Thursday, February 25, 2010

Theme Thursday: Bottle

The word bottle led me to think about cellar holes.

Rambles in the woods in New England can often mean coming upon a sunken patch, with what looks like a stone wall around part of it. It's fairly regular in shape, and always has a lilac bravely holding on, somewhere nearby, even as the forest closes in. When I was a child, we found some of these in the Vermont forests around where we lived during part of the year. There are old roads, tracks, logging roads to explore. Going deep. Sometimes alone. Smell the moss, swim in the sunless green. Cracking twig just off to the left. A deer? or a bear . . .

Just off to the left again. There. The place where a house once stood. Then you start to root around. The dump is never very far from the back door. You find a cup handle, a broken plate. A spoon! But always bottles. Patent medicine usually. The turquoise faded. Or brown. sometimes clear. An intact one a prize.


New Hampshire
–Donald Hall

A bear sleeps in a cellar hole; pine needles
heap over a granite doorstep; a well brims
with acorns and the broken leaves of an oak
which grew where an anvil rusted in a forge.

Inside an anvil, inside a bear, inside a leaf,
a bark of rust grows on the tree of a gas pump;
EAT signs gather like leaves in the shallow
cellars of diners; a wildcat waits for deer

on the roof of a car. Blacktop buckled by frost
starts goldenrod from the highway. Fat honey bees
meander among raspberries, where a quarrel
of vines crawls into the spilled body of a plane

26 comments:

ShAKirA CHOONG said...

Cellar holes, WOW.

Thank God , we do not have those.
Scary right?

Happy THEME THURSDAY!

hugs
shakira

Alan Burnett said...

Beautifully atmospheric piece.

subby said...

I can still find places like this to wander, e'en in Massuchusetts...I like where this went, tut-tut ;)

Brian Miller said...

what an interesting and unique take on the theme...

Gledwood said...

There's nothing like a good walk in the woods!

willow said...

Donald Hall is in my "top faves" poet group. Love this piece.

Mrsupole said...

That sounds like a lot of fun to go exploring old places. There are not a lot of old places in California. Everything here is fairly new with our population only exploding about 40 years ago. Anything over 60 years out here is "old". Mostly because the earthquake refitting usually costs more than it does to destroy and just rebuild a new building.

We do have bears out here.

God bless.

croneandbearit said...

reminds me of when I was a child in Virginia and we'd go wandering through the woods and find an old foundation of someone's house and we would root around for treasure. Found old silver spoons and bottles, too. One nice memory of an otherwise forgettable childhood - thanks for helping me find that one. Hugs

Betsy said...

Very nice...I'd love to dig around in those old trash burning spots behind old houses!

California Girl said...

Nice imagery adn I love the photo you used for TT to the right of your post.

Kurt said...

I found a great little bottle of miracle elixir many years ago, still sealed! But I don't know where it's gone. Perhaps it's with my silver Mickey Mouse ring.

Mama Zen said...

I loved finding those treasures when I was a kid. How I wish that I had them now!

Roy said...

I've run across those old cellar holes here in RI, too. Across the Sakonnet Passage in Tiverton in the Weetamoo Woods nature preserve one of the trails is actually the remains of a colonial-era road, and there are some old cellar holes still there. They're always fun to explore.

Good post, tut! What, no music video? Heh, heh!

VE said...

I can relate to this. I used to collect beer cans and would search for those in the same way one would search for bottles. I was always looking out for old abandoned homes and odd places. That hobby took me more places in my state than I'd ever have seen otherwise...nicely written, by-the-way...

Eberle said...

What a lovely post! In Idaho we don't call these "cellar holes" and that's such a great phrase. And, this part of the Idaho having been settled so much later than New England, the cellar foundations are more often of concrete than stone.

There's one by the Salmon River that people still call Mildred's place, though only the cellar foundation remains - The words: "A loaf of bread, a cup of wine and Thee," was hand-pressed into the cement.

I loved your description of walking alone on old logging roads- I know this too - the sense of adventure and the jolts of adrenaline - last summer I tried some of this walking at night when the moon was full...wild. Thanks for the evocative words!

Stephanie said...

Cellar holes are intriguing - and novel to me. Nice post.

JeffScape said...

Cellar holes? Must Google!

I agree with Alan... nice atmosphere.

Titanium said...

Not all who wander find things that are lost... good on ya for doing just that.

Mine is here.

Jill said...

You created a perfect picture of a cellar hole for me...brilliant. I would just LOVE to find an old medicine bottle to prize!

Baino said...

Cellar hole? Is that like a back yard rubbish dump? It's not a term I'm familiar with but same thing here particularly in country homes where they have huge stations and no rubbish collection, everything gets dumped in a big hole out the back and eventually covered over. Treasure troves of a lifestyle long gone. Great take on the theme Toots!

Tom said...

Neat. I always like finding unexpected piles of what not in the woods. Actually that's how i've constructed much of my garden paths, from piles of discarded bricks and flagstones.

JGH said...

I love that image of the goldenrod growing where the frost cracked the highway.

Jaime said...

interesting take on the theme. with all this snow, i was just thinking how i moved out of NH to avoid winters like this one... never ran into any cellar holes while i was up there though

C.M. Jackson said...

I loved the beautifully colored bottles and the possibility that the cellar hole offers for treasure and adventure! great post-c

Middle Ditch said...

Lovely image. When we moved into the house we live in now and my husband started to dig the garden he found a bottle with mosaic laid on top of the glass. It was beautiful and I wondered who had made it and then thrown it away. I still have it.

lettuce said...

lovely words tut-tut, i like the lilac bravely holding on and all that symbiosis of the "man-made" and natural worlds