Thursday, August 27, 2015

Bread And Water (after "The Summer Day")

Who made you?
Who made you imperfect?
Who made you imperfect,
but failed to flaw
the swan or the bear
or the grasshopper
perched there on the arm
of my lawn chair
content to spit tobacco or jump
completely unrepentant and unimproved.
He is a prayer
so full of gratitude as to move
any god to grace.
Like him, I will sup on sugar and drink dry this place
of every flame and flower.
Tell me, what else would you have me do
with these gifted hours?  Deny?
Tell me, when it's over, will you have loved
your bread and water life?

For Corey's prompt at Real Toads

12 comments:

brudberg said...

I wonder if we ever would.. but in the end when teeth are gone, we might remember that chewy bread with fondness

Sylvia K said...

Terrific< as always!!

Hannah said...

What an awesome play on Mary Oliver's poem! I really way you summed it up...great work, MZ!!

debispoems said...

This really is stunning. What a question.

Marion Lawless said...

A great complement to Mary Oliver's amazing poem!!! xo

The Summer Day
Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

wonderfully capturing the nuanced life so often disavowed

gracias for sharing

Outlawyer said...

A cool and wonderful poem--I don't know how we get so imperfect but hard to grasp the grasshopper aspect of one's self--thanks, MZ. k.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I picked up your allusions to The Summer Day and thought how wonderful a thing it is when one perfect poem gives rise to another. Hard to know whether the frugal or the extravagant have the better approach to life, isn't it?

Herotomost said...

You say you went astray, and I say this was exactly the type of thing that makes the Toads so good, the ability to think in patterns not visible to the naked eye. This is perfect and the questions at the end are such a great way to wrap the prompt in, stay with the style of the original and then make it all your own. Great MZ, just great.

Fireblossom said...

Go for it, Grasshopper.

Marian said...

Bread and water life. Argh!

grapeling said...

damn fine pen, MZ ~