Posts Tagged ‘value’

Last week, the last lunch menu of the Titanic sold for a whole heap of money at auction, inspiring this poem published today on New Verse News. You never know what might have some value …

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The Work of the World

A day is like this empty wooden bowl
taken into the field for gathering morels.
Some days the increase in weight is obvious,
and harvest spills over the rim. But weight is not
the worth of a day. Some days the bowl returns
empty, carried on its side between the hip and the arm.
But emptiness is no measure of what has been found.
There is, perhaps, an impulse to gauge success
based on fullness. But the bowl can’t hold
the memory of light slipping like an aria between
cottonwood limbs, can’t hold the scent of rain
or the burrs of disappointment. No, it is we
who carry the bowl, the memory, the day.
We stop sometimes to label things good or bad
or lucky or not, when all the while
we, too, are being carried by the same world
we believe we are carrying. We are the work
of the world. In the field, the morels grow,
or they do not.

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All this must be spun tonight. —The Brothers Grimm

She does not care
that the gems
are not real.
She wears
the necklace
and feels beautiful.
She does not care
that the shoes
are not true glass slippers.
In the low angled sun
she slips across
the scuffed maple floors
and dances in clear plastic shoes
bought on sale at Target
to music that only she can hear.
She hums and twirls
in the dimming light.
She is not like
the miller’s daughter.
She knows how,
all by herself,
to spin what is useless
and cheap
into gold.

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Through the Hourglass

It disappears, the shell,
just as you reach to pick
it up. The wave, indifferent

to value, draws it in.
The shell is more precious then.
Because it is gone.

Like when a dear one dies. It doesn’t matter
if it were a surprise or something
expected. Suddenly, the last time

we saw them alive—maybe
holding a peach or sitting
in a chair—it doesn’t matter

how simple the moment was,
we replay it with a golden hue,
as if every second of listening

to bird songs or talking
about the day’s events
were precious. Remember the scent?

Remember the light as it fell just so?
Remember how normal it was.
As the normal is precious—

sitting under a tree, or walking
the beach choosing stones,
or washing dishes, making the bed,

or eating oatmeal with blueberries,
or answering the phone to hear
the other person say hello.

How easy, how impossible
to reach now for what never can be held.
For a moment we think we have it,

but our hands come up with only sand
and what’s left of the tide running
through the our fingers.

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