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Thursday, Aug. 17, 2006 05:53 am

People's Poetry

Jacqueline Jackson presents

lakepoem #8

I have two wires in my
heart no big deal
but they have altered my actions
for a while
also my observations this
dawning I sat
in the shallows not allowed yet to
soak my sutures stretch
my swimming
arms after gazing a time
over the still
surface I noticed the action
in my lap
small green fish with little
black tabbed
gills too big for minnies
swimming under
my knees over my ankles
up and down
the curve of my legs in lazy
leisure but with
an occasional quick dart nothing
in it for them
but curiosity nothing in it for
me but delight

© Jacqueline Jackson 2006

Many of us have been raised with the Protestant ethic, wittingly or unwittingly, that work is good, idleness is bad. The 19th-century poet Isaac Watts, I think it was, rhymed for children how Satan finds things (of course bad) for idle hands to do and “How doth the busy little bee/ Improve each shining hour . . . ” He doesn’t appreciate the beauty and wonder of the bee, nor does Aesop show any admiration for the grasshopper in the fable of the grasshopper (carefree) and ant (industrious). My friend June Park wrote this poem in a moment of idleness; she says her father is the voice in her head that sometimes still echoes, urging industry and questioning leisure. — Jacqueline Jackson, poetry editor

Duty

The breeze is gentle
The scent of flowers spices the air.
The sun, warm and soft,
Creeps into all the leafy spaces.
Birds chirp about their nests.
I stretch on the soft grass,
Allow a twinge of guilt
For all the lazy time.
A scene wafts through my head:
Did Eve lie like this, resting
And absorbing Paradise?
And did Adam, a lone rabbit
slung over his shoulder,
Walk up and say, “M’dear,
What have you done today?”
Was Eden then no longer Paradise?

June Park lives in the country, east of Rochester, with her husband, Wilson. She has enriched her life with many classes at Lincoln Land Community College and Sangamon State University/University of Illinois at Springfield, and, besides frequent travels with her husband, has been on European trips with LLCC’s Adrian Lambert Boyle and literature trips to England with SSU/UIS’s Jacqueline Jackson.

Send submissions to Jacqueline Jackson Presents People’s Poetry to poetry@illinoistimes.com or to Illinois Times, P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, IL 62705.

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