Archives for posts with tag: chores

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CLEANING WINDOWS   
by Margaret Scott

I don’t much like cleaning windows. Ladders wobble.
You can get mugged by buckets. Upper windows
gleam when I’m twelve feet up but look worse
than before they were washed when I’ve clambered down.
You can see both sides at once—the liberal dilemma—
so it’s often hard to decide what’s splashed the glass—
soup or a passing bird. I feel watched by
opponents of aerosol cans, by consciousness-raisers,
by looming aproned figures from childhood,
by al those sparkling television girls
who show the smiling easy way to clean.
I can be brisk, keeping my mind on the job,
or switch my hand to on and watch the sky.
I can brood on reading the signs, on whether
it’s healthier to reflect or concentrate.
In any case the smears show up at night
and there in the darkened glass that shape again,
that anti-heroine, that dismal clown with the
oh-so-predictable foot in a bucket of suds,
the yell from the teetering ladder, the comical angst.

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DUSTING
by Marilyn Nelson

Thank you for these tiny
particles of ocean salt,
pearl-necklace viruses,
winged protozoans:
for the infinite,
intricate shapes
of submicroscopic
living things.
 
For algae spores
and fungus spores,
bonded by vital
mutual genetic cooperation,
spreading their
inseparable lives
from equator to pole.
 
My hand, my arm,
make sweeping circles.
Dust climbs the ladder of light.
For this infernal, endless chore,
for these eternal seeds of rain:
Thank you. For dust. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marilyn Nelson earned her BA from the University of California, Davis, and holds postgraduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (MA, 1970) and the University of Minnesota (PhD, 1979). Her books include Faster Than Light: New and Selected Poems, 1996-2011 (2012); The Cachoeira Tales, and Other Poems (2005); The Fields of Praise: New and Selected Poems (1997),  a finalist for the 1998 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the 1997 National Book Award, and the PEN Winship Award; Magnificat (1994); The Homeplace (1990), which won the 1992 Annisfield-Wolf Award and was a finalist for the 1991 National Book Award; Mama’s Promises (1985); and For the Body (1978). Her honors include the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, a Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. From 2001–2006, she served as the Poet Laureate of Connecticut.

Image
DUSTING
by Marilyn Nelson

Thank you for these tiny
particles of ocean salt,
pearl-necklace viruses,
winged protozoans:
for the infinite,
intricate shapes
of submicroscopic
living things.
 
For algae spores
and fungus spores,
bonded by vital
mutual genetic cooperation,
spreading their
inseparable lives
from equator to pole.
 
My hand, my arm,
make sweeping circles.
Dust climbs the ladder of light.
For this infernal, endless chore,
for these eternal seeds of rain:
Thank you. For dust. 

Image

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marilyn Nelson earned her BA from the University of California, Davis, and holds postgraduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (MA, 1970) and the University of Minnesota (PhD, 1979). Her books include Faster Than Light: New and Selected Poems, 1996-2011 (2012); The Cachoeira Tales, and Other Poems (2005); The Fields of Praise: New and Selected Poems (1997),  a finalist for the 1998 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the 1997 National Book Award, and the PEN Winship Award; Magnificat (1994); The Homeplace (1990), which won the 1992 Annisfield-Wolf Award and was a finalist for the 1991 National Book Award; Mama’s Promises (1985); and For the Body (1978). Her honors include the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, a Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. From 2001–2006, she served as the Poet Laureate of Connecticut.

Image

CLEANING WINDOWS   
by Margaret Scott

I don’t much like cleaning windows. Ladders wobble.
You can get mugged by buckets. Upper windows
gleam when I’m twelve feet up but look worse
than before they were washed when I’ve clambered down.
You can see both sides at once—the liberal dilemma—
so it’s often hard to decide what’s splashed the glass—
soup or a passing bird. I feel watched by
opponents of aerosol cans, by consciousness-raisers,
by looming aproned figures from childhood,
by al those sparkling television girls
who show the smiling easy way to clean.
I can be brisk, keeping my mind on the job,
or switch my hand to on and watch the sky.
I can brood on reading the signs, on whether
it’s healthier to reflect or concentrate.
In any case the smears show up at night
and there in the darkened glass that shape again,
that anti-heroine, that dismal clown with the
oh-so-predictable foot in a bucket of suds,
the yell from the teetering ladder, the comical angst.

Image
Dusting
by Marilyn Nelson

Thank you for these tiny
particles of ocean salt,
pearl-necklace viruses,
winged protozoans:
for the infinite,
intricate shapes
of submicroscopic
living things.
 
For algae spores
and fungus spores,
bonded by vital
mutual genetic cooperation,
spreading their
inseparable lives
from equator to pole.
 
My hand, my arm,
make sweeping circles.
Dust climbs the ladder of light.
For this infernal, endless chore,
for these eternal seeds of rain:
Thank you. For dust. 

silverstein1

HOW NOT TO HAVE TO DRY THE DISHES
by Shel Silverstein

If you have to dry the dishes
(Such an awful, boring chore)
If you have to dry the dishes
(‘Stead of going to the store)
If you have to dry the dishes
And you drop one on the floor —
Maybe they won’t let you
Dry the dishes anymore. 

“How Not to Have to Dry the Dishes” appears in Shel Silverstein‘s collection A Light in the Attic, available at Amazon.com.