The Upturned Barrow


Little beauty to be found
in the contents of an upturned barrow
just the weeds and dead ends
of summer’s final sighs

Our wheel, once punctured, now wobbled
the metal eaten by rust and rot
as rain water and a hot bake
came and went, and came and went

The water poured and in the breaks
it turned to fine wine, quenching
and soothing the fire lilies
brightening their tangerine blooms

Now and then the weeds returned
angrier until the clouds burst and
settled, together we cleared the decks
one last time, knowing it was done

As the heat returned I noticed again
beads of dew collected in the small of your back
the patch on your chest where I lay when
I’m vulnerable. I breathe in summer and you

Written for the Summer inspired Poetics prompt over at dVerse Poets


39 responses to “The Upturned Barrow

  1. Ah, your photo reminds me of a wheel barrow I once had. It spent the whole winter upside down under a tree…but it was plastic, not metal, so it didn’t rust. I really loved the feelings you expressed in the last stanza!

  2. i breathe in summer and you…really lovely intimate end to this…really cool journey as well from the wheel barrow and nice touch as well from water to wine….good stuff…

  3. Awww….you soppy git. I really like the image and se of the wheelbarrow- and now you say it- tthere have been so many times when I’ve seen those dried up bits in the bottom..and it has made me think of summers past- or the turning of the seasons- the part about the water in the breaks turning to wine was fantastic…Weeds- weeds always grow and life always goes on…and love? Well that’s a brucy bonus (I wonder if any of our US friends know what a brucy bonus is?)

    • Ha ha… good game good game… me and Brucey mentioned in the same paragraph, my work here is done! This one wasn’t just sweet summer though, more a metaphor for an unsettled year or two. I tried to be a little bit clever see… but that was my first mistake!

    • You know what – re-reading it- I missed a trick…the weeds returning? The punctured wheel…ok..I missed this! My bad….totally get it now- damn you stupid eyes and brain!

  4. There’s a wider analogy about time catching up with us here…. we live in a world where the barrows are sweeping pout the weeds and one day,t he weeds will sweep out the barrow.

  5. I like this very much, especially the opening and this line: “beads of dew collected in the small of your back” … Such a soft and surprising ending. One typo though, in the last line … “breath” should be “breathe.”

  6. i read this slowly…and re read it….letting it sort of roll on the palate of my tongue …giving it time to seep in…..and once it did….somehow it evoked thoughts about the cracks in our lives…relationships loves and what not and how its the fault lines that eventually add those wrinkles to life….nicely done !

    annd and whatnot…

  7. this was really an exceptional piece. Nice feel to the overall tone, the way it flowed, the metaphoric theme and just really a nice all around piece. Thanks

  8. Absolutely beautiful…..the sultry move from the earth to a lover is superb……….. Reminds me of a song I love ~
    “I envy the rain
    That falls on your face
    That wets your eyelashes
    And dampens your skin
    And touches your tongue
    And soaks through your shirt
    And drips down your back
    I envy the rain.”
    Absolutely perfect, Vanessa. ~ Love, Bobbie

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