We’ve been very fortunate to do quite a bit of traveling these past few months and one of those trips included heading to Upstate New York to attend a Longhouse Food Revival. The Professor and I weren’t quite sure what to expect . . . creator and visionary, Molly O’Neill made reference to ‘Burning Man’ – of which I know nothing. 

Once we arrived and the day began to unfold, I likened it more to a ‘Woodstock for writers – without the mud, drugs and free-love’. And no, I didn’t attend the original Woodstock but have read accounts of what transpired. Longhouse was much more docile – we came, we hugged, we laughed, we shared, we learned, we ate and we headed home – bellies full, new friendships forged and a determination to make this thing we all do called ‘food writing’, even better.

As I reviewed the footage we shot and the moments we captured in our photographs, words began for form and they tumbled from my fingers as I sat with my laptop.

We wanted to create a piece that encompassed what this group discussed: writing, sound, photography and videography – ‘Barn’ is our attempt to do just that.

Debra Smith

Trees turning
Sun shining
Brisk Fall air
Rag-tag red barn
Wooden benches
Barn door heavy
Cracked and bumpy concrete floors
Dogs running
Dogs barking
Silo skeleton transformed
Open fire pit

Homemade tables
Outdoor kitchen
Artist paintings
Strings of lighting
Plates, napkins, bowls
Candle-lit chandelier

Windmill turning
Pit-Chef cooking
Spit turning
Metal signs blocking, pig protecting

Interns running
Hurry, hurry, hurry
Faster, faster, faster
Hair whipping
Boots and scarves wearing
Friends gathering
Cars parking
‘So good to see you’
Sweater sharing
Sunglasses wearing
Lots of hugging
Smiles and laughing
Swag bags

Coffee barista working
Milk steaming
Cups filling
Sticky flavored syrups pouring
Designs in milk frothing

Hayloft working
Extension cords snaking
Microphones projecting
Canvas cloths hanging
Images displaying
Wooden chairs folding
Thoughts gathering
Holding my breath that all goes well

Speakers ready
Poetry reading
Daylight streaming
Gaps in the rag-tag red barn
Cameras clicking
Picture making
Instagram posting
Lessons ‘popping’
Story telling

Copper oven
Pizza making
Wildflowers tucked in jars
Charcuterie board
Pickled garden bounty
Tortilla making, cricket filling

Chauffeur driving
Journal writing
Opening ceremonies
Closing ceremonies
What did we learn?
Where are we going?
How do we share?
Newspaper passing

Wine sipping
Droplets falling from wet blue bottles
Plates heaping
Warm beans, fresh-made tortillas, spicy Oaxacan Pig
Sun is setting
Temperatures dropping
Long tables, end-to-end
Elbows bumping
Sharing life above the chatter




  1. Pingback: 52 sundays; october 14, 2012 | Smith Bites

  2. Pingback: Longhouse Food Writers Revival Poem with Slide Show - Zarela

  3. It was so great seeing you there, despite the brevity of the visit. Loved seeing the video and your interpretation of the weekend.

  4. Another case of inspiration by barn. You love ’em! GREG

  5. The video is beautiful! What a wonderful event and what a group of exciting, inspiring people! Lucky you to attend. Fabulous! And your video captured that!

  6. Absolutely beautiful, Debra. You and the Professor make beautiful… everything. Love you two!

  7. Barn. Brilliant. Poetically moving. Moved me. Wish I was there.

  8. Oh you two. You two, you two. You made magic. As always. Whenever I think of that day, I’ll have this video playing in my head, along with the one I made with my memories.

    Adore you.

  9. Loved the Barn! I thought I saw your fiery hair in one shot:) It looks like a great writing event! Hugs!

  10. I enjoyed every moment of you “Barn”. Thank you!

  11. Love it!! Your video and poetry are a perfect match. I’ve never heard of this event. Off to check it out.

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