January 14, 2012

Ode to the Stove


Now I suspect (though I have no method to confirm)
that the reason Henry David Thoreau
wrote so little during those two years outside of Concord,
hanging out at Walden Pond,
was that he was chopping wood, and starting fires, and tending fires,
and just basically busy with the business of staying warm.

When you are worried about staying warm,
writing just doesn't seem to be all that important.
Writing is pretty sedate,
just you and your own thoughts running out your fingers.
But I admit that when I embarked upon moving the wood pile
so that it was closer to the house and splitting axe and splitting log,
the moving seemed more important too.
But the words were already coming, spilling out,
running down my muscles into these two hands.

Thank God I learned to type cause the words come so much faster now
making it hard for me to keep up.
And I admit I had to hold that first stanza in my head for a bit
 as I moved that 1/2 cord from one part of my yard to another.
But I did it
(stubborn I suppose),
and now I'm looking
at the fire and how much it draws my eye.

At two in the morning, +
I wasn't thinking about the poem I planned on writing today.
No, I was trying to get the fire started again,
so my house will stay somewhat warm
without my paying tribute to the Gas Company.

Now I admit, I admire Thoreau,
and wished he'd managed to stay out there for more than just two years.
Just two years of chopping wood, drinking water, burning oil for light,
and thinking about being disobedient.
In my own way, I'm being disobedient too,
but only as much as my fire will allow.

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