09-12-2010When about to make a thing
And I’m not so exactly sure
What the thing will look like
I wonder if I should stop
Maybe consult a professional
Prepare a long confessional
In case it seems a mistake.
My best work has always come
Once my notion is in motion
And it’s too late to turn back.
Fear comes into my present
And prompts my heart to speak
Urging me to reach clear to the thing I seek.
Then there is no mistake.
Truth is the thing I make.
08/11/10When I was sixteen and building my first house
I had an epiphany about wood,
I noticed that it was changing: warping, oozing, cracking
Even as I constructed.
I hated that fact.
I wanted my work to be perfect and permanent.
I thrashed around in my sleep.
Perplexed by imperfection.
My boss at the time was a slob.
He coached me: “You need to adjust your attitude:
Don’t worry ‘bout it. Goddamnit.
Can’t see it from my house anyway.” He shrugged.
I found some boldness in his prescription for mindless action.
And that seemed to work for him and be to his pleasing
When I immediately did what he told me to do.
Right wrong: not my fault: not my job to be mindful.
I never could make peace with it.
Even with a raise, when everything was swimming.
Wrestling an internal opponent that pit me against myself.
I was blissfully unemployed about five years ago
I sat on the lawn at my sister’s house
With both my artist sisters, eating a simple lunch.
One sister said “Wabi Sabi”
Other sister said “Just was reading about that.”
Brother in law rounded the house
Like in a musical reading a book titled:
“What is Wabi Sabi?”
Well…. It’s a Japanese phrase that juxtaposes
Two notions of age, like New-Old.
Like aging renewed by usage.
An old tarnished door knob that shines anew just where you grasp it.
So after years of mindful care, I can grasp and turn a log
From something old, hidden and rotting
Into a fascinating new vessel.
That honors old and new life in its layers of age and coping.
That has been the idea behind my work this week.
July 4, 2010A friend sent me a photograph
Of a generous oak in Rochester.
In a park designed by Omstead
Near the beautiful Genesee river.
felt instantly entitled To climb that seat
In the precarious comfort
Of my grandfather’s recliner.
But come the fourth of July this year
That tree was cleft in twain
As if smacked so hard
It split from the blow
Of a bare fisted giant.
Now, I’m not Druid any more,
Though those would be my roots.
But such an event on such a date
Might cause a plume to quiver
Back in the age of Shakespeare
When catastrophic events caused
Kings to repent from wars
And other wrong decisions.
Beware, repent and then perhaps rejoice.
P.S. find the “after” picture in the attached.
05/29/10I’m sick about the Gulf of Mexico.
Everything seems so mighty there at the mouth of the Mississippi.
But the breeze carries such a delicate mixture of scent.
Of things that require the gentlest kind of loving.
The scent of frogs, whatever that is
And reeds that bravely flower over mud
And little eyes that blink in the surface of gentle water.
I so hope whoever spills oil will certainly clean it up
Before it washes to shore.
Surely they will corral it like a gigantic school of fish
And suck it up as I’ve seen them do with fish into the hold.
And I hope they will experiment there
And find a way to separate
Oil from troubled water.
O, it’s already reached the shore?
O, they didn’t try to capture it?
O, they don’t know what they’re doing?
O, ships are full and won’t offload until the price of Oil rises?
O, they think the ratio of oil to water is not yet high enough?
Try this: One teacup of oil in the vast ocean is too much.
We must be fastidious as American Indians were about buffalos.
For all the bounty of this delicate earth.
Inspired a broken limb to attempt the sound.
Summer had died and left this painful splinter
Sapless, his leaves all scattered to the ground.
Snow had come and filled up over his feet.
An empty wood will echo any tune.
Why choose a song that sounds so like defeat?
Like Summer isn’t dead; she’s back at noon?
No, she died. I saw her. Every plant grew plump
Then ripe then picked or eaten by the deer
Then, as the heat expired the plants did slump
Sun came late, then shadowed, then it disappeared.
If Summer is truly gone: now we can sleep
And ready ourselves for a brand new summer to peak.
SpringMy heart aches for the rush of Spring
Where every shrub is stretching
And rushing with all its might
To get ready in its fat bud.
Then burst with scent and color
And join the wild profusion
On its dizzy march toward summer.
Alas, much of summer is here all winter.
And while I applaud the quiet and formal rites of Spring,
I’d still like a taste of New England’s all out bash!
Website by JCT August 21, 2006
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