Poet Commentaries

A Haiku Explained

2017 06 10 the old vine

the old vine
draws me in
the last ripe grape

This was written for a contest based on the following quote from Voltaire

“I have no more than twenty acres of ground,” he replied, “the whole of which I cultivate myself with the help of my children; and our labor keeps off from us the three great evils – boredom, vice, and want.”  ~Voltaire

The latter haiku I submitted does not really say clearly what I saw.  Haiku and poetry is limited. Responsibility to nature and to family and others has a way of stretching us, that is what I saw.  Working out knots and keeping us lithe.  That stretch to listen to children or that reach for a ripe grape deep in the vine work different muscles.  Those 20 acres of ground would provide just the right calisthenics.

My son in law has a prosthetic.  When bowling he cannot bend his leg and it makes the task harder.  We talked the next day about this haiku and quote.  The question I asked was did this impact stretching. (yes) We both could point out aches that you just knew only needed a stretch but the right exercise escaped us. (thank you pysiotherapists) There was talk and sad examples of people not working out the muscles and in the end losing the use of  knee or arm.

I have always been thankful for a job that uses different muscles everyday; mental, physical and spiritual. For responsibility that make parts of me ache so I remember them and stretch them out.  How the different aspects of life, many of them not tasks I relish, together work at keeping me lithe.  

If I lived in a condo with no need to work and no necessary emergencies to attend to or if had a small family I would need to find something to do.  I would need to exercise contacts; taking one earbud out for a week and working at nodding to others as I walked. To plant myself into others.  To start buying fruit with seeds and pits and reteach my tongue to separate and spit them out again.   To work at it.

Frankly retirement scares me, when the time of working at it ceases.  That time when either I buy fruit without seeds or have them pitted and pureed for me.
I am including an old poem.  


I Live

There is something poetic in the fact that the thief who broke into my car left behind two important things; golf clubs and work boots. I felt deep sadness at his lack of life. So….a poem….

I pirouette,
dancing with work, play and family
They orbit further
but have never been closer.
Their elastic forces,
pull at my core, tugging perfectly.
In every moment
I touch one of these planets.
Tiny sparks spin off
mixed with earth, water and fire

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