Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 158: To Be of Use - My beloved Ron

To be of use                                                                                          
by Marge Piercy

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in 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 in or the fire 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.

"To be of use" by Marge Piercy © 1973, 1982.
from CIRCLES ON THE WATER © 1982 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc
First published in Lunch magazine..

Wonderful Ron is painting the ceiling of our covered deck.
We've chosen a sky blue.  So when we sit on our wicker 
furniture and look up we'll see the sky and the sky.

1 comment:

  1. I am going to have to steal this poem! It describes my son Stosh to a "T"! In fact, as I type I can hear the growl of the backhoe engine as he works in my backyard, making my world a little brighter with every day that he labors here.

    This is something I won't write on my own blog, but I have had a man that lived here with me for over 12 years and he never did anything to make our world better, he just complained about it. He complained about the blackberry bushes, the leaking roof and the ugly pasture unsuccessfully masquerading as a lawn, but he didn't do anything about it.

    My son is a wonder at work. He uses his back and legs and arms to beautify as an artist uses a brush. Aren't we so very blessed to have such artists around us!?!!