This was written for dVerse where we are to use “shed,” in whatever definition you choose, in a poem.
Old Green Sheep Shed
My beloved forest green cabin
began life as a sheep shed.
Nestled in between two sloped-shouldered
Appalachian hills, a stream gurgling on the west,
a child’s version of nirvana.
Forget that it had three rooms.
Forget that there was no tv.
Forget that the only radio played old time C&W.
I spent hours alone, discovering natural paradise.
The creeks entranced me. Lift a stone
discover an aqua-colored crayfish. Striped minnows darted.
A snapping turtle moved with astonishing swiftness.
Snakes, snakes, snakes undulated.
At night for many years I listened to whippoorwills
until one year I never heard them again,
or ever since.
Happiness was in rising each day
avoiding sweat bees,
savoring Mrs. Hoke’s homemade peach ice cream
icy with chunks of fresh peaches
and coconut cookies,
eating corn on the cob picked fresh from the garden
sweet juicy kernels erupting oozing creamy butter.
Bundled on July 4th, while store-bought fireworks dazzled,
always the best I’ve ever seen.
Falling asleep at night
with the radio on,
Loretta Lynn singing about divorce
or the terrifying sounds of the theme
to “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”
its strange whistles and thumping, voices chanting
frightening to a child, the only one awake, in the nighttime.
Waking to thunder, lightning illuminating
mullein on the hillside, marching sentries.
Every summer equated happiness
until Daddy’s death
when life changed.
25 thoughts on “Old Green Sheep Shed”
A poignant autobiographical poem that drew me into a world so different from mine. I love the romantic description of the ‘beloved forest green cabin…Nestled in between two sloped-shouldered Appalachian hills’. In the retrospective view of a child, I can imagine that nirvana, the natural paradise, and I would love to visit. I love the beautiful details of the aqua-colored crayfish, striped minnows and the snapping turtle. I’ve never heard real whippoorwills, only on film, and the homemade peach ice cream sounds delicious. So sad that the irrevocable ending had to come.
Thank you so much, Kim, for your kind words.
What wonderful, vivid, sweeping memories Sascha, just beautiful! Poignant and sad the ending couplet, losing your father. But what a treasure trove of goods times. Thank you for sharing this rich snd splendid piece of writing…
Thank you so much for commenting! 🙂
You crammed so much into this shed – glorious memories, beautifully told
Thank you so much, Laura! 🙂
And the door closed. Poignant and so tender.
Thank you so much, Jane. 🙂
This is a wonderfully nostalgic read! I loved every detail!. Your sheep shed was perfect! I could see and imagine every detail as you shed light on the pieces of your life. There is nothing like being out in nature as a child that develops and instills a love of life. I could identify with most of your experiences. The corn on the cob fresh out of the garden takes me back. Loved it! Well done!
Thank you so much, Dwight. Yes, I am thankful I had those experiences as a child, being a part of nature. I feel very lucky.
“Nestled in between two sloped-shouldered
“At night for many years I listened to whippoorwills
until one year I never heard them again,
or ever since.”
snakes repeated until the undulate right there on the line.
This is just marvelous writing that flows. The description has the reader right there. Having grieved over Mary Oliver’s death…these past two days I’ve gone back and read some of her marvelous poetry about nature…many of it written from Provincetown and Cape Cod. Your writing seems to me to be in the same vein. There is a beauty here in your description. The simplicity of life in this cabin is replicated in the simplicity of your words…the cadence of some lines that sound like what they mean…the second example I’ve written above.
And the finality of the ending.
I am so glad you posted to the prompt. I truly truly loved reading this!
Thank you so much, Lilian. Mary Oliver is my favorite poet, for one reason because of her love of nature and ability to transcribe those emotions to the page. To even be mentioned as being similar in anyway is more than I could ever hope. 🙂
I really love that cabin and how you describe it… until that sudden and sad end.
Like a paradise lost…. but maybe it’s also growing about growing up
Thank you, Bjorn. I was eleven, but it was indeed a turning point in my life.
Love the detailed scenery you painted for us, Sascha! 🙂
Thank you so much, Jade! 🙂
Nice description of the woodland scene: “a child’s version of nirvana.”
Thank you, Frank! 🙂
Ah, what bittersweet memories. Thanks for walking us through a lovely time.
Thank you so much, Imelda! 🙂
This sounds like heaven, until those last lines shake it up. Well done, Sascha.
Thank you so much!
I felt like I was living there with you. Such treasured memories, even with the sadness that always comes.
Thank you so much.