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Poem: Empty Eyes

Lori is a poet, photographer, and former science teacher from North Carolina.

A handsome old homeplace from the mountains of North Carolina.

A handsome old homeplace from the mountains of North Carolina.

An Unusual Love Affair

I am not sure when my love of abandoned houses began. As long as I can remember, I have preferred things that are old, shabby, and worn. I love to imagine the way decaying things used to be, and, in the case of houses, the people who called them home. I began photographing empty and decaying houses about 10 years ago, and have now photographed thousands of them across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast parts of the US as I travel with my husband, HubPages contributor Tim Truzy. I try to document as many as I can, because they are disappearing quickly from the countryside. This poem was written about just such a house.

This is the house that inspired this poem. It is located next to my old elementary school, and I remember when it was lived in.

This is the house that inspired this poem. It is located next to my old elementary school, and I remember when it was lived in.

Empty Eyes

You once held inside yourself

the glowing warmth of home.

You have known the rushing flood of birth,

felt the lightning sting of death

lash deep into your chambered heart.

You have seen the changing seasons

of a hundred passing years.

A very old house from central North Carolina.

A very old house from central North Carolina.

Weathering the storms of generations

who sought solace in your bosom.

Just last week I noticed

That your once clear eyes were empty,

and then you were no more

Now, I stand alone in this place

as the snow sifts, soundless

through the pines.

This old place is located next to my childhood home. It has been unoccupied since the early 1970s.

This old place is located next to my childhood home. It has been unoccupied since the early 1970s.

This poem previously appeared in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature under the name of Lori Blake.

© 2019 Lori Staley Truzy

Comments

Mary Ash on December 30, 2019:

Mrs.Lori you're a very fantastic photographer, I love the pictures that I've seen so far. I'm still in the process of viewing them all. Mr. Tim your poems are definitely a match to your wife's photo. GREAT!!! I love the teamwork you two encounter and I'm glad that I'm able to view and read your hard and dedicated work.

Lori Staley Truzy (author) from Raleigh, NC on February 26, 2019:

Jennifer, none of these houses are in Loris. I have been to Loris but it was recently, so I probably did not see your grandfathers homeplace. Sorry.

Jennifer Beckwith on February 25, 2019:

Love the poem. I wanted to ask if any of those houses are in loris sc. I have been trying to find my late grandfather's childhood home that was supposedly demolished a few years back. But can not find any record of it. I had only been there once as a teen ( while the house was standing) . Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Lori Staley Truzy (author) from Raleigh, NC on February 25, 2019:

Carolyn, I know what you mean. Here in the Raleigh/Durham area farms are being bulldozed for subdivisions at an astounding rate. Makes me sad to see all these ugly houses going up in the name of "progress".

Carolyh F Beck on February 25, 2019:

You sound like a lady after my own heart ! I'm 88 years old and when I pass an old abandoned house I think, I wonder who built it and when was it built. These old places are disappearing so fast, for "progress."

Lori Staley Truzy (author) from Raleigh, NC on February 24, 2019:

Thank you so much Flourish!

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 24, 2019:

This is remarkable work, Lori, both the poem and your photography. I encourage you to continue publishing!