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Monday, July 8, 2013

Summertime... and the livin' is easy.

As a teacher I am in the privileged position of being eternally young - at least that is how it looks from the vantage of a long vacation. I used to suffer from the sudden lack of something to do when summer began. Sort of a post-work depression and emptiness. As I get older and time speeds up I have let go of that! Make hay while the sun shines as they say.

And so, with a nod to Raymond Carver...


Looking at my tabulations
I feel good. I have a life
of the mind and people
to love. I cook kick-ass food
and take joy in libraries(free fuckin books, ones I never
before read!). I am in love with this striped
shirt from Goodwill fer cheap. And while

cockroaches and clutter gotta go - my bile
does not rise as I gaze out
across the vista of spring break, early
mornings do not loom large and I
know I will have time
to clear

the rotting veg from the fridge -
and wipe clean the names of my nemesi(s).

Childhood and summer go together. In many essential ways I am still that exact same child. Summer is for childhood and swimming and skinned knees.

My son Forest and our friend Erin Graham 'sledding' a dirt hill

A Bruise

The shinscrapes of my youth
were beloved. Picked over until
they became something worth looking
at - a thin white line - surrounded
by golden, dirt-smudged skin, criss-crossed
by bruises and abrasions.

I flew
through those summers. Skimming
the hills -
brown, foot-worn trails through green,
glossy salal, frothy huckleberry, shadowed
by straight ever green.

Hard rubber wheels on cracked driveways.
A bruise was a badge.
Fresh scabs told a story.
Road rash was to be envied.

P.S. Here is a link to read Raymond Carver's poem Gravy.
Does anything say summer quite like a full-grown man in a kiddie-pool? (Jeff Hoyle)
Well, maybe a small child pouring beer on the
head of an unsuspecting harmonica player.
(Doug MacKenzie)

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