Do you recall, Ancient One?


Eyes fogged by cataracts of dust and grime

Rusted tears of neglected shame.

Those you’ve sheltered stolen by time

No one left to recall your master’s name.


Those skillful hands that built your shell, now rest beneath the soil.

Yet cursed with an extended life, you’re forced to endure each era alone.

Generations came and went, until the day that final breath came in toil.

The final master was carried away, and hence forth, you’ve been silent as a stone.


They gathered round your flaming hearth, to sing, laugh, and love

Stockings hung on Christmas past, enticing children to behave.

Can you still hear them, ancient one? Into your structure are those memories wove?

What of the one who wore this brace? To its support, was he a slave?





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Born and raised on a farm near Brockville, Ontario, Mark Bierman's childhood consisted of chores, riding horses, snowmobile races across open fields, fishing trips to a local lake, and many other outdoor adventures. He was also an avid reader of both fiction and non. Transitioning towards adulthood also meant moving from the farm and into large urban areas that introduced this country boy to life in the big cities. After a short stint as a private investigator, he moved into the role of Correctional Officer, working at both Millhaven Institution and Kingston Penitentiary, until it closed.

32 thoughts on “Do you recall, Ancient One?”

  1. I love your title, Mark. It prepares me to be in the presence of wisdom. Each of your beautiful descriptions contain layers honouring a life from the past.

    Your observations are remarkable, noticing many little things in a building long discarded. I know I will now be more observant when I come across older, neglected structures. They likely have a story to tell. A beautiful poem!

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  2. If only walls could talk! I watch a lot of the HGTV shows where they renovate old houses. Some of them work to restore the house while still keeping its charm. I always find it fascinating when they find little hidden gems. Thanks for sharing this poem with us, Mark! 🙂

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  3. What a beautiful insight into the what was the past. I love exploring old buildings and wondering of the lives they contained!

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  4. This is an incredibly powerful post, Mark! I LOVE old structures. They have so much to tell, if only they could talk. Thank you for sharing these photos and words! Have a great day!

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