"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Friday, August 17, 2012

Holy Land of Bizarre

before repurposed
was cool drew
a following
to the holy land
of bizarre.

with concrete,
rock and kitchen sink
turned  my
quiet street
into a parking lot.

Visitors spent
a dollar to view
the Nativity Rock Museum
located fifty feet
from my front door.

It was 1972
and I couldn’t
smoke enough
cannabis to
be convinced 
my neighbor’s
creations were art.

It didn’t matter.
The sweet man
was consumed
with his vision.
I just tried to
give a smile
while listening
to Amazing Grace
and staring at
broken baby dolls
winking from
a cement cross.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Mary challenged us to write about one of the 
neighborhoods we have lived in or live in today.
Mine comes from the small town of Kearney, Missouri
where my husband and I lived next door to Claud Melton's Nativity Rock Museum.
He used cement, rock, toys, broken glass and anything else that tweaked his imagination
to create his art. Sadly it is no longer there. It succumbed to the more profitable vision of landlords whose muse told them to build duplexes.


Mary said...

Susie, this gave me a smile. Love 'the holy land of bizarre,' but can also feel the guy following his own unique artistic dream. It is sad that he eventually lost his art, but probably was well compensated for his loss by the developers with a different vision.

Susan said...

Amazing neighborhood!! You made me see it and feel it though, right down to the doll carcasses on the cross: "Eccentricity punctuated with concrete, rock and kitchen sink turned my quiet street into a parking lot."

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wow! It hurts a little, envisioning the baby dolls on the cross, and the shards of broken glass. But he followed his passion, and I hope it brought him joy. Great poem, Susie.

PattiKen said...

What an image! Strange, bizarre, and a little sad, all at the same time.

Helen said...

.. 'it was 1972 and I couldn’t smoke enough cannabis to be convinced my neighbor’s creations were art' ~ priceless! Good old Missouri ~~ not quite Kansas! I have MO / IL roots.

Peggy said...

So good you captured this place from 1972 since it later fell to condos. I hope someone took photos!

aprille said...

Sounds like the Xmas decoration in the streets of some of our towns :-)

Kay L. Davies said...

Wow, Susie, what a memorable neighbor to have in your 'hood. I misread Peggy's comment: for a moment I thought it said "fell into condos" and then I realized that might be right, too.
Your talent for description made this long-gone neighborhood real for us. Thanks!

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