Some are old and ramshackle and weather-worn,
stained green with rains, pollen, and moss,
rusted nails dissolving to dust, planks torn
yet entwined with vines, like braces with floss.
Some are herniated, like storm-busted ribs
and meander alongside forgotten property lines;
tumbled together, wound round like fairy cribs,
and others ramble idly near countryside signs.
Some are new and black, corralling quiet cattle
within rolling hills and valleys of bluegrass,
and some are so old they wobble, jitter, and rattle
like broken teeth as the breathing winds pass.
Some fences are fortified with cedars and ferns
that grow up beside them, along their chains,
and some are stitched alongside the twists and turns
of creeks and rivers, dividing fields and flood plains.
Some are a few thin wires between metal poles
that buzz like wasps and sting like electric bees,
and some are spiked with barbwire in spiraling rolls
that covetously guard the bourbon distilleries.
Some are lovely picket fences, each so bright white
that it seems Tom Sawyer paints them each day,
whereas others are colonial, ricked up just right
in their split-rail style, zig-zagging this and that way.
And then there are the fences that divide each heart
along tribal loyalties—by town, by city, by clan,
by race, by creed, by gender, by whichever serrated part
that divides the Heartland with the prejudices of Man.
Stephen Marshall. Writer, illustrator, layabout. Find him on Amazon, maybe. He has paperback and kindle books listed there. He seems to have a knack for the Romance genre, much to his chagrin. Having pursued Children's literature he is particularly proud of his Children's novel series "Lost And Found", which begins with "Chloe Among The Clover", continues recently with "Stormy Within The Strawberry Patch" and may, in some future potentiality, culminate with "Candice Through The Picket Fence". These are novels for children (including his insistent nephew), but they are also written for adults who are children at heart. His short story collection, "The Eldritch Diaries", centers primarily upon Cosmic Horror and Body Horror, combining Lovecraft's mythos with the motifs of Sigmund Freud. His largest poetry collection, "Broken Crown Kings", contains over two hundred poems and two short novellas concerning the fleeting nature of the world and Man's place within it. Recently he has published a smaller book of poetry concerning Kentucky, Moonshine, and Ghosts called "Moonshine And Spirit Chasers". A much larger collection, entitled '"Nevermore" 99 Rhymes For $0.99' is also available. For those seeking supernatural and folklore, his collection "Weeping Cherry" is available also. The copy in print features original watercolor illustrations.
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