Tag Archives: life’s journey

Perhaps the World Ends Here

In this day and age of kitchen islands and open concept living, I wonder where the kitchen table has gone. The central spot of our lives might be the couch in front of the TV or the small phone screens we peer into like mirrors. This poem makes me hope for a world filled with more one to one connection and may all our last bites be sweet.

Perhaps the World Ends Here                                 Joy Harjo

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.

It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.

The table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.

We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.

At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

 

The Book I’m Writing

What’s in the book you are writing? Is it about living a life?  What will you leave out?

The Book I’m Writing                                                               Maggie Rowe

is a book about loss and heartbreak,

also delusion, distaste, quiet villainy, and sabotage.

There’s a strong pulse of hope near the beginning,

the rhythm of which weakens as the narrative develops.

It might have some heroism.

It will have whining,

especially if there is — and there always is —

pain or vomiting involved.

It’s set near the coast:

there’s a running metaphor

involving rogue sea waves

and the crushing of the human spirit.

There are choices made about whom to forgive

and whom to set up in the display case near the front door,

their irritating quirks dusted off

whenever dislike wants justification.

It’s a character-driven work,

the laziness of the protagonist

leading directly to the forfeiture of hope.

In spite of this, birds sing, babies are born, etc.

I Gave Away That Kid

Where does our youth go when they are beginning to move toward adulthood?  War, professional sports, college, or a job come to mind.  They are making their lives.  Some of us are sent off blessed, some unblessed.  Some have advantages, others don’t.  Some are pushed out of the nest while others are gently moved to a new point to launch from.  How did your journey begin?  Like life and people, this poem is full of contradictions.

I Gave Away That Kid                                                                      Grace Paley

I gave away that kidlike he was an old button

Here old button get off of me

I don’t need you anymore

go on get out of here

get into the army

sew yourself onto the colonel’s shirt

or the captain’s fly       jackass

don’t you have any sense

don’t you read the papers

why are you leaving now?

That kid walked out of here like he was the cat’s pyjamas

what are you wearing p j’s for   you damn fool?

why are you crying   you couldn’t

get another job anywhere anyways

go march to the army’s drummer

be a man like all your dead uncles

then think of something else to do

Lost him, sorry about that the president said

he was a good boy

never see one like him again

Why don’t you repeat that your honor

why don’t you sizzle up the meaning

of that sentence for your breakfast

why don’t you stick him in a prayer

and count to ten before my wife gets you.

That boy is a puddle in Beirut   the paper says

scraped up for singing in church

too bad   too bad is a terrible tune

it’s no song at all     how come you sing it?

I gave away that kidlike he was an old button

Here old button get off ame

I don’t need you anymore

go on get out of here

get into the army

sew yourself onto the colonel’s shirt

or the captain’s fly       jackass

don’t you have any sense

don’t you read the papers

why are you leaving now?