Hanging out the blessings

The mundane can be rewarding, if we stop and reflect.

Poetry, like music, is an excellent vehicle for communicating feelings. I can tell you, in so many words during a conversation, how I experienced a sense of joy one sunny afternoon while hanging out the washing. But if I want to open up my sense of that occasion, it helps me to describe my experience in a more structured form. And then, if the poem works, that moment becomes timeless.

In the sun-teased space 
beset by fellside breezes 
the trees a swaying circle
grown from my aunt’s bequest: 
tall cedars break the wind;
for colour purple elder and blue spruce;
I hang out different blessings 
on waiting washing lines.

I call them blessings now 
because of an epiphany 
when I was full of grumps 
at being importuned
to do this now and then do that; 
begrudging, but I did because 
the clothes do have to dry;
and yes, the air outside is free.

So there I stood, clothes- 
peg in hand, as flashing 
swallows darted under
nimbus clouds and bright blue sky — 
while life went on, as still it does 
within forgiving houses up and
down the ancient valley — 
coaxing out a smile.

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