Friday, May 14, 2010

"Stop All the Clocks" . . .

How is it that one senses abandon and decay with only the slightest of indications ? A quote from Mr. Auden comes to mind for some unfathomable reason :
"The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good."
Perhaps you recall hearing that bit of poetry in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral ?
And why does a photograph of an abandoned birdhouse near an even more deeply abandoned house inspire such feelings ? A house where grandparents once lived, who are no more . . .

A dog house
For a rather small dog
In a wheelbarrow
In a snowy field
Unwanted now
Waiting to be
Trundled off
To wherever it is
That unwanted
Doghouses go
Perhaps waiting
Only for the snow
To melt
Will this glacier
In my heart
Also melt
One day ?



Steve said...

There is something ineffable sad about abandoned bird houses and curious too; just because they have been abandoned by their human owners does that mean the birds abandon them too?

Anonymous said...

I remember that poem from Four Weddings and a Funeral. Very sad. As are these photos.

But somehow people and birds carry on.


Lynne with an e said...

Strangely, this posting brings to mind a quote from another famous poet:

And why do these images fill me
With infinite sadness and longing
I want things to be different
But I know they never can be
We must live with our own reality
Even when that includes
Bird houses fallen down
Bird houses lying on the ground

Perhaps you should include a link to that to complement this further delving into a subject obviously tenderly encased within that glacier in your heart.

Plum' said...

Un très beau poème pour exprimer le manque et un très joli moment d'émotion dans le film...

Stickup Artist said...

Mortality... it's always there.

Anonymous said...

What a challenge to make seen what good lies beneath winters snow, and once all the white being gone, giving place for life to return.

Please have a wonderful Saturday.

Owen said...

Hi good people...

Thanks for your thoughts here, ever appreciated... this was brought on by two recent stories on two blogs about grandparents, one at Steve's place (Bloggertropolis) about his grandparents' house being cleared out, and the other at Jill's (Excessively Thoughtful Chewing) about her grandmother moving into a nursing home.

The other triggering aspect was Tom B.'s comment on the post just below this one which contained a link to a story on a UN website about the human race reaching certain limits related to destroying bio-diversity, which once crossed may turn out to be points of no return. The article talked about de-forestation, and that combined with the recent horror story of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico brought to mind the Auden poem and the line :

"Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood"

So, there seem to be no rules to the game, and the best we can do is continue, onward through the fog...

Hugs to all...

The Sagittarian said...

Oh Bro, thats my favourite poem and started me on a lifelong adoration of John Hannah!
Great photos, and thoughtful post. Are you sure you haven't been sly-grogging somewhere else???

Lynne with an e said...

oh. the melting glaciers and the running down and out of time.

thank you for providing notes.

Roxana said...

it's fascinating to follow the threads of your obsessions (i am glad that the Bridge is not the only one perpetually coming back to the same topics) - but as they say, great artists have only a few themes they keep re-working :-)

(i'm trying to laugh to fight the sadness of these images)

and such great Auden...

but glacier in your heart? this must be only a metaphor of this lyrical I, you are the last person on earth to imagine carrying a glacier in his warmest of all warm hearts, dear Owen!

Clytie said...

I feel quite differently about abandoned animal houses versus abandoned people houses and churches. Probably because I know someday PEOPLE will return to the human structures and either demolish or rebuild. Animals don't have that capability. They will have to move on and build elsewhere. And the other subject you touched on - deforestation and the rape of our planet, well - if we don't help out the animals, they will eventually run out of 'elsewhere' to go.

It's the exceptional post that gives me excessive words - I'm usually short and to the point. This post is exceptional.

Nevine Sultan said...

Oh, my! I am simply speechless. Can I be speechless and just let the words swirl around in my head? But I will tell you the photos are... well... like images from one of my black and white dreams... where certain things end up in certain places they don't usually belong and looking out of the ordinary but still feeling right though uncomfortable and awkward but just still right i don't know how... Thank you for sharing your multiple talents, Owen. I know I enjoy every one of them...


Owen said...

Lynne, you are very welcome... and the notes may continue in the bar at the New Zealand Hotel, just as soon as the carpenters are done installing it...

Owen said...

And Saj, what is this business about Sly Grogging ??? Why be sly, when one can grog openly, in public, all day long, right here ???

So, you have a lifelong adoration for John Hannah too ??? That is starting to add up to quite a list of lifelong adorations... JB, Bruce, now John... my goodness, quite an appetite you have there, as well as the world famous thirst we know of now !

Owen said...

Dearest Roxana,
If there were to be a glacier in this heart of mine, it is crystalline clear, for you see right through it...

The glacier in the heart only occurs when I stop to think about what the human race is doing to the planet, then my blood runs cold, but then I go visit the floating bridge, and things warm up again... until the next time...

I must admit though, I'm not sure there are many artists working the theme of doghouses in wheelbarrows on a winter day... Thank you for a bringing a big smile...

Owen said...

Thank you... for these kind words.

And amen about animals having nowhere to run once we've eaten up their options.

There is a pair of photocopied pages that has followed me around since 1989, when I found an article in the Summer 1989 issue of "The Humane Society News" which spoke to me... it was written by Robert James Waller, the title was "My Name Is Orange Band"

There is an excerpt from it here :

But I think the original essay can be found in book of Waller's work called Old Songs In a New Café. It is one of the most amazing pieces of writing I've ever come across, do try to track it down...

Owen said...

Nevine, Nevine,

You have the right to remain speechless, which is not the same as the right to remain silent, but then one who wields words as well as you should rarely remain silent, but may often remain speechless... And I love what you've said here about dreams in black and white. Dreams are so strange yet so vivid at times.

And I wonder, have you visited Roxana's Floating Bridge of Dreams ? If not, I think you might like it... just click on Roxana a couple of comments above here... and be prepared for magic...