This is an old poem, written when i was in the middle of building our guesthouse & cafe. The sentiment of escaping from teaching was still very immediate & i’ve as of yet, not got around to taking my escape for granted; don’t think i ever will.
plenty of work to crack on with
plenty of work to crack on with & after teaching brats
their ABC i’m eager to use my hands again
—to jeer at snow & wind, chase it out the nooks of our edifice.
we prepare tables of red pine for sinks, we release
the pong of woody, saccharine molecules
which sand paper & planer rub to burns that loiter in our midst
& i appreciate the scent : the village smells like dirty pants
i stop pursuing the wind.
the tin of black wood varnish, froths with a waxy orange scent.
we need brushes with tiny heads to make lithe long strokes along the grain.
my wife swishes two & fro in itchy distances
hopping here & there, patches left undone, which frustrates me.
we pretend to be calligraphers, but write no words
no need : we lost our ABC— we do not struggle with the elements
that smother us in cold & make our working hard
— we do not struggle though our hands grow grubby & numb.