Sunday, July 31, 2011

Magpie #76 Nelly the Windmill

Clack Clack clicky Clack
Now that I'm back on the farm
I can still hear her
clear as a bell
perpetual as motion
ingrained as sand
The Country Living I love
Listen up with ears of corn

clearly heard the
sound in my sweet sleep
Down on the Farm
fattened by daydreams

In a Grass grown hour I'd watch forever
The old windmill sunrise til sunset
as I remained tied to her oft changing winds
the seasoned by seasonal motion
the rhythm of life unleashed; wild and free
the peaceful corn stalking us
bobbing with the breezes this wall of green
writhing with energy into the elephant sky

the crickets, grasshoppers and frogs sing
even the rooster crows at odd hours
belieing his need for too much regulation
it's summer hours!
but never is the wind a sure thing
always so unpredictable
until Nelly sounded off her early wandering sounds
Clik Clak come back
you forgotten to batten down the hatches!

yet she
with her rickety old warning system
awaken me to these permanent changes
the snap of sudden storms
the run to uncover summer rain
the ducking every time she looks like she'll cut my fool head off

she's always on solid ground now
she's ground herself in deep
rooted like a tree; a place of permanence
she spins for me, and for the sky too
the elements made her rust
oxizidized through and through
a patch by any other name
makes her play on

which gets me to thinking
about her constant churning and turning
playing like an actress in an Ohio summerstock theatre
snake rattle and roll around
i hear the decades roll call
I'm better than those snake mounds anyday
come watch me play

her constant motion; uninterupted
legendary at times
now halted to a slow stop
until the next breeze blows
when will that be?
the kids always ask
go for a swim in the creek!

Nelly is to us
the world's first pioneer windmill
a huge fan of ours yet a far cry from those newfangled devices
that loom like a scene from War of the Worlds
take a holiday Nelly everyoone does or should
every once in awhile
during this brutal midsummer's midday heat
bask in the Sun, read a book

who's to blame Nelly for being stuck on herself
on a coquettish silent mode
on a dreary doldrum-like stillness
on a permanent work stoppage?

Yes, her creaking ceased but so very rarely
just as Summer has broken her promise
of staying well into October
Nelly's midday sweaty silence?
a reminder of the permanant-impermanance of Summer
fading away into memory's background
and life turning another page of the book
keep it open-ended this bookmark please!

Ah, the circle of life!
Nelly has really got that thing happening!
sure, she's lost some orange paint
yet still, she can outrun any wild horse
and skip through the lightest breezes to play with gale force winds
like a seasoned trooper she takes it
like a prairie gopher she hops to it
like a belle of the ball's her swirling skirt

Today the sun glints sideways
I pull away daisies from her caged mesh
her steely eye looks at me with anger
she sends sundagger arrays to my retinas
What is it Nelly?
you were made of the same metal they use to tin the roof last year
So What's your problem?
I narrow my eyes to see her in the midday sun
there she'll always remain, of this I am sure
as what remains is the past, born yesterday, revisited today
right now, for me in this instance, this instant time
the past finds the future ready to merge with right now
emerge as something slightly changed by the winds of time
by winds that always keep things moving
in a perpetual sort of way

my straw hat is dusty and dirty
my crows feet are itchy and an inch deeper today
etched or tattooed; a reminder
of a summer permanently afixed
focused on the vanishing line in that cornfield
and to the right, always right there, stood Nelly
it us this little line in here
where Nelly lives
years of summer sun and fun
maybe there's no cure for having
"the summertime blues"
or thus being branded

by time, by memories, by dreams
all fades to black sweep of turn out the lights
the farmers turn in early all is pitchfork dark
silent, or is it a breeze
Nelly? Waking up for the night?
like the crazy rooster?
for in my fields of lucid dreaming
I'm always planting something
bent over, weeding, raking, picking
pricking my finger on that enormous weed
bleeding my heart into the soil

no water from Nelly today
No wind to bid her dance another dance for me
still now
she stays
"mopping her face like a shoe"
with her orange hankerchief

I can still hear that constant racket
Old Nelly again!
clickity clack she must always stay intact
To continue on
AS Nature's Order of Sound
Our MidSummer Symphony plays again
drone of cicada
buzz of bee
crick of cricket
Make it last Make it last Make it Last
Coming in close to a second
Summer's gone before she starts!

Summer never to lack for luster
keeping alive the sounds
Yet Summer does summon
every ounce of recall
bouncing off the walls
only to reappear and
very last but not least
to slowly fade away

as each generation
please make last the great
familiar sounds
long past due of expiration date


Thank-you Tess Kincaid of Magpie Tales for the very prompt prompt this week (Sunday night?). Well I got up early with the birds this evening! Get back to the farm here;


  1. this strange but when i read your piece today i was stunned immediately for i find it so much like of what i've thought and did... yet no comparison to be raised... i love the personification you did... exquisite!(:

    btw, with regards the comment you put on my 'almost a home' poem.. the word 'mayas' there's actually a kind of native bird inhabited in our country - Philippines. i thought its name is known already in other half of the world.. so sorry for not including a proper reference in it.. thank you for your appreciations and i truly adore your presence over at my li'l space.

    Brightest blessings!(:


  2. Love the story... Nice one!

    I love the country living myself...


  3. oh my~ a rare piece, so important, i think, and the play of language! on and on i pointed as i read, i raised my hand. i almost felt foolish.

    some of my favorites:

    fattened by daydreams

    writhing with energy into the elephant sky

    playing like an actress in an Ohio summerstock theatre

    as what remains is the past, born yesterday, revisited today
    right now, for me in this instance, this instant time
    the past finds the future ready to merge with right now
    emerge as something slightly changed by the winds of time
    by winds that always keep things moving
    in a perpetual sort of way

    i'm sorry. have i quoted back your poem? i could go on!

    wonderful work! dylan thomas' Fern Hill is one of my favorites and of course, this brought me there.


  4. ah lovely sounds through out this and really enjoyed the journey through your personification..great feel and very well penned...

  5. Wow. I'll never see another windmill without thinking "Nelly" because you really made her live.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  6. Wow! What a tribute to Nelly!!

  7. whoa...this is so good...It has a certain rhythm to it...

  8. I love the idea of being "...fattened by daydreams..."

  9. Nice idea worked out at some length.

  10. Nelly's story was interesting :)

  11. Unique and lovely....beautiful writing!