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IRONBAR

He just appeared to me, like wispily curling Chimney smoke, One grim and early morning in the very midst of Decembers briefest days, on the highest slope, Toiling through my daily round; where, slowly Driving up past the Whitethorn hedgerows to Ascend the snowy Heys, I had carefully negotiated The wide and slowing bend to regain the summit of Grappenhalls ploughed and upper-ground. Stopping the car I stepped out to take a closer Look. There he stood: New born and rather wobbly. His long blustery mane thick and silky: Liken the Mythical Enbarr; a wide eyed expression of staring, Uncomprehending malaise written all over his Shaggy face...So wondrous was he of this icy world So rigidly bound. Perplexed - perhaps, or amazed, at the utter Desolation of this cruel place and the callousness of The Fates wounding imposition upon him...when Thrust forcefully into yonder shattered bowl - shrunken Hopelessly into the clutches of such an altogether frozen surround! Little icicles beginning to form upon his fuzzy beard; A first taste of his mothers hot milk, that, in his Awkward blundering, he must have hastily spilt When clumsily fumbling with extended and pouting lips Upon the swollen teat. The foul weather, so unfortunately Adverse, of hail and sleet, gathering more momentum - Didst indeed still prevail...increasingly growing Steadily even more worse! Stood his mother there - resolutely, as if grave Epona Depicted in a hewn chunk of Grecian rock! This Metallic pan he shivered within: The centre of his Twirling Universe designated as this one small Spot...And all it should ever contain therein. A ripping wind that snarled and savagely bit down like A pack of wild hunting dogs, oblivious to his obvious Distress, into newly formed bones, where, stretched across: Tightly pinched muscle and Tautly sinewed flesh - involuntarily flinched! Whilst all the while, not withstanding despondent Resignation, an aggrieved Spirit that silently and inwardly bemoans; Contained here...In his sparkling kingdom of barbed Wire and an irregular scattering of smoothly rounded Stones. A torturous blast that blew so raw I stamped my feet, As if a horse myself, and exhaled upon my hands, now Clasped and sore, vainly trying to reinforce myself Against the unrelenting cold; a fearsome breeze Howling in rising crescendos, unopposed, Through the blasted files of battered trees, whose Roots clawed in desperation at the thin soils of that Barren hill, leaving him naked and painfully exposed To the ruthless torments of a vicious blizzards Crippling chill! Casting hopefully about I sought to catch sight of a Kindly soul, whom, with an imploring stare or polite Shout, I could impose upon to relieve the slight laden Over the plight of the brave little Foal. Oh staunchest Mare: Thou art Impenetrable like the shield of Achilles! Grimly determined as if to refute the very elements Themselves, and dare the brazen God Of Thunder - to break! And heap upon this forged and Ferrous land when unleashing his indolent Furies - The mauve and purple clouds to violently tear asunder! For, gripped in the maw of such a gnawing ire, What could you possibly know, little man, of Comforting warmth leaping across a cheery hearth When stoked and released from the confines of a Parlours glowing fire? Or Vulcans hellish fires bursting forth from erupting Volcanoes - when spewed out blistering magmas run! Majestic fires pervading Angels disrupted heights:- They whom bear witness to the obliteration of an Exploding Supernovas doomed sun! Fire or Ice...it be all the same: One scorches within a Tightening Vice - One within a wanton flame! Tarried I a while longer, like a man unsure whether he Was to be completely overtaken by some momentous Event, And wondered out aloud: What hardened heart had Deserted this poor creature to this inhospitable Environment? The self same heart that had decreed that he, the Finest of this rare breed, should open his eyes on that First morn to find his meagre plate encumbered with Miseries so devoid, and served with inadequacies of Such spiteful forlorn; with nought to sate the ragged Edge of his desperate appetites...save his mothers Fluids; although, in urgent anticipation, should Give him good cause to keenly salivate wouldst barely Suffice the discontented juices, that unceasingly Complained aloud, to happily digest and Gratefully dissipate within his hollow bowel. It was then I suddenly noticed, slowly revealed to my Aging sight - Barely thus adjusted and focused to that Opaque light, what looked like a black tarpaulin thrown Across a bundled pile of straw, still obscured but now partially unconcealed, Dumped carelessly in a far corner recessed on the Furthest edges of this dismal field. Could this be his drafty stall? Delivered here, unseen And unheard, upon a bed of dried and bleached stalks - Enabled Like a baby Messiah amongst the Israelites! Wherein, comes the crunching night, which coils Around his cradled form with damp and insidious Vapours, he reclines against the unyielding Dam - And valiantly Fights... To attain uncontested slumber Beneath the refrain of Heavens dispassionate Firmaments; whose Great Creator counts and records His given number; The blazing lanterns, admidst rolling oceans Of abandonment and disdain, now abruptly parted - Like the sea of Galilee! Towering waves rolled back From the denuded and ageless bar: Pushed out wide - And far aside... To usher in the immutable brilliance Of one small horses lone and guiding star... And if I recall rightly, my little friend, I christened you There and then...And thereby named you - IRONBAR! God bless and keep you always little fella...For you Awakened the poet, however inadequate, within me.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2016




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Date: 1/2/2018 10:31:00 PM
Definitely a FAV of mine, John. I owned horses (or they owned me) since I was a child up until a few years ago, and I miss them so. You've painted such breathtaking scenery and images of mare and foal in this write. The best to you and Ironbar!
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john fleming
Date: 1/3/2018 11:09:00 AM
Thank you, Rhoda...still my favourite poem. I do not know what name he sleeps under...but to me he will always be - Ironbar! May God bless and protect him...always! My very warmest wishes, Rhoda. Your friend. :) john P.s every word is true.
Date: 9/1/2017 11:37:00 AM
does that mean you love me more now ... hmm says whoms ... only me sayd whom ... what continuations wood thee be granted ... ban test ... oh ... band test ... yes ... you ... you ... you ... poet you ... hows that for spice .... huh huh huh ...
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john fleming
Date: 9/11/2017 3:21:00 AM
Errr...nooooo -- but it does mean I really enjoy and appreciate your fascinating comments - Much appreciated, Tim! My very best regards as always! :) john
Date: 8/31/2017 8:49:00 AM
Straight to my treasure box in the favourite compartment. I was transfixed by this tale. thank you for the trip to another place.
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john fleming
Date: 9/11/2017 3:20:00 AM
This is a true account of what actually happened; the sturdy young beast is still cropping in his hilltop field -- and growing bigger by the day! I do not know what he is known as by his owners...but I only know him as - Ironbar!! Truly the pluckiest of horses!! My very best wishes, Patricia! :) john
Date: 1/7/2017 10:30:00 PM
Truly well woven tale my friend. Had me in from start to finish! I love long poems when they are this good.... A true pleasure to read.....
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john fleming
Date: 1/8/2017 12:57:00 PM
Thank you, Robert...Always a great pleasure to see you visiting! Glad you enjoyed the tale...It is, I can assure you, a true one. All my very best wishes, Robert...And my warmest regards! :) john
Date: 1/6/2017 11:25:00 AM
I admire the flow of your words and the developement. Superbly woven!
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john fleming
Date: 1/8/2017 12:52:00 PM
Thank you, Kyle...You are most kind! Please allow me to say that it is a pleasure to become acquainted - Nice to meet you! Feel free to visit at anytime...You will always be more than welcome. All my very best, Kyle - Cheers! :) john
Date: 12/6/2016 10:44:00 AM
Much like English Romantic poets. That is a compliment of the highest order.
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john fleming
Date: 12/10/2016 4:23:00 PM
Hi, Allan. Thank you so very much for your kind and gracious remark...Trust me when I say that I too regard it as the highest of praises - Very much appreciated! My very best wishes...And my warmest regards! :) john
Date: 8/8/2016 5:08:00 AM
I'm not into long writes but this by far has touched senses I've never experienced....your words of description are powerful...no doubt that you are one accomplished writer. I'd love an autograph!!!!
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john fleming
Date: 8/9/2016 4:30:00 PM
Thank you, my friend - You accord me great honour - I am deeply touched by your most gracious comments! This poem is very special to me; the poem is wrote exactly as it happened that wickedly-vicious, deepest-in-December day...I will never forget what I saw that early, early morning! What a staunch, brave little fella!! And what a valiant mother that unmovable Mare was!! Even as I write these words I am moved to tears. In all of Gods creation...There is nothing more undeniable than a mothers pure and unconditional love! May your God protect and cherish you and your own always, Pace; And my very warmest wishes! :) john
Date: 3/30/2016 5:50:00 PM
A pleasure to read your verse, one heck of a write! Light & Love
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john fleming
Date: 4/3/2016 2:22:00 PM
Hi, Debbie. I always regard praise from you as high praise indeed - Many thanks! My very best regards...as always. :) john
Date: 2/23/2016 1:24:00 AM
Your poem is unforgetable John. I hope more members read it. Maybe you could check to have it featured. Blessings, Connie
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john fleming
Date: 2/23/2016 9:26:00 AM
I have clicked on the button that says: "Feature this poem before all my other poems". But I have done that with all the other ones as well. In time it may well get a showing on the sites homepage - Hope so! Thank you for all the attention you have given this poem...I am so very pleased that you enjoyed reading it. My very best wishes, Connie. :) john
Date: 2/22/2016 3:46:00 PM
John, your almost palpable imagery in this poem is stunning and left me with such admiration and inspiration. You became one with the little foal in every sense. This is such a beautiful piece I must fave it! I have a love of horses and your poem expresses a spirit I share. Blessings, Connie
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john fleming
Date: 2/22/2016 4:40:00 PM
Connie, my most valued friend, your comments regarding this humble poem of mine have touched my heart! I am not considered to be an emotional man...but your kind words have moved me greatly - Thank you, Connie! This happened exactly as I have written it. I hope it is a fitting tribute for that brave little horse. A horse called...IronBar! God bless you always, Connie! :-) john
Date: 2/19/2016 4:39:00 AM
Can't stop the tears from flowing. I see mans' inhumanity toward these beautiful creatures all to often (Gifts form God) and it breaks my heart. eg. A dog chained to a cloths line all winter - by a christen neighbour. John you have written a MASTERPIECE, and I am adding it to my list of favs. Elaine
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john fleming
Date: 2/19/2016 9:56:00 AM
Thank you, Elaine, for such sweet comments...I am genuinely touched! Yes, he was a tough little horse; I watched him grow to maturity. Wherever he now is I hope his God protects and watches over him always. My little friend...IRONBAR! God bless you too, Elaine...God bless you. :) john
Date: 2/14/2016 7:04:00 AM
Hi John. I have been more than 15 mins on this excellent post of yours! I myself am not one for long writes, but this one I enjoyed and reread with pleasure. I have a feeling that both mare and foal will stay a while in my memory! [Crossed my mind that you and Cherl Dunn would produce a really good collab write together!] ~ Regards // paul
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john fleming
Date: 2/14/2016 7:46:00 AM
Hi, Paul. Always nice to see you have paid me a visit. Yes...It was one of those brief moments in a person life that makes a lasting impression. Raw, tough and gritty...I will never forget it - What an inspiring scene! I always promised myself that I would write about it one day - And now I have! Many thanks, Paul - Cheers! :) john
Date: 2/13/2016 6:46:00 PM
You really made some many amazing comparisons here, but the one to baby Jesus and the condition of his birth was the most amazing. :) The ending was very sweet...The bravery of the mare, beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Hugs
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john fleming
Date: 2/14/2016 3:26:00 AM
Eileen, such a nice treat for me to see you visiting once again. You have made a very good point with your comment regarding the bravery of the mare: She was unmovable - like a great rock! I was obviously writing about the foal so it was difficult not to over express her bravery without diminishing the main aspect of the poem. Well noticed, Eileen! I now feel happy that I have got some of my experience of that encounter over to the reader. Many thanks for mentioning it. My very best regards to you, Eileen, as always! :-) john
Date: 2/13/2016 2:09:00 PM
I think I might have something of a poem for you now, little horse. I will always remember you...Till the end of my days! :) john ... P.s I will keep working on your poem until it is a fitting tribute ...That is a promise!
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Date: 2/10/2016 11:52:00 AM
i don't know why but i see traces of neil gaiman in you... engrossing write, john.. huggs!
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john fleming
Date: 2/11/2016 5:49:00 AM
Hi, Nette. I confess of not knowing of Neil Gaiman...I shall make it my business to acquaint myself with the gentlemans works. Always a great pleasure to see you visiting, Nette. I hold you in the highest esteem...Many thanks, Nette - Cheers! :) john P.s There is still a lot of work to do on this poem, just think of this as a rough draft.
Date: 2/9/2016 3:41:00 PM
Your descriptive writing is OFF the CHARTS, John. You really should be working on a novel. Are you?? I bet you have a great collections of short stories at least!
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john fleming
Date: 2/9/2016 5:32:00 PM
Andrea, it is always a great pleasure to me when I see you have made a visit. You were the very first person on this site to give me praise and encourage me to write. Indeed until I tried to write I did not know I could do so. I still struggle with the punctuation and not every line is grammatically correct. ..but hey - I am learning. You will always have a special place in my thoughts, Andrea. Your friend always. :-) john
Date: 2/7/2016 3:38:00 PM
Thank you, Suzanne. I am very pleased that you enjoyed the poem! I feel there is still room for some improvement...It needs a little re-editing here and there. My very best regards to you - Cheers! :) john
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john fleming
Date: 2/8/2016 1:21:00 PM
Hi, Suzanne. I have reformatted the "Foal" poem; please take a look when you have a spare moment. Many thanks! :) john
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Suzanne Delaney
Date: 2/7/2016 8:53:00 PM
Yes, John: We can always play with the our poems. What a great name for such a survivor as he is. Thanks for your reply and regards to you also. SuZ
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john fleming
Date: 2/7/2016 3:40:00 PM
P.s Yes he did indeed "make it"...against all the odds. I have nicknamed him "Ironbar"! :) john
Date: 2/7/2016 3:24:00 PM
This is an amazing poem, John: The story and imagery had me in its spell from the first first line. Poor little abandoned foal. I hope the little guy made it against all odds. I rate it a strong seven and add it to my fav poems list to read again. SuZ
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