Monday, August 20, 2012

First Drops

Low hanging, the grey-yellow clouds still the dry churning air,
Waiting for the splat of fat drops…
Momentarily, great globs are flung earthward
Cold and icy like asteroids from somewhere above and beyond
Forming wet craters in the dust, pock-marking mud
Cars wheeling through the puddled wet pavement sing in choral harmonies,
Vapors waft into the branches above,
Leaves turning slowly on their stems, wave hello-goodbye
A cloud-curtain rises on the near horizon revealing a stub of a rainbow.
In the distance the dinner bell rings punctuated by boy’s voices and bicycles chains clanging
Sounding through the distant throaty roar of construction equipment,
Home is dog fur newly wetted, bejeweled grass clippings, slumping cardboard boxes,
And the lawn sprinkler still running.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Blood and Cement

This poem is made of concrete.
Surely who I am today is at least in part due
To the long hot dusty days
    Spent by my dad Ernie
     Back from the war
     Behind the wheel of a cement truck,
     Browned left elbow hanging out the driver’s side window.
     You’ve seen these trucks on the road and at construction sites
     Monster-looking vehicles with their spinning bellies loaded…
And also due to the years he spent running the batch plant
     A giant industrial blender for mixing a slate-colored batter of Portland cement
     With limestone gravel
     (He used to bring home ones with sea bottom fossils-I wish I still had them-)
     And cool brown sand
     All by the ton,
     Wet with icy artesian water.
Such is cement.
And there were many days spent after work
     -Side jobs- forming the walks and ways,
     Pouring the cement and raking the oozing mounds flat
     Then bull floating the eddies of wet heavy slop smooth
     Edging and troweling driveways, patios, and carports.
I was there, in sneakers with cement crusted toes
     Back then in America,
     Back in a land that was paved with man made conglomerate rock.
We were getting ahead.
I knew because
His dry cracked hands held the paychecks.
His hair was dusted a gritty theatrical grey
His bald spot protected from the sun by a straw
“Go to hell hat”
His arms and neck branded red by the high Ohio summer blaze,
Forming a negative-white
T-shirt on his skin.
He worked for us
And in his way, made a better life for me and my brothers.
So I went to college, got an education
In part so I didn’t have to labor my whole life long
(Although we did our share off and on, in the construction trades)
And when I came home on school vacations
I could always smell the sweat and concrete in his grey-stained coat
And feel his raw parched hand, desiccated by lime,
Placed gently on my shoulder…
It was a part of him, this rock and dust
And it is part of me
This mix of blood and cement,
Passed from father to son.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

This August Morning

Welcome to this morning.

The sun sparkles

Then glares its life-eye down upon us

The sound-calendars sing their songs

In percussive crescendos of layered richness

While cockcrow eyes are filled by

Flowers running naked-wild in full display

Begging water and

Giving glory in leaf and pedal.

We are wealthy and blessed.

We are welcomed to this morning.


Paul Sanderson

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Art at the Dump

Art at the Dump, When Once Is Not Enough

Nothing here is irrevocable,
Although beauty now comes
In shards and shatters,
And requires the curious eye
And the lightly strung mind to make anew.
Things thrown this away and that
Are now redeemed, the broken edges placed just so,
Just so we can find the old way and the old story
Retold once again
Reset both new
And yet still true.

Aha!  There you are
We meet again oh pickle jar
I sent you on your way it seemed
But here you are almost redeemed
And sometime soon there is no doubt
You once again will come about.