Friday, February 06, 2009

the cold cold ground...


Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is most difficult
-w.b.yeats



The lamb that ate itself to death...
Years ago l spent a winter on a cattle farm in Rolla, bc. I lived in a cabin and
worked on a painting. The farmer and his wife were so gracious and so lovely.
I would help bring in calves when they were born. Frozen white
ground and wind that would rush through you tearing at your flesh as it left.
I remember having to pull a calf out of it's mother. I pulled so hard,
the farmer and l pulled and pulled, l thought l would turn the cow inside out.,



I helped skin a dead calf, used a utility knife. We wrapped the hide around
another motherless calf in hopes the cow would smell her's and let it feed.
I drank beer in the rolla pub and listened to the farmer's sons sing,
sing, their music was like passion - ferocious.



Huge round bales of hay stretched out on the farm, stacked two high.
One day l noticed a lamb eating at the bales, all alone, biting, chewing,
tearing, all day she ate. The next morning l found her, dead. She had eaten
way too much in one spot, in one sitting, and the top bale had fallen on her.
There was beauty on the farm.
You don't die when you live on a farm
you just become part of the earth's mystery and secrets.

when the road's washed out
they pass the bottle around
and wait in the arms
of the cold cold ground
cold cold ground

tom waits

18 comments:

Pierre Raby said...

Beautiful story Ken. Pictures are deeply moving too- man, you're such a beautiful soul, feels good to be on Earth...

CLAY said...

"You don't die when you live on a farm
you just become part of the earth's mystery and secrets."
Ah! Brilliant...sterling point.

kenflett said...

Thank you so much Pierre.


...and thanks Clay.


It is really nice to get generous comments.

truck stop rewrite said...

...an inspiration, you and your work.

kenflett said...

thats really nice of you rob, thank you.

Natasha Henderson said...

This was a very good, grounding start to my day in the city. You can feel the turning of time and life/death always. What a great experience you had out there, and thank you so much for sharing it.

Every Photo Tells A Story said...

It's usually very difficult for me to look at pictures of dead animals, but your words, and what you are celebrating make them beautiful. Because they honor the cycle of life. And, there is no better place to witness this as on a farm.

kenflett said...

Nice to hear from you Natasha, and thanks for your comment.

Thank you PhotoStory, it is nice what you said.

malena Sandra said...

Hay Ken,I couldnt look at the dead farm babys,cause it reminded me of my former life,that makes me sad,very sad,just could not see the lamb that ate itself to death,it is reminder to me of myself,and it is so beautiful in its nature that makes me crazy,that much beauty!Im trying to stay sain until winter is gone,after that Ill see how to go trough life.And the lirics..I lived like Tom Waits sing...have no words at the moment,so Ill send you and your loveones my love and warm hugz,take care of eachother and make more beauty,pretty please?Ciao,Sandra

kenflett said...

That was so beautiful malena, thank you.

Renee said...

I was completely riveted to this story. There was such beauty in it.

I have to thank you.

Renee

kenflett said...

Thank you Renee.
I hope the days have been good to you.

RachelW said...

This is so rich and moving.

I really enjoy your blog. I have an award for you over on my blog; you may not wish to pass it on, but I hope you will accept the spirit with which it is offered.

kenflett said...

That was so wonderful of you Rachel. thank you.

Dave King said...

An absorbing post that I found very moving. It resonated deeply. I am sure, as you say, that you do not die on a farm. It is life as it should be, taking death in its arms.

kenflett said...

Thanks Dave King.
I am sure glad to have fallen upon your intelligent and thoughtful blog.

Calli said...

This is a poignant story and compelling images. Sad, and yet farm life is living and dying, all in one.

beautiful observations you make, Ken, just beautiful.

peace~
~Calli

kenflett said...

Thank you so much Calli, really nice what you wrote.