Tuesday, December 27

Burly Men

While I was on the road trip that I briefly mentioned in my last post, we managed to get down into Florida for several days.  Luckily, we were able to get to the Everglades National Park, Miami Beach, and Key West.  I've decided to share some of my poetry from our time down that way.  These poems are longer than the two short ones I posted about Southern California, so I won't post them all together.  I welcome most compliments and all critiques so don't be shy about speaking your opinion--in fact, I'd greatly appreciate it.  If you find anything here to be enjoyable, I'd love it if you'd share it with your friends, either by copy+pasting it, or simply by "liking" it below!

This poem I don't believe I am yet totally satisfied with.  There are some areas I would like to improve, but I've decided to shelve my insecurities about it and share it nonetheless.

It is with the greatest of confidences
That I walk down these elevated footpaths,
And peer down into the slow-moving water below.
I think I could erect a similar structure,
Perhaps something that will wrap around my kitchen,
And my bathroom to showcase my flowers,
In the garden to which I tend every summer.
Surely it’s no difficult feat of engineering,
Lining wooden planks four feet high,
But I am sure it was a callous-handed professional,
Long-learned in the art of carpentry,
Who designed and installed these sturdy beams.
A burly man perhaps, who takes all comers,
Makes vigorous love and has never cried.
Assisting him, I’m sure, would be others,
More lumberjack types, hairy-chested
Fans of meat and sport who can handle their liquor,
Which they never put on ice to chill.
I’m not a man like those, I regret.
Just an hour ago I cried, thanks to a song on the radio.
I sobbed a little, like their wives may have done,
Upon learning the nature of the work.
“You’ll be killed!,” one may have protested,
Afraid of boxing up her husband like the liverwurst sandwiches
She made for him today, and always.
No, I’m not cut out for saltwater carpentry,
With those manly professionals,
Waist high in waters which are not yet the Atlantic,
Where crocodiles have crooked smiles, and
Bathe patiently as if to say,
“Come on in, the water’s warm,”
Even though it’s clearly not.

1 comment:

  1. I like how you start out with "the greatest of confidences," in the context of your appreciation for slow-moving waters, your kitchen, and your flowers... then you contrast yourself with those supposed standards of masculinity, but you end where you started, I think: looking down at the water, knowing better, "elevated," not fooled by the deceitful crocodiles who, like the burly men, aren't being completely honest. They may have their strength and their own set of skills, but you seem confident in your ability to see it all from above, so to speak. You even show an appreciation for the wives of the carpenters, relating to their ability to show emotion; but the fact that you're not one of these hairy-chested, straight-liquor-drinking types doesn't seem to be setting you back... though, like me, I'm sure you wish you could do your own carpentry instead of having to pay an arm and a leg to get the job done. You acknowledge regret - perhaps feeling inadequate - but you're still above it all, in your own way.

    I also like phrases like "waters which are not yet the Atlantic," but I hesitate to compliment for the use of them, for fear that one might tend to overuse them, trying to sound too "deep" or whatever. So I'm glad you only used it once. You've found a way to use accessible modifiers and imagery without sounding amateur or uneducated. This is nice, earthy poetry, for lack of a more earthly term.