Tag Archives: repetition

#429: My Friend the Media Specialist (a poem on April 22, 2022)

My friend the media specialist
(we used to call them librarians)
gifted me this morning a
prompt for a poem.

My friend the media specialist
says the word “precarity”
might make a good subject.
“Precarity,” I say. “Is that like
the feeling or state of precariousness?”

My friend the media specialist
says, “Yes, precarious, uncertain,
tentative, vulnerable, transitory,
dependent on chance.”

My friend the media specialist
and I talk for awhile about
the way precarity, especially now,
seems ever present. Hasn’t it
always been this way? Maybe,
but it feels to be more so now.

My friend the media specialist
and I are both living through moments
of great shifting, personally,
and our community, the country, too,
and even the world seem to be
on the verge of a precarity
of seismic proportions.

“And yet,” my friend the media specialist says,
“here we are, doing our thing, living our lives,
moving forward, holding on or holding steady,
somehow hopeful, perhaps, that our
own precarious states may not end
disastrously. Isn’t that something?”

My friend the media specialist goes
back to her work and I go back to mine,
but then, on this day, not an hour later,
my work day takes a precarious turn
in a classroom activity that goes awry.
Everything hinged for a moment on
one very tense and difficult exchange;
the whole thing broke down around me.

My friend the media specialist
has no idea how prescient was her visit,
no idea how absolutely essential was her
gift of the prompt for a poem. And yet,
again, here we are, holding on
and holding steady, in precarity.


Filed under Poetry

#282: On the Last Day of National Poetry Writing Month, The Poet Speaks of Things that Happen Over and Over Again

Days go by,
and they keep going by
constantly pulling you
into the future.

–Laurie Anderson.


For starters,
days go by
one right after
another, but today,
during meditation,
I held my father’s
hand one last
time before they
wheeled him
into surgery
on the eve of
his last day
on the planet
7 years ago
last October.
That was unusual.
And while I
was momentarily
it was not with
sadness, but with
gratitude for fathers
and sons, for my
father, and my son,
and as I walked
through the construction
site across the way
and saw my home
from some distance,
intact, old, encircled
by gigantic oak trees,
another wave
of thankfulness
came over me as
I realized how
truly lucky I am
to be who I am
and to love who
I love and to have
what I have.
The future tugs.
The past sometimes hugs
perhaps too tightly.
Even the present,
with it’s absurdities
and rank abuses,
so much like the past
and yet so much more
absurd and abusive,
for now, I hold it
at bay. I will fight
that in my way,
but for now,
walking the dog
again, seeing this house
again, and anew,
and finding myself
inexplicably happy
and sober, I praise
this day, this Sunday,
with a kind of reverence
no numberĀ of churches
could fathom or contain.

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Filed under Poetry