Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Litany of Abandon

Abandoned Farm, Dublin , Ohio
posted by Tess kincaid for Magpie Tales #81

Old New England orchards, we deserted thee
for rush of golden nuggets far away.
Textile mills of America we abandoned thee
for tight embrace of cheaper Chinese robes.
Leather shoes of Maine, we have forsaken thee
for China boot that keeps us right in step.
Electric Narragansett, we subsumed thee
in National Grid of Great Britain to enlighten us.

Oil of Middle East, transport us, we pray thee,
to bigger boxes just around the corner
from shuttered malls of commerce, now for sale.
Churches of our youth, we surrendered thee,
to temples made for homage paid to art.
Mansions that we built in this past decade
cry tears from blackened windows in the night,
awaiting auctioneers and foreign buyers.

Posted for


  1. Ann~ A melancholy truth in this beautiful poem.


  2. A scathing yet mournful look at everything that's gone wrong in the last generation, both the wounds we've done ourselves and th ones that have been visited upon us by the greedy. The last lines echo as if spoken in a room of that abandoned place in the photo. Excellent writing, Ann.

  3. wow...what have we come to? given up we have fallen hard...the empty windows one of the hundreds of thousands of foreclosures...ugh...this is our lifetime...

  4. Yes so pathetic what things have come to, just foreclosure after foreclosure, great piece.

  5. Wow, this hurts. Our future hangs uncertain... in others' hands. Well written.

  6. this is excellent...tight write even though it's written in an old language style...the message is so up to date...Leather shoes of Maine, we have forsaken thee
    for China boot that keeps us right in step....was the image that hit me most..

  7. An angry write that hits hard. Liked it. // Peter.

  8. Very enlightening poem, it saddens me to think about what we have come to...

  9. Progress is not all it's cracked up to be - and by the time we realise that it is often too late to turn back.
    Excellent writing!

  10. a good mix of anger and sadness in this-- hits home!

  11. Your Magpie is incredible! In its honesty, in its message ...

  12. This is very elegaic-- I only question your premise regarding churches. The church has assisted the survival of numerous artists and artisans over the centuries-- Michelangelo, Mozart et cetera. Think of Bach and his jubilant Mass in B Minor. He never signed his name-- only soli dei gloria-- as in composed to the glory of God. And then we have the art of our human design of God-- we see God in mystical and poetic terms-- i.e. the Holy Trinity and we laud God in the Eucharist, a ritual infused with poetry. xxxj

  13. Thanks so much for reading everyone. I am not happy with this poem. I hadn't been writing, since we were without electricity for a week and I really wanted to submit something for both prompts. I rushed and the whole is a muddle. I'll try to revise it.

    I did not make my meaning clear in the poem about the churches. Here in Rhode Island many churches of all denominations have closed their doors and been sold. Some are art galleries, others are now private homes. I find that very sad. It seems to be due to much smaller congregations and consequent lack of adequate financial support. With regard to the points you made I agree completely.

  14. I appreciate your honest message in this poem. A cogent but sad commentary on globalisation. Thank you

  15. Hi, Rob Kistner here. This is a piece well written, engaging – good work… mine is here: http://www.image-verse.com/clown

  16. I appreciate the message and I like the poem a lot. I don't quite see the need for the archaic "thee", but perhaps you intend a hymn or prayer atmosphere by it?

  17. This image brought thoughts of the gold rush, as well. I love the historical textures here, Ann. Nice piece.

  18. I really like the reference back to the gold rush too- seems very appropriate now. Welcome back! Glad you have power again

  19. Have we learned our lesson? Wonderful images.

  20. Wonderful write, and tragicly true!

  21. We are trapped in a crumbling system and your poem beautifully describes that, with the "shuttered malls of commerce, now for sale." Very touching, very true, very honest, and avery pertinent poem to us all.... Thank you for sharing it....

    "Insulin Products" - products we can't live without: like the diabetic can't live without insulin. If a single company or a handful of companies in collusion cornered the market then they can charge whatever they want for their product. To stay alive the diabetic must pay their price. Gas companies and car companies are like that. Our lives can't function without their products.....

    Here are the price differences from 1972 to 2004:

    Blue Jeans:        6% increase
    Gas/Gallon:   925% increase
    Color TV:       -30% decrease
    Taxes:         33% increase
    FM Radio:     -40% decrease
    New Home:     262% increase
    New Car:     366% increase

    Can you spot the "insulin Products?"
    The imports?

    My point is that with our money increasingly being spent on "Insulin Products" then we are sinfully trapped in the world of third world slave labor imports for everything else we buy. I so agree with your poem, all but this: I think we have surrendered our churches, and our synagogues, and our very faith, to Wal-mart. Thank you again for a thought provoking poem.

  22. wow.

    you got to smile now.
    glad to see lessons learned.