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Gouge, Adze, Rasp, Hammer Analysis

Author: poem of Chris Forhan Type: poem Views: 14

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So this is what it's like when love

leaves, and one is disappointed

that the body and mind continue to exist,

exacting payment from each other,

engaging in stale rituals of desire,

and it would seem the best use of one's time

is not to stand for hours outside

her darkened house, drenched and chilled,

blinking into the slanting rain.

So this is what it's like to have to

practice amiability and learn

to say the orchard looks grand this evening

as the sun slips behind scumbled clouds

and the pears, mellowed to a golden-green,

glow like flames among the boughs.

It is now one claims there is comfort

in the constancy of nature, in the wind's way

of snatching dogwood blossoms from their branches,

scattering them in the dirt, in the slug's

sure, slow arrival to nowhere.

It is now one makes a show of praise

for the lilac that strains so hard to win

attention to its sweet inscrutability,

when one admires instead the lowly

gouge, adze, rasp, hammer--

fire-forged, blunt-syllabled things,

unthought-of until a need exists:

a groove chiseled to a fixed width,

a roof sloped just so. It is now

one knows what it is to envy

the rivet, wrench, vise -- whatever

works unburdened by memory and sight,

while high above the damp fields

flocks of swallows roil and dip,

and streams churn, thick with leaping salmon,

and the bee advances on the rose.


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