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Fathers’ Hands

by David Sloan (Goodreads Author)

Carving a bow for my son, who wantsa weapon to terrorize squirrels
and deliver the world, I snag the blade,
fumble the whittle stroke and slice my finger.
The cut oozes. My hand is sturdy,
scarred, nothing like my father’s—
unmarked, maple-colored.

His hands stitched gashes without a flinch.
They mortared rock walls to hold a hillside up.
On the violin, his fingers flew like wingtips.
Once as a child I saw sparks spray
from that smoking bow. He tried to teach
my hands how to drive a nail straight,
which spans would bear a load
and which would snap, how to follow
the grain of things, how to hear notes first,
then pluck them as if out of a peach tree.

A single feather in his hair, my son stalks
the squirrel, holds the bow steady,
draws back the shaft, aims, lets fly.
Target and archer are unruffled by the miss.
He bounds over to the arrow, takes it
in his nimble fingers, so like his father’s
father’s, and nocks the end,
eager to aim, miss and aim again.

Again trying to expand my horizons through poetry. I love the image of the hands and how they fix their children’s world. I also like the buoyancy of the last verse, such an excellent way to describe the optimism of youth. Goodreads does have some very good picks each month. They also run a contest to pick these poems, so here is how to submit yours if you want!

Want your words to reach millions of people? Goodreads and the ¡POETRY! group have partnered to host an ongoing poetry contest. Join the ¡POETRY!group and vote each month to pick a winner from among the finalists. You can also submit a poem for consideration–Goodreads

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Poetry Wednesday

I have never been a fan of poetry. Too much thought to figure it out maybe?  And I am definitely not a sentimentalist, and most poetry put in front of me in school was rather. I am, however, trying to expand my horizons.  So when I got my Goodreads newsletter this month, I read the poem. And found it highly amusing, so I decided to share 🙂

Under the table

by Barnaby Wilde (Goodreads Author)

There’s a sort of springy wire underneath my dining table,
That’s in a kind of runner down each side.
It should go round a pulley thing in order to enable,
Each of the extending leaves to smoothly slide.
But I think the springy wire must have fallen off the pulley
As the metal slider thingy doesn’t work.
Instead of sliding smoothly it no longer opens fully,
It just judders to a stop in little jerks.

So now I’m lying on my back underneath the dining table,
Trying to work out what’s gone amiss.
But the metal covered runner thing that holds the springy cable,
Is preventing me from seeing what it is.
I prod it with my finger and I pull the springy cable,
But I can’t see far enough along the track.
And the rail that runs from end to end that’s underneath the table,
Is digging rather sharply in my back.

I think that maybe if I took off both the wooden sliding panels,
I could re-attach the wire thing again.
As long as I could poke it back along the metal channel,
I might hook it round the pulley with my pen.
But, is it really worth it? I can feel my will desert me,
When I see it’s held each side by seven screws.
That’s twenty eight in total just to get the beggar free,
And twenty eight to put back in once it’s been loosed.

Thirty minutes later and I’ve unscrewed twenty seven,
But the last one’s gone and got a busted head.
I wish I hadn’t started and I’ve lost the will for living,
But eventually I free the broken thread.
Now I’m studying the cable that’s fallen off the pulley,
And I’m blowed if I can see what holds it on.
But I poke it down the channel and I hook it back on fully,
Can’t help thinking that it won’t stay there for long.

Now if you think it wasn’t easy taking out the bloody screws,
It’s ten times harder getting them to go back in.
Because gravity’s against me and I’m really not amused,
Indeed my patience now is wearing rather thin.
But, finally I’m finished and that springy wire cable,
Is back around the pulley wheel again.
However, when I pull the leaf out to extend the flipping table,
Nothing happens to the one the other end.

So, was it all a waste of time dismantling the slider thing,
Two hours discomfort lying on my back?
Well, there is a tiny benefit from all that disassembling
No wire now hanging down beneath the track.
And the other little consequence of this minute adventure,
Is that I went out and wrote this little song.
So if you’re feeling musical, while I have your attention,
Why don’t you clear your throat and sing along …

…There’s a sort of springy wire underneath my dining table, …

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