Thursday, August 28, 2014

Walt Whitman-- in honor of Labor Day

Working at watering the trees before burning the brushpile below - PL
by Walt Whitman
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of mechanics -- each one singing his, as it should be,
       blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves
        off work;
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat -- the
        deckhand singing on the steamboat deck;
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench -- the hatter
        singing as he stands;
The wood-cutter's song -- the ploughboy's, on his way in the
        morning, or at the noon intermission, or at sundown;
The delicious singing of the mother -- or of the young wife at
       work -- or of the girl sewing or washing -- Each singing
       what belongs to her, and to none else;
The day what belongs to the day -- At night, the party of young
       fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.
Typed from The Walt Whitman Reader, c 1993 by Running Press

Thursday, August 21, 2014

In a search for "August," I found "work."

Working on school bags, UMCOR, 2013
I wanted to find another person's poem with August in the title. I began looking through the three shelves of poetry books, but tired quickly after five or six books and nothing. Aha, from Garrison Keillor's Good Poems, I found an even better section to match the work that's gone on around here this week (new flooring in the kitchen). Under WORK, I found the following piece by Bob Arnold.
No Tool or Rope or Pail
It hardly mattered what time of year
We passed by their farmhouse.
They never waved,
This old farm couple
Usually bent over in the vegetable garden
Or walking the muddy dooryard
Between house and red-weathered barn.
They would look up, see who was passing,
Then look back down, ignorant to the event.
We would wave nonetheless,
Before you dropped me off at work
Further up on the hill,
Toolbox rattling in the backseat,
And then again on the way home
Later in the day, the pale sunlight
High up in their pasture,
Our arms out the window,
Cooling ourselves.
And it was that one midsummer evening
We drove past and caught them sitting
Together on the front porch
At ease, chores done,
The tangle of cats and kittens
Cleaning themselves of fresh spilled milk
On the barn door ramp;
We drove by and they looked up--
The first time I've ever seen their
Hands free of any work,
No tool or rope or pail--
And they waved.
In the biography section is this snippet: Bob Arnold (b. 1952, Adams, MA) is a carpenter and stonemason and poet whose family owns the oldest family lumber business in America, Arnold Lumber. "I took off for the woods after high school and don't plan ever to come out," Arnold wrote. Keillor's book was published in 2002.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

School begins again - without me, whee!

a bed of cosmos
surrounding last year's sandbox
rusting Tonka truck

the lilac beautyberries
turn purple

a summer lunch
seed-freckled tomato juice
in the saucer

round and round
on the notebook spiral
a tiny black ant

the creek's coldness
rustling over gravel bar
an orange leaf

c 2014, Pat Laster dba lovepat press

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August already?

Grandson Billy-saying goodbye to summer
and hello to school? PL
first day of August
buying school supplies
before the rush
one child
on the school playground
in two weeks, many
barbershop at noon
no waiting, even the week
before school
woodsmoke and cool air
mother more energetic
now that school is near
two days until school
teachers in at recess
their cars on the playground
c lovepat press 2014