Monday, October 05, 2009

TFE's Monday Poetry Challenge

in which we write poems based on photographs that Totalfeckineejit has posted here.

I chose Photograph #2 from The Poetry Bus part deux. It reminded me of two things: my love of the ocean -- no, my love of being near the ocean -- and the photograph of a field in Saskatchewan that I took not long ago. Oh, and it also reminded me of a song. I'll put the song at the end of the post, though, so as to end on a beautiful note.

Meanwhile, the poem. I've called it


How do they do it, the ones whose lives
plod like yoked oxen from cradle to grave?
An earthy furrow holds no charm;
its walls hide the sky and drown the sun.
Its way is straight, its end ordained.

I prefer to follow a winding path,
a way that forgets its beginning
but knows that all the possible paths,
whether arrow straight or serpentine,
come to the same inglorious end.

"Of course," exemplary ox reminds me,
"You'll never get a crop that way,"
and he has a point, there. Yes, he does.
There are no bulging barns
along my road, no winter stores --

But my path - my winding path
might take me anywhere, before it ends,
even on wings to the fiery sun,
or to the salt water's edge
and the deep comfort of the sea.


Rachel Fox said...

I longed to live by the sea for years...and have done so since 2002. So I'm pretty much with you... and this poem. Job well done.

Titus said...

This is a job well done. Really enjoyed it, and that's from an ox who married a grasshopper.
Beautiful language, lovely journey.
Last three lines enviable.

the watercats said...

rugged and earthy... a beuatifully chunky read,.. thanks a million for creating a few moments of pure pleasure :-)

Mairi said...

A great start, pulling us right in. How do they do it? By the end of the pice the reader is either sighing with relief at what he's escaped or wondering how, and why, he does do it. Two paths, both ending in the same inevitability, but one plainly a lot more scenic than the other. A really nice piece, and don't we all envy the last three lines and the possibility they hold out?

Poetikat said...

Really nice. I liked your "exemplary ox's" admonition and the way you by-passed it, preferring to plot the unpredicted course.

AngelMay said...

Loved this, Sandra. Love the "not knowing" as we wander through life. In many ways, predictable is comfortable. But sometimes we just have to spread our wings and fly off to who-knows-where. Someone said somewhere that, at the end of our lives, it's not the things we did that we regret. It's the things we didn't do.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Beautiful poem Sandra,I love the notion of the grasshopper and the ox in conversation.Winding paths are so much more appealing aren't they visually and metaphorically.Love the last stanza, specially...

'..on wings to the fiery sun,
or to the salt water's edge
and the deep comfort of the sea.'

Magic. Thanks ye!

Sandra Leigh said...

Thank you, everybody, for your kind and generous comments.

Karen said...

Beautiful, Sandra. I want to go with grasshopper.

willow said...

Wonderful. This has a sort of Aesop's Fable thing going on. Love it!

swiss said...

sucjh a good first stanza. and a second and a third. i was really into this

T. Clear said...

Lovely writing, Sandra!

Blog Archive