Monday, May 11, 2009

Poem: Yard Work

Yard Work

You stand and stare,
overwhelmed at first by how much
there is to cut away,
how overgrown your life is
with weeds and vines,
lush, green and choking,
a beautiful and comfortable
death by neglect.

The temptation is to let it be.
What difference, after all, will another week make,
another month?
But then you remember the beauty
of what once was,
it's stately strength,
and how day by day,
week by week,

it has become lost,
and even though you cannot
see it now, you can imagine it,
and even if you cannot know
where to begin, you know
that every snip of the clippers,
every dead branch you create,
also creates hope,

a resurrection from the weeds,
and so, still overwhelmed,
you begin.


The picture is of a place in West Pawlet, VT, my new home town. It used to be a factory for school lockers, and currently houses a couple of apartments. I find it a fascinatingly beautiful building, overgrown and mysterious. You can click on it for a larger view.



Derrick said...

Hi Tom and thanks for your first proper post from Quarry House.

The poem is great. There's always a lot to do in a new home, in a new city, in a new state. I hope your own yard doesn't need so much work!

FireLight said...

I like "a resurrection from the weeds" .... an apt description of uncovering a cherished shrub or flower bed from tangled vines...I have to do this a great deal in my "lower forty"....It is so good to see your work again.

Tom Atkins said...

Thank you both, and it's good to be back to writing.

Derrick, my new yard is actually quite tiny, and there is nothing there but grass. but time will take care of that. I took some cuttings from my other house, and will get other things in the ground in time. After a year or few, I'll have a proper garden.

Firelight, I am glad you liked the description, life, like those treasured shrubs, tends to get caught in the weeds a lot, I find, unless we are diligent.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Hello Tom - really glad to have you blogging again, you've been missed!

I like 'and so, still overwhelmed, you begin.'

That strikes a chord with me, because it is tempting to wait until one is not feeling overwhelmed, but the longer things are left, the more overwhelming it gets!

Delwyn said...

Good morning Tom

I like to use that analogy myself of cutting back dead wood, seems such a powerful image...
but new growth always springs forth with vigour from well pruned shrubs and trees.

Happy pruning