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Passions in Poetry

Lifting Meadow Dirt

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bsquirrel
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Member Rara Avis
since 01-03-2000
Posts 8382


0 posted 03-06-2003 04:14 PM       View Profile for bsquirrel   Email bsquirrel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for bsquirrel

The man, greyed by his years,
lifted his clean shovel
from its chalk-lined place
within the low workshed.

His breath was smoke to-day
without cigarette.
His hands as icing statues
within cotton gloves.

The shovel was a timeline.
The blade of it notched up
by years of trenches dug
to keep the rain in place.

He would feel a sorrow
whenever sharp stone bit
and broke a shovel tooth
across its cold tongue.

He would sense the handle
smoothing with each strike,
digging through the earth,
hacking mountain roots.

Some stones, big as plates,
would balance on the blade
and fall apart as hard-packed dirt
as they hit the ground.

Roots as strange as hands
twisting through the loam.
Exposing husk-like digits
in brown veins made of wood.

He would create standing pools
through the sheer force of his work.
He was glad to know he could
make the rain fill empty eyes.

To-day the blade would suit
a different purpose in the meadow.
Working through the autumn hours
he would level out the soil.

He would break up rotting roots
of a tree too old and near
the line of his straight trenches.
If they dammed the rain's quick way

the meadow would flood over
with the storms of spring and summer.
He would have to wake with towels,
sweep out water through his door.

He missed her most when sun's first light
pricked its way across his eyelids.
To stay this warm these days took layers
when once it took only her presence.

He stumbled on the path,
used the shovel as a cane.
Jabbing lines into the earth
to help sustain his weight.

When he got back from his work
he would clean the shovel free
of mud and dirt and scars and sun,
and the dust's fragility.

I know it's over.
The Smiths

© Copyright 2003 MPC - All Rights Reserved
Marshalzu
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Member Elite
since 02-15-2001
Posts 4465
Lurking


1 posted 03-06-2003 04:26 PM       View Profile for Marshalzu   Email Marshalzu   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marshalzu's Home Page   View IP for Marshalzu

Wow this is just absolutely wonderful, I just loved your use of language to create such vivid imagery. The entire poem was a pleasure to read thanks for sharing

Andrew
Anvrill
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since 06-21-2002
Posts 718
in the interzone now


2 posted 03-06-2003 11:27 PM       View Profile for Anvrill   Email Anvrill   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Anvrill's Home Page   View IP for Anvrill

This entire thing just aches.... But it's so resolved as well. Oh, Mikhail... *melt* You are...beyond words. Your poetry is magic, baby.

remember the sound
that could wake the dead
but nobody woke up at all

rs

bsquirrel
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Member Rara Avis
since 01-03-2000
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3 posted 03-06-2003 11:28 PM       View Profile for bsquirrel   Email bsquirrel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for bsquirrel

Thank you, Andrew, for the read and the reply.

Lori... *kiss* You always make me feel good. Thank you for that.

Mikhail
Martie
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since 09-21-1999
Posts 28608
California


4 posted 03-06-2003 11:55 PM       View Profile for Martie   Email Martie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Martie's Home Page   View IP for Martie

Mike..this ached in me...so tenderly you touched of human beauty.  Thank you!
Local Parasite
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since 11-05-2001
Posts 2929
Transylconia, Winnipeg


5 posted 03-07-2003 01:30 PM       View Profile for Local Parasite   Email Local Parasite   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Local Parasite's Home Page   View IP for Local Parasite

Somehow I feel groggy and miserable today and this poem really made that feeling of grog and misery come alive.  The length of your description fits well the state of mind of your character, the weight of his task filling his life, the importance all the importance in the world to him as the one he once loved is now gone.

I've written something on the same topic myself, and I think it's a topic that yet deserves more attention.  So many write of love and loss, and far too often is daily compensation overlooked.  The truest sadness of loss is found in the mundane.  

Beautiful work, Mike.  I read this with fascination and wonder, and at the end, you absolutely pounced on me.  I love when that happens.

Oh, and thanks for posting a long one.  

Parasite

"Faith" means the will to avoid knowing what is true.
~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

bsquirrel
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Member Rara Avis
since 01-03-2000
Posts 8382


6 posted 03-07-2003 01:50 PM       View Profile for bsquirrel   Email bsquirrel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for bsquirrel

Thank you, Martie.

LP, glad you found something of worth in this poem. I wasn't trying to accentuate grog and misery. Rather, it's more about keeping on, even in the face of despair. When I used to live in New Hampshire, and go camping in Maine, there'd be times when I'd be chopping wood and the world would be only about existing in the moment of that task. You feel both part of the world and erased from it at the same time.

Oh, and glad you liked the length of this one. Looking back now, I have to say, you were right. "Mirror" sucked.
bsquirrel
Deputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Rara Avis
since 01-03-2000
Posts 8382


7 posted 03-07-2003 01:52 PM       View Profile for bsquirrel   Email bsquirrel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for bsquirrel

As a P.S., what is your poem on the same topic called? I'd love to read it. E-mail it to me, k?

I know it's over.
The Smiths

fractal007
Member Elite
since 06-01-2000
Posts 2032


8 posted 03-07-2003 06:45 PM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

Nice poem.  The description flows well in this one and your style is a pleasant deviation from that of your other works I've read.

"If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh"
-- Magus
"there is no good and evil, there are just sides."
-- Local Parasite

Ratleader
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since 01-23-2003
Posts 7179
Visiting Earth on a Guest Pass


9 posted 03-08-2003 10:47 PM       View Profile for Ratleader   Email Ratleader   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ratleader's Home Page   View IP for Ratleader

If this by some chance isn't the best poem I have read on this site -- any forum, any time -- I can't remember what the other one was.

Hat's off to you on this one, my friend. You really socked it.

~~(¸¸¸¸ºº>   ~~(¸¸¸¸ºº>  ~~(¸¸ ¸¸ºº>    ~~~(¸¸ER¸¸ºº>
______________Ratleader______________

Riley
Deputy Moderator 5 ToursDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Senior Member
since 07-18-2002
Posts 1122
in the pouring rain


10 posted 03-09-2003 09:57 AM       View Profile for Riley   Email Riley   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Riley

What a way to start the morning, nice job...I loved the description in it. This was my fav. part
quote:
He would feel a sorrow
whenever sharp stone bit
and broke a shovel tooth
across its cold tongue.


Loved it.


Riley

Morning mist clings to my face, and my soul opens up to you......

bsquirrel
Deputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Rara Avis
since 01-03-2000
Posts 8382


11 posted 03-10-2003 01:30 PM       View Profile for bsquirrel   Email bsquirrel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for bsquirrel

Thank you both. Seriously.
 
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