Monday, December 19, 2011

To be of use

by Marge Piercy

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who stand in the line and haul in their places,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come or the fire to be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Poetry While You Wait Submissions

Poets and poetry lovers – now is the time to submit your original poems to the Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Project for the next Poetry While You Wait poetry booklet. Submission is free and open to all residents, adults and children, of El Paso and Teller counties. This year, poems will be considered in English and foreign languages. If you wish to submit your poems in a foreign language, include your original foreign language poem and its English translation. All forms (free verse, blank verse, etc.) will be considered for publication. You may submit up to five poems, 30 lines or shorter, and suitable for public consumption, in the body of one e-mail, not an attachment, to Or mail to: Jim Ciletti, Poet Laureate, 1215 N. Union, Colorado Springs, 80909. Deadline is December 7, 2011. Please include your postal and e-mail address and phone number and a one-line bio with your submission. Poetry While You Wait will be published in Spring and distributed to waiting rooms, like your doctor’s or dentist’s office, tire stores, auto repair shops, beauty salons, barber shops, etc. – wherever there is a waiting area. Contact: Jim Ciletti - 634-2367.