Wednesday, January 4, 2012

An Otherwise Tranquil Setting

Going past 

A stench, 
Then seeing 
A shining red 
Beetle parked 
Next to some white 
Sheep baaing over screams 
Escaping from the hog farm 
Makes it all so stunning 
You don’t know 

Which way to go. 


  1. Oh how this brings back, like a toxic biscuit swirling in a Proustian teacup, early memories of life in a city built on animal blood, "hog butcher to the world", and of the blood-stink from "the yards" that lay heavy o'er the plains on summer nights.

    There is no escaping these sights, sounds and odours.

    In elementary school the nuns herded us onto buses, in our dirty little poverty uniforms, for "field trips" to the grand abbatoirs on the south side, where we were initiated in the sempiternal stockyard fundamentals.

    Live and Let Live!

  2. I remember, too, reading that Robert Frost's father, walking to work in 1870s San Francisco, would daily stop at what today we would call a "boutique" slaughterhouse to buy and drink a glass of fresh blood, which in those days was considered a health-booster. That image kept me from absorbing much of the rest of my reading about Frost's early years, and I was glad when the biography took him to New England after his father's death, where I finally lost the sickish taste of iron on the back of my tongue.

  3. We have a large processing "unit" on the east outskirts of Meligalas just east of the cemetery and when there is a NE or E wind, we get the full brunt of the "farm". The local authorities have been trying for years to get the owners to relocate to another site some kilometers away to the south but it seems it's a lost cause for the townspeople--just as it is for the pigs.


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