A Visit to Connemara, Carl Sandburg’s Home

Atop the rounded hill
Through the tall dark green pines
White, simple, modest, without pretense
Mimicking the man, the family living there
Three stories tall, seven bedrooms for dreaming
All woven as one on two hundred forty-eight priceless acres
Draped in nature’s earthy shades of green, brown, blue
Carl Sandburg’s home, Flat Rock, North Carolina

Named Connemara by its first owners
Meaning “of the sea” in Irish
A name the Sandburg family carried on
A national treasure in every way
Fourteen thousand books fill the walls
All read by the poet’s penetrating, dutiful eyes
Seeing through life’s clutter
Coming to rest always on what’s most important

His last ten books conceived, written at Connemara
That extra bedroom, even the living room, still speak the words
The typewriters, his favorite chairs, even the ashtrays
Remain filled with his spirit—
Known to us through Chicago, Grass, A Coin, his many other poems
I took pictures, but wanted to touch what he touched
And see what he saw, even the pain
Seeing his bed, I marveled at how his dreams came true

Leaving the grounds, I took one last picture
Of the lake before his home
I saw its unwavering stillness
How it reflected everything about it
I knew then why Sandburg’s last years were here
His conviction, strength, dedication
His inalienable sense of being a vehicle for beauty, truth, justice
Looking in these waters, it all became more clear to me

Under the Harvest Moon by Carl Sandburg

Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers.

Under the summer roses
When the flagrant crimson
Lurks in the dusk
Of the wild red leaves,
Love, with little hands,
Comes and touches you
With a thousand memories,
And asks you
Beautiful, unanswerable questions.