•COMING IN SEPTEMBER, 2015•

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

by Emery Roth

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hay Wagon


PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL:

At the top of the stair
I was slapped by Spider Light.
Complexities resolve
To effortless geometrics,
Commanding the eye
Like the rose window
At the end of the cathedral nave
Where the organ point reverberates,
And like the inside of a fiddle,
Resonant and lithe.

Only later did I notice
The flying hay wagon
In the attic air
Like the lost chord,
Last vestige of
Kuerners working the land
Of root clinging to rock and earth.

So obvious and so enjoyable was the "vaulting" of the barn that it was awhile before I gave any attention to the wagon, here, on the third floor. I wasn't expecting it. This bank barn burrows in two full stories so that the hay wagon can be driven in here and the hay unloaded where it's dry. Hay is dropped left and right to level 2 for storage in the haymow and piled two-and-a-half stories high. Later it can be dropped again to feed animals housed in "the crypt" below or to reload onto wagons waiting down in the barnyard. Here, at last, farming still carried on by Kuerners. Betsy's hay lies somewhere below.

Karl J. Kuerner has done some beautiful paintings of this space. One of them, "Unloading Straw," is on his web site.