Saturday, August 15, 2009

What’s Left of the Plantation

What’s Left of the Plantation

The Southern aristocrats, once their money

finally ran out, seeped into the middle classes,

still with a genetic memory of glory days

of brandy of linen napkins; but their children

became indistinguishable from the humble

brethren they’d joined.

I can smell the good whisky in those darkened

rooms, darkened from night, darkened from the road

that led to here. And outside, the choirs of dead slaves

harmonies like parts of a whole sing across

these rolling pastures. It’s quiet tonight but for them

and their scars.

My birddogs worship me, but I’ve not earned it.

I bought it in the breeding. So even though the

world is cooling (everybody knows that now) my foliage

of magnolia oak poplar maple cedar flourish

in freedom and lack of attention. And there are

barely even traces of the Big House that survive.


Poet, composer of music (Max Able / Abel, Rawls & Hayes), lawyer and spoken-word performer (Scapeweavel), L. Ward Abel lives in rural Georgia, and has been or will be published at The Reader (UK), The Yale Anglers’ Journal, Versal, The Pedestal, Pale House, Kritya, OpenWide, and many others. Abel has recently been nominated for “Best of the Web” by Dead Mule. He is the author of Peach Box and Verge (Little Poem Press, 2003), Jonesing For Byzantium (UK Authors Press, 2006) and the recently released The Heat of Blooming (Pudding House Press, 2008).