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Sunday, 7 April 2019


The Sunday Muse #50

Many congratulations, Carrie, on a half century of Sunday Muses.
Here's to the next half century.

Carrie Van Horn posts another interesting picture prompt for our merry band of poets.

It reminds me a bit of our Union Jack Flag
(Maybe that's where our Brexit went!)

Photo by Lukasz Dziegel from Pexels

The Old Barn Gate

It's all but a distant memory to me now.
The hustle and bustle is conspicuous by it's absence.
I never knew such silence as this, in this special of all my special places. 
I can hear the eerie inactivity, ringing loudly in my ears, and it makes me sad.

I peep through the old heavy barn gates,
Locked and uninviting to one they once knew so well,
Hoping upon hope that something, somewhere remains intact.
My heart aches to see such unfriendly desolation ~ everywhere.

When I was a little girl this place was alive, vibrant, teeming.
Yet the ghosts of all those dear to me live on within my soul.
Everyone was happy, fulfilled and joyful in their work.
Farm hands laughed and bantered as they went about their trade.

The sound of cattle and horses and poultry permeated through the fragrant air,
On sleepy sunny afternoons, crying out, "It's good to be alive".
Sharp whistles from my father pricked a sheepdog's ear,
As he heeded to his much loved master's orders for his flock.

A combine harvester chattered as it reaped, winnowed and threshed it's prey,
A tractor laboured as it furrowed well manured land with it's heavy plough.
We followed with our seedlings, preparing for our next crop.
And Mom came with drinks and cookies, reminding us the cows need milking.

We worked from dawn 'til dusk but not one of us complained.
We loved the work and were at one with each other ~ one large, happy family.
Yet those days are gone, sadly a distant memory.
Mom got sick and died, then Daddy went soon after, with a broken heart.

Us four little ones had never seen a grown man cry.
Yet my Daddy sobbed and sobbed for over a week,
 and cuddled us for comfort, before his spirit left him too.
His faithful Shep whimpered constantly and would not leave his side.

Anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be my Daddy,
And the same goes for my dearest Mom.
They are buried in the family plot within the grounds,
And our dear Shep sleeps every night on my Daddy's gravestone, such was his love for him.

In the twinkling of an eye our lives were catapulted from bliss to absolute despair.
There was no-one close by to look after us, or the farm and animals which we loved so much.
Cruelly, our treasured home was sold and life as we knew it was closed to us ~ for ever,
As if behind the descending black curtain of finality.

Our home was gone, along with Mom and Dad, so Auntie Em took us in, far, far way.
I have not visited this place until today, half a lifetime forward,
But past memories were never far from me, both good and bad.
They remain still beating in my heart, treasured for ever.

Nothing and no-one can take these precious jewels away from me, no matter how hard they try.
For they are mine and mine alone.

* * * * * * * * 

Eddie Bluelights
7 April 2019

Ok. Several of you are very concerned about Old Shep, the sheepdog and wonder what happened to him.

Well here is the answer.

The new owners bought the farm as a going concern and kept all the farm hands for a while, but it was never the same again. They all left one by one.  The four children went to live with their Auntie Em in a far away State. I could have made Auntie Em into some sort of ogre, giving the children a hard time, but decided to put this story to bed by making her into a Wizard of Oz vafriety.  She was very kind to them, but they pined for their former life for a long while. Auntie Em kept in contact with the new owners so that she could give the children all the latest news about the farm.

Faithful old Shep stayed on with the new owner as a working sheepdog and they gave him a happy life, but he still slept on his former master's grave during the warmer summer months. When he died a few years later he was buried with his former master,  

A few years on the farm became insolvent and had to be wound up and today has no occupants.

When she heard that Shep had died the little girl, now not so little, said that she would like to think that her Daddy and Shep are shepherding a different kind of flock for Jesus, up in Heaven, and together with Mom they are very happy.

* * * * * * * * * * 

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They compliment one another very well


  1. What a lovely memory and story you have brought to life here Eddie! It is heartwarming and wistful! I thoroughly enjoyed the remembrance! Thank you again for spreading the word and your kind complimrnts! 😎

    1. Thank you Carrie, I've added a bit since you read it so I hope you come round again to see it. I woke this morning with an idea to say what happened to the little girl and her siblings and farm life. There were tears in my eyes as I wrote their story . . :)

  2. The echoes of old activities got to me--the silence where none should be. At the end, though, I wondered if I should recognize Auntie Em and what might have happened that she's not yet told us...

    1. Thanks, Chrissa . . . . I wonder myself about where and how Auntie Em fits in. Maybe she is like the one in The Wzard of Oz, a nice kind lady . . . . or maybe she is an ogre. Methinks readers would prefer the latter for a more dramatic story.

      To write a Part Two or not? Sometimes it is better to leave the reader 'hanging' . .
      Looking forward to visiting and reading your's tonight but meanwhile life of terra firma beckons . . :)

  3. I can feel those tears, the anxiety of the dog, the vanishing of the life so dearly remembered. Sigh. Yes, Part Two, please!

    1. Thanks, Sherry . . . have a few ideas . . . must put on my thinking cap again . . . :)

  4. This is a wonderful story and such clear memories, I could see it all. Poor Shep. They are truly loyal.

    1. Thank you . . . sorry don't know your name, but your comment is very encouraging. Yes a dog is very faithful and loyal . . . :)

    2. Purple in portlad is Sara 😎

    3. Ah, thanks Carrie . . . I'll remember that . :)

  5. Makes me think of the Gershwin song "They Can't Take That Away From Me", though this is about a place, rather than a person, for the most part.

  6. I am back and i love what you added Eddie! It adds a depth to the loss! Heartfelt and beautifully written!

    1. Thanks, Carrie . . . it needed the full story I think . . . :)

  7. Whimsical and poignantly told. Nicely done, Ed.

    1. Thank you Tess, How wonderful to see you here ~ just like our old Magpie Tales days. Best wishes . . and stay in contact . . :)

    2. Well, thank you. I'll defo be in touch!

    3. That will be nice, look forward to it . . :)

  8. Heartfelt and beautifully it.
    thank you for sharing your post

    1. Thank you very much for your kind comment. I am very pleased you liked my post . . . :)

  9. In the twinkling of an eye...just that quick. I wonder what happened to Old Shep...

    1. Hi Toni . . . Thanks for the comment.
      Yes . . . I think I have an answer for you regarding Old Shep.
      The new owners took him on as a working sheepdog and gave him a good life. The four children were living with Auntie Em in a different State miles away but they found out that when Old Shep died he was buried with his old master, and they now tend a higher flock in Heaven. How's that? . . . :)

  10. I really like your writing style, great info, you putting so much effort into this blog. thanks to share. with us.


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