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Monday, July 19, 2010

Attentions

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Attentions


After a pale winter of neglect,
the potted schefflera has been brought out
like an old man in a wheel chair
for some sun on the porch.

I, the negligent caregiver,
lounge in the big padded wicker,
reading about art forgeries.
Is La Bella Principessa
a real Leonardo?

A tractor down the road
stutters: Who cares?

At that, I look up
just as a breeze draws its brush
across my bare arm, and then lifts
two yellowed leaves off the poor
sickly plant.
Down they fall, like eyebrows.

A triangle of robins
has been singing something vital
from the trees. For how long?

The answer is --
For always. 


~ Ruth M.

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49 comments:

Lorenzo said...

A lot of always captured in this simple but nonetheless transcendent moment. Very beautifully done, Ruth. Such striking aural and visual images, the stuttering tractor, the singing robins, the leaves like eyebrows ...

Susan said...

I picture myself turning through the pages of my well-thumbed copy of Ruth's Moments (for want of a better title) with a cup of Earl green in the other hand. I stop on this page, softly sigh, and read it for the hundredth time.

Pat said...

This is so beautiful - so visual. I loved it!

Gwei Mui said...

Yes this is indeed beautiful. Visual pages floating past my eyes.

Deborah said...

Lorenzo's eloquent comment said it better than I could have, Ruth. I have recently started to explore poetry, mostly by others but also trying a bit of it myself. Today I spent about 4 hours and ended up with a dozen lines - it's not easier than writing essays, just diffferent.
You, on the other hand, make it look so easy. Beautifully so.

Jeanie said...

Oh, Ruth -- I can see it and feel that breeze. However do you write so clearly, so effortlessly? Yes, probably not effortless to you -- but to me, it sounds as though it simply appeared!

willow said...

Like eyebrows....I love that. (beautiful cushion on your chair, btw)

George said...

I loved this poem, Ruth. i especially liked its Zen quality, your ability to remain in the present moment as all of these wonders, including the leaves falling from the schefflera, unfolded. From a Zen standpoint, I would like to give you an "A," but you will have to settle for an "A-" because of that small tinge of guilt you felt in the "negligent caregiver" line. As poetry, however, my praise is unqualified. Beautifully rendered!

Oliag said...

As I read this I felt that I was sitting on that porch with you, hearing the tractor and robins, feeling the wind, watching the leaves fall...

cathyswatercolors said...

oops blogger error... beautiful and sweet. love it.

mystic rose said...

Beautiful! I love the thoughts, and the lovely way you expressed them. you really are perfecting the art.

ds said...

Love the eyebrows. And the chair--literal as well as poetic--because I'm right there with you, hearing the tractor stutter and your Rumi robins...
Thank you, Ruth.

musingbymoonlight.com said...

A poem as perfect as any poem can be. Thank you! I felt I was there ... and it was lovely.

Ruth said...

Thank you, dear Lorenzo. This poem came after being immersed in a poem by Mary Oliver called Spring Azures off and on all day yesterday (you can scroll down to it here; there is other good stuff there too), sitting on the porch, and finishing that very long article about art forgeries, between doing household tasks like laundry. I guess I don't need to say more about what I was feeling. It's there.

Ruth said...

Susie, my dear friend, there can't be a sweeter sentiment than that, or a sweeter friend than you. I'm in good hands indeed.

Ruth said...

Pat, thank you. It's all there, when I slow, quiet, and pay attention.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Gwei Mui, very much. The pages of that art forgeries article floated before my eyes all day. It was quite long, and I didn't want it to end.

Ruth said...

Deborah, thank you so much for seconding Lorenzo's comment, and for all you said. Your writing is concise, insightful and always full of intriguing twists, so that I could read on and on and on. I have no doubt that poems you write will be very well written. I look forward to you sharing them some day soon.

I remember in classes with Wakoski, when one poem a week was the assignment, I spent as much time on that assignment as for other classes that required 100 pages of reading, or writing an essay. So you are spot on. This one felt that it was in the air, and I caught the words like fireflies. But that doesn't happen often. Usually, it's damn hard to make a poem sound easy and natural.

Ruth said...

Jeanie, that's the best praise, to say it sounds effortless. Thank you. This one felt a little like dictation, I confess. Most of the time, it's not like that. Now that I'm writing this to you, I realize that what Mary Oliver and others say is true, that if you just stop and listen, and go inside, what comes out will probably be fresh, and authentic.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Willow. And the cushion cover: IKEA, a couple seasons ago.

Ruth said...

George, I loved your comment. I may never do better than an A- in Zen because of that guilt, I'm afraid, though I am pretty happy with that grade. As for your poem assessment, I'm thrilled. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Oliag. I think you and I would do well on either of our porches, talking, or not talking. They both have good cozy feels.

Ruth said...

Cathy, oh dear. Thank you, and for sticking with the comment thing.

Ruth said...

Mystic, thank you. :)

Ruth said...

DS, it was a privilege kind of day, sitting there. I'm glad you shared it with me. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Jamie, thank you for "perfect."

Shari Sunday said...

Hope this isn't posted twice. I enjoyed the picture and the poem, especially the part about the plant being brought out into the sunshine like an old man in a wheelchair. I am happy for you and the plant.

willow said...

Re: your comment on my blog, "that'll do pig" is a catch phrase at the manor, too!

Pauline said...

Enjoyed how every line led into the next with such dexterity. Such a well drawn word-picture!

Crafty Green Poet said...

this is wonderful, all of it, but the triangle of robins and their vital singing, that is perfect

Bella Rum said...

Beautiful, Ruth. It took me away for a moment. What a lovely photo of your chair. I'll picture you there now.
Bella

Sandy said...

So beautiful Ruth.

gemma said...

Ruthie
For lovely birdsong check
http://vimeo.com/6428069
xx

Brian Miller said...

you describe that moment beautifully and there is a bit of magic in those last few lines. nicely done.

photowannabe said...

Ahhhhhh
That's what I have to say.
Your words composed a wonderful concert in my mind.

The Bug said...

I read this aloud to Dr. M - we both enjoyed it so much. Thanks for writing it!

Ruth said...

Thank you, Shari. I know I'll do well, I hope the plant survives.

Ruth said...

That's fun, Willow. I just love James Cromwell.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Pauline.

After your poem on the telephone pole, I will be looking with new eyes at them on the drive home.

Ruth said...

Thank you and welcome, Juliet. I'm glad you liked that bit, it was a late arrival to the poem, not an early bird, heh.

Ruth said...

Hello, and thank you, Bella. Don't picture me there on hot days please.

Ruth said...

Well thank you, Sandy.

Ruth said...

Oh, Gemma, I love that, it's so creative, isn't it? I love seeing people take inspiration from nature and be so ingenious!

Ruth said...

Brian, thank you for feeling magic here.

Ruth said...

Sue, well I like your mind then, and us making music together.

Ruth said...

Dear Dana, thanks to you and to Mr. M. :)

Terresa said...

"Down they fall, like eyebrows."

Yes. I feel it.

I love the easy flowing telling in this poem. It flows so that I am rapt.

Ruth, you are a master, through and through. Beautifully writ.

Ruth said...

Terresa, oh thank you, that's an amazing word. Master. Exactly. For you. I mean that sincerely.

freefalling said...

That bloody tractor has some attitude!