GUEST POST: Watching Grandpa at The Sheep Gate – A Poem by Donald Standeford

I am very grateful to writer Donald Standeford for liking my friend Mario Savioni‘s great photographic and literary work, Latin Quarter – Paris 1995, and also for reblogging my humble posts.

This is a beautiful poem by Donald Standeford:

Watching grandpa at the sheep gate

Love wisdom like diamonds,
And you won’t regret it;
This could be our last conversation;
I’m just facing the facts.
Grandpa’s torn overalls
Make him look like he belongs
There at the sheep gate;
You’d never see the old man
In a suit like mine,
Or me in army
Fatigues like yours; funny,
As a young man
I’d have done anything
To flee this farm
And its stupid sheep,
The piss, crap, heavy bales of straw,
Grain; it’s not all just
Scattering feed to the chickens,
Picking up the eggs
And watching for the melons
To ripe.

When I was a kid
We walked atop wooden fences,
Barbwire our tightrope;
We jumped Fence to fence,
Climbed the old maple,
Jumped one tin roof to another,
Barn to Henhouse, henhouse to shed;
Trickiest part was balancing
On that wet water-trough
With cement walls
so thin
You thought they’d break.

In summer it floats
Yellow and green leaves,
In autumn
The leaves yellow, brown, crackle in cold air
As if saying ‘goodbye’ to the sun.

I saw my face
in the water
with moss, dark
The old oak, since
Gone. Tired of
Dead leaves
on barn, another
Thing gone,
I felt all closed
in, noose tight
Pushed, shoved
into my pen
so tight I could
Barely move
an inch, see

How the penned in sheep
Lift noses to sniff
Straining up to peer at the world?

All they sense
Is a sea of white wool,
As if seeing Helped at all;
they hear voice of their shepherd
above, braced on the fence,
(grandpa in overalls).
Hoping the shepherd is all
He’s cracked up to be,
To fulfill all their needs;
Is that not smart, considering
They cannot meet their own needs?

Loaded Into the trailers,
Herded, Confused, afraid,
only wishing for the familiar,
To feel,
Love in loss, lost,
When they went astray;


Donald Standeford

View original post:

11 thoughts on “GUEST POST: Watching Grandpa at The Sheep Gate – A Poem by Donald Standeford

      1. The hay filled barn, wooden gates, barbed wire fences, Shorthorn cattle, straw filled stalls filled with new grains. But who could forget the straw filled loft of the barn, where we could sit, talk secretly, and watch the pigeon nest through a wire mesh screen that put you two inches from the eggs of the pigeons who are now flapping their wings in and out of their.nest, which from the gravel drive below one has to look up at it as high.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. words very well woven to illustrate the calm, soothing, refreshing and rejuvenating life on a farm with our dear old ones. A poetry like this is a must read for each one of us to escape this city life wherein we are always on the run to fulfill our own petty needs. Life on a farm sure is tough but it is worth the time spent with nature and it’s creations.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s