the ruined barn as “drift[ing] alone, wind-torn and breached upon the reef of time.” These are clear nautical and marine references, and they are reinforced in the third quatrain, where he speaks of the barn as an “ark.” A less accomplished poet might have just said “This ruined barn is like a shipwreck.” But Leland had created a dazzling fictive artifact that goes far beyond that simplicity. Reply Leland James April 13, 2022 Yup. Reply Cynthia Erlandson April 12, 2022 Absolutely beautiful description and metaphorical composition that evokes — instead of wallowing in— deeply meaningful emotional responses. Reply Margaret Coats April 12, 2022 Leland, your powerfully painted poem makes me think of the poisoning of the Vendee land by genocidal French revolutionaries. The demonic leftists were not satisfied with killing the human population that had resisted revolution; they did their best to render the region incapable of future farming. Evidence of this appalling crime against humanity and nature still stands in ruined barns and fields of bizarre weeds, even after more than 200 years. Although you don’t mention any reason for your barn’s abandonment, your poem applies well to the loss of civilized cultivation anywhere, for any reason. Reply Leland James April 13, 2022 Thanks to all who connected with this poem. Your comments are more than appreciated, they are sustenance to me. Some poets write to express themselves to themselves–and I think this is a wonderful aspect of poetry, self discovery. I am not of this group. Without a reader, for me, I, as a poet, do not exist (might be after I’m dead, but still there is for me an essential element of the motivation to write). A message for me needs a receiver. I do not want to be a tree in the forest that falls and no one hears. God bless the spirit of the tree that strong. So, thanks for taking the time to comment. It means much. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant April 15, 2022 This is an exquisitely beautiful poem that is an absolute privilege to read… the beauty of being a member of this site. Thank you, Leland! Reply Leland James April 15, 2022 Thanks. As I was saying. I do appreciate any who read my poetry. In our “classical” world a rare and valued thing. Reply Gary May 4, 2022 Wow! What a fine piece of Poetry, Leland. Loved reading it. the mood, the word choice, the pictures! and how it fits and flows together to make a perfect whole. Congrats! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.