The feature below originally appeared in the Independent Tribune in September 2009.
September 13, 2009
The Old Red Barn
The old red barn sits down by the river,
The tin roof glistens just like silver.
For many years it has been standing tall,
An old ad about Burma Shave is still seen on the wall.
I remember the fields where we brought in hay,
We had to harvest it without delay.
The old red barn would guard the yield,
Just like the knight got protection from his shield.
The harvest of the corn was next on the list,
We shucked the corn and made it ready for the grist.
The old red barn received the corn meal right away,
Just like a girl receiving her first bouquet.
The old red barn is still in its place,
There is no corn, nor hay, not even a trace.
The people are gone that once made it thrive,
In your minds-eye they were like bees in a hive.
The old red barn has closed its door,
No one comes to visit any more.
I look back as I walk away,
The old red barn seemed to be weeping that day.
- by Lynn Glover, Concord, NC.
For many people, scenes and images from our daily lives are often the source of inspiration and art.
And while interstates, strip malls, and cell phone towers tend to dominate the landscapes we witness on our daily commutes these days, some local folks are still able to envision a time before the Target and Sam’s Club went in up by the highway.
Lynn Glover has witnessed a variety of scenery changes over the years in Cabarrus County. And Glover, who loves to spend his time writing and playing golf, has found a way to share his memories of this growing region.
In 2008, at age 73, Glover published his own book of poems, entitled Poems From the Heart. While Glover has written in and about many places over the years, more than fifty percent of the poems in Poems From the Heart were written in Concord. “I have written on board ship, in barracks at naval bases, at Treasure Island Navy base in San Francisco, at the beach,” Glover explains. “Today I write mostly at home or in my back yard.”
Among the poems in the book, “The Old Red Barn” recreates images that likely dominated the landscape of the pre-developed Cabarrus County region. Glover uses rhyme and metaphor – two common poetic devices -- to bring the barn to life for his readers. The images of the old barn “guarding” the hay and “receiving” the corn harvest offer the reader a glimpse of what that old red structure meant to the families that lived near it.
Glover has been writing poetry for a good long time. He remembers dabbling in poetry a bit around the age of eight, but he has a vivid memory of becoming more serious about writing poetry when he was seventeen. “I first started writing poetry at the request of one of my teachers Miss Doris Jo Campbell,” Glover recalls. “She asks me to write the senior class poem and I did. I‘ve been writing ever since then.”
Glover recognizes the importance of his role as a writer – and does not take for granted the cultural significance of poetry. “I think the soothing rhythmic flow leading to the climax of a short story is something society should not have to miss out on,” Glover explains. “It also is meaningful to present society because of the folks that started writing in societies many years ago. We must keep this going and I do believe poetry is making a come back.”
When he’s not writing himself, Glover loves to read the works of Robert Frost, Edgar Allen Poe, and Robert Louis Stevenson. He considers Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” as one of his favorite poems.
Glover encourages others to give poetry a try. And he has an answer for those new to writing and poetry who might wonder what makes a poem a poem. “Telling a rhythmic story that the reader can understand, by pulling that reader into the story where he becomes a part,” Glover says. “That makes the poem a poem.”
Fortunately for his readers, many of Glover’s poems are rhythmic stories that recall and preserve a simpler, and perhaps more scenic, time in the history of Cabarrus County.
Bill Diskin is Director of Admission and Financial Aid at Cannon School in Concord.