Sunday, August 07, 2011

Your Sunday Poem

This by Jane Hirschfield from her book, "Given Sugar, Given Salt."

                              August Day

You work with what you are given --
today I am blessed, today I am given luck.

It takes the shape of a dozen ripening fruit trees,
a curtain of pole beans, a thicket of berries.
It takes the shape of a dozen empty hours.

In them is neither love nor love's muster of losses,
in them is no chance for harm or for good.
Does even my humanness matter?
A bear would be equally happy, this August Day,
fat on the simple sweetness plucked between thorns.

There are some who may think, "How pitiful, how lonely."
Others must murmur, "How lazy."

I agree with them all: pitiful, lonely, lazy.
Lost to the earth and to heaven,
thoroughly drunk on its whiskeys, I wander my kingdom.


Alon Perlman said...

An earthy offering

10:01 till 11:01 no edits
Third clearing cycle; Packrats Lament
At the first ramparts of its out-skirts, South East corner of town;
Tureens like helmets strewn, Appliance cords splayed like guts
At the harried battle scene, sifted spoils of wars long forgotten
Hordes of hunters, marauders and pickers churn the fallen goods
Plow through the rows of tables, mêlée for flashes of treasure
Strangers rubbing elbows, People helping People, friends helping friends.

A moment’s hesitation, the other persons discarded treasure beacons
Shines like a path, back to an abandoned home not quite yet left.
Portents of a journey not yet taken, a wistful thought interrupted-
A familiar voice says “Do you want it? I’ll buy you that”.
Greenbacks to Gerry, and Ya-Linda, Ya-Linda,
You beautiful person, you gifted, what I dared not attach.

The gift of receiving, the gift of giving, the commerce of exchange.
Released from earthly restraints, strands of the umbilicus remain.
Savagely self stripped of possessions, reaching back for loin cloth comfort.
Afraid to face the new dawn naked, clinging to shreds of the past
Mothers apron string s are straightened and tucked and folded,
Ready to bind their new owner, stand guard in a new old kitchen.
Start a new stew, stir a simpler soup, bake a fresh bread.

Cast away green chest, belly sky up split.
Facing out, owners name pasted prominent
First, last, middle name, lording over its cubit of emptiness
A provident provenance, a mystical, serendipitous event.
I have now exchanged my old baggage for yours
Now give me more memories, give me your cast away house hold items,
yearning to be re-captured, encased, repossessed.

Carried by the loin leather of a long dead bovine
Lightweight, empty bellied, hollowed and loud.
Rusted lock, now decoration, the treasure is the container
The count full thought of the gifter, and the memories it entraps
First steps of another next journey, the same-new life awaits.

Thanks to those who participated in the PHP/Southbay Community Center fundraiser Yardsale.
The Buyers, the donors, the organizers, the bakers of condiments, too.

Churadogs said...

They made something like 3,600$$ for PHP and homeless shelter. Hooray to all who helped and all who came to find new treasures. As I was helping set up all the mounds of stuff, it occurred to me that American is, indeed, the only country in the world that will drive to the poorhouse, carrying tons of . . . stuff.(Aw, and I'm no different. When going through the house gathering stuff for the yard sale, I could only stand and wonder, how did I end up with all this . . . stuff! )

Alon Perlman said...

Incidentally the hairloom chest is ensconced in a storage facility south of LA. Somday i'll ask about it's provenance and travels.