driving to the IGA


on my way to the IGA
flickered light on my windshield and a relentless squeak on the driver side
more cars on the "for sale" lot; now assorted boats and towing rigs
those with less feel it more and first
rural america tells the tale the news does not
i returned with Trout to the spot on the lake from last month
same family was on the piney point
this is not a vacation this is home for as long as it can be
tacky plastics littered the campsite and clothes hung from limbs
the children bedraggled and suspicious

not much was spent at the art benefit last night
many works of art found no patron and no home
the auctioneers pleaded and the schtick was forced
the crowd even thinner than last years thin

at the farmers market people spoke low
like dissidents, like conspirators
people the news says are a growing domestic problem
you know, people who distrust the Fed?
problem people in trucks with birdhouses
and squash and daylillies and baked breads
talking about the tightening noose
the massive taxes pending and ideas for controlling more
im not the only one
theres a lot of me now
the lot of me now are those who wont postpone
whatever it was they were postponing
because the now is all there is
and though
we may have read that somewhere
its not just pages anymore
now its fading parents and its

halfway to Copperhill a white dog trotted along the road
and drew my attention to the graveyard
with a spectacular view of the Big Frog
smokey hazy summer blues
gardens and white framed church houses
the apple house with fried pies and hay rides
the Oz of former copper mines loomed
at the curve
the state line
where beer can be purchased even on sunday

they say during the mining
this forest
was the moon
acid rain hates greenery
and workers

standing empty and tall the rusted death star
the Intertrade plant
overlooked a pool hall, a mexican restaurant and a dollar general
and confederate flags
with pit bulls in the middle
the collars read "dixie"

Trout swam the Toccoa
shared flow with weekend tubers and kayakers
she tired of it and jumped into the truck bed
the signal for ready to go
tourists from the train roamed the street
i sucked on a cherry limeade
and watched them from the IGA parking lot
taking pictures of a painted line
one side georgia
the other side tennessee
like dawn of the dead
the fathers day version

flickering light again
and the driver side squeak
i held it
and rode in silence


PS: i did not make it to the top ten in the dog
wine label contest. thanks though, to everyone who voted.
i really appreciate that!! xoxoxox


  1. chickory - this is a truly beautiful poem. This country is hurting, and so many (mostly on the edges of the country where it hasn't hit quite as hard) are a little oblivious to it all. My sister just traveled through New Mexico, and every time I spoke to her she was talking about the need.
    You, my dear, have a poet's heart. :) xox Pam

  2. there's
    a train
    a comin'

    ¤ ¤ ¤


  3. Your "country" sounds so different then my "country" and yet so much the same. You write beautifully ... as always. I love visiting here. Love to Trout from Missy D

  4. Is it a train that's coming or, unfortunately, just another leaky ship?

  5. "drivin' and cryin'"


    this is just beautiful and it made me cry too.


  6. You have so many talents!

    The reality is so sad. The little people are hurting and the big people don't give a damn.

  7. yoborobo: i agree. you can be in places and not even notice the change -but in other places the strain is acute. in my neighborhood in ATL a giant development has hit rock bottom and the bank says no more. now these guys want the county, us taxpayers, to bail them out. or else we'll be left with an eyesore. i.e: -dont let our investors suck it up or else! and thats what happened on the big scale. we will pay (endlessly) to prevent the insiders from feeling the pain of their big gambles. we should not stand for this.

    thank you for your kind words - i think of this as a stream of consciousness post more than poetry.

    /t: sounds just like a tornado ;-)

    susan: i know. jawja is a weird and exotic land to you. it doesnt feel as tidy as your home. its wildly unpredictable what i might encounter on any given day. what a sweet compliment you like to visit this page - and i adore yours in the same way. love to ALL the creatures even the cats.

    OMG you should have seen dusty strip the blueberry bush of its few fruit! arrrrrrgh! i threw a rock at him and missed but he got the message. grherha

    moi: USSA Titanic

    boxer: theres a southern rock band from ATL by that name - drivin in cryin. i love the voice of Kevin Kinney -its got just the right break of heartache to it and also goodness and faith. just a great band. this is a cruel cruel summa. and thats all the band references for today -moi does it so much better.

    thank you friend. xox

    Jean: i thought about you saturday at the farmers market. i didnt take a photo of my shop (the back of my truck) it looked so cute. i sold a lemon cucumber seedling, a moonflower vine and a morning glory vine and 3 chicken cards. i made fifteen dollars. i figure at that rate, another 4-5 years working every saturday i may break even on my start up expenses. grherhaha how goes your plans?

  8. well, close, but, no cigar, gal.
    You did make it to the top ten...
    you and that blue river surfing Trout!
    You het the top ten with all us.
    In fact...
    You made #1!

  9. Yep, you're number #1 to us! :)

    Our family print shop that opened in the early 1900's will be closing it's doors here real soon. And this is happening all across the country... very sad, and very scary for all of us.

  10. Ii recognize that family and see the once toys of the middle for sale.

    I wonder though when the end of complacency begins and the beginning of action ends.

  11. That is a great but sad poem, its really telling it like it is,I'm sorry things are so bad there, we are not so bad off here, yet ...

    There are plenty of people losing their houses and I have lost a lot of money from my superannuation but if things even out in the next couple of years I will be OK.
    Very thankful that I still have a roof over my head, but I have to watch the pennies now, no luxuries for me, just as well I'm a simple gal...

    I would have loved to have seen your merchandise set up in the back of your truck for the farmers market,how cute, I would have bought that lemon cucumber seedling, I will have to see if I can get seeds here...pleased that you made $15.

    Trout looks so cute in that photo and dont worry about those tasteless judges who didnt choose the best wine label, you will always be #1 with all of us. ♡

    love Dianne xo

  12. I'm afraid it's just starting.

    Trout looks happy though. Maybe there's a lesson there.

  13. www.omelet.us
    tres moderne, but sweet for city chicks

  14. boney: thanks. you know how the art bidness goes. there aint no accountin for taste. grherhaha

    dani: it is very sad to see a legacy business go down. and i hate to hear about it. so sorry. i think you are on the right track with all you are doing - your children are blessed in this way.

    walking man: complacency or stunned? or weak? or confused? so pitiful. we are chumps. i read a bit on the new health care proposals and all i can say is dont get sick or hurt.

    dianne: thank you so much. it doesnt bother me all that much about the wine label - thats art. people say the harshest stuff right in front of me about my work ive developed a very high tolerance for critical commentary. its the part of the deal.

    like you i feel very blessed -am obviously blessed- with a lovely forest home. i spent 6 hours out in my garden today weeding listing to thunder and birds and insects buzzing by - maybe a chain saw way off somewhere - the solitude and the making of perfect beds...what a gift this summer is.


    gnome: there is a lesson there and i got an A. i see it all, and i feel it all, and then i turn my attention to everything that is right and good. and i agree -its just starting. i think my husband agrees now the foundation i am laying at chickory is the most important work i could be doing now.

    susan: oh goody i'll check that out right after this. thank you!

    gnome: grrherhahahaha well i gave it a shot. next time!

  15. I still think it would make a great t-shirt. I'd buy one.

    Trout looks so ready for a cold six pack from the IGA. But I especially like the mountains in the background of the second picture. I miss the moutains.

    How's the farm truck rehab going?

  16. Hi,
    Came over from Nina's at artlifewest after you commented over there--

    Should someone be taking photos in black and white with an old 35mm--it would look like the dustbowl and depression came back around on it's circular journey...........

    Long whistle whinin'..........


  17. not in the top `10? there's no accounting for taste ..

  18. "The midnight train is whinin' low..."

    Looky, Sweet Pup, ya know yore own answer:

    am obviously blessed- with a lovely forest home. i spent 6 hours out in my garden today weeding listing to thunder and birds and insects buzzing by - maybe a chain saw way off somewhere - the solitude and the making of perfect beds...what a gift this summer is.

    That, an, the second line of Walkin' Man's comment.

  19. Yes your logo came through. Michelle is the one doing the reformatting hasn't been done on yours yet so I can't capture the image and re post it with the others I have up. There are some others in the same state of my lack of technical ability.

  20. What did sell at this market? Who is the target
    market, not the locals right? In my area, the
    best SaturdY market is folks like you coming into the city, some sell out early! Any chance you could do this farm truck boutique there?

  21. This reads like a poem. Or a folk song. I'm hearing Woody Guthrie talking through you ....

  22. I can't write now...only here to say you are often in my thoughts - and you are on my heart--and I miss you friend.
    Hugs...and I am sorry you didn't win the label- despite my voting <3


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