Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Work without Hope

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

                     Lines Composed 21st February 1825

All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair—
The bees are stirring—birds are on the wing—
And Winter slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
And I the while, the sole unbusy thing,
Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.

         Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow,
Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow.
Bloom, O ye amaranths! bloom for whom ye may,
For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away!
With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I stroll:
And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul?
Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And Hope without an object cannot live.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sunday, January 25, 2015

What Work Is

- Philip Levine

We stand in the rain in a long line
waiting at Ford Highland Park. For work.
You know what work is—if you’re
old enough to read this you know what
work is, although you may not do it.
Forget you. This is about waiting,
shifting from one foot to another.
Feeling the light rain falling like mist
into your hair, blurring your vision
until you think you see your own brother
ahead of you, maybe ten places.
You rub your glasses with your fingers,
and of course it’s someone else’s brother,
narrower across the shoulders than
yours but with the same sad slouch, the grin
that does not hide the stubbornness,
the sad refusal to give in to
rain, to the hours of wasted waiting,
to the knowledge that somewhere ahead
a man is waiting who will say, “No,
we’re not hiring today,” for any
reason he wants. You love your brother,
now suddenly you can hardly stand
the love flooding you for your brother,
who’s not beside you or behind or
ahead because he’s home trying to   
sleep off a miserable night shift
at Cadillac so he can get up
before noon to study his German.
Works eight hours a night so he can sing
Wagner, the opera you hate most,
the worst music ever invented.
How long has it been since you told him
you loved him, held his wide shoulders,
opened your eyes wide and said those words,
and maybe kissed his cheek? You’ve never
done something so simple, so obvious,
not because you’re too young or too dumb,
not because you’re jealous or even mean
or incapable of crying in
the presence of another man, no,   
just because you don’t know what work is.

from: What Work Is. Copyright 1992.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Farmer's Market - A Little Mid-Winter Whining

Created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and now hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

Autumn color and Summer blossoms grace the same garden.

Frost damage and Spring greenery also share space.

Out of this chaos, regardless of my actions, will come beauty and fruit for all, human and otherwise.

I lost about three months this year and am way behind with the garden work. Being physically weakened and lacking stamina I don't see myself catching up anytime soon.

My Garden rejuvenates both Body and Soul, and I never realized how much I needed it until I was kept away from it this year.

"Ancient poetry and mythology suggest, at least, that husbandry was once a sacred art."
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Homeric Hymn to Demeter

When grief strikes a mother,
there is no end to it.
The earth parches, its
glittering waters gone.
Everything is barren. Cattle starve
for lack of grain. Nothing grows.
Even the gods are destitute,
even the altar flames blow out.
such is a mother's grief; bitter
and endless, for her lost child.