Friday, August 06, 2021

Poetry Friday: In the Middle, by Barbara Crooker

The leaves haven't fallen, as Crooker's have in this poem, but a season is turning at our house. 

Atticus has a meeting for school today and returns to work next week. How does August barrel in at such an alarming speed every year? Couldn't it, just once, take its sweet time and meander into town, instead of plowing through and uprooting everything? Time is that strange, wibbly-wobbly* thing and we are somehow always in the middle of it. In honor of Barbara Crooker, this poem, and the arrival of August, maybe today would be a good day to steal some hammock time from Time. 

In the Middle 
by Barbara Crooker 

of a life that's as complicated as everyone else's, 
struggling for balance, juggling time. 
The mantle clock that was my grandfather's 
has stopped at 9:20; we haven't had time 
to get it repaired. The brass pendulum is still, 
the chimes don't ring. One day I look out the window, 
green summer, the next, the leaves have already fallen, 

 (Read the rest here.)


Be sure to catch the entire Poetry Friday round-up this week at 
A(nother) Year of Reading, where Mary Lee is adjusting to August and the passage of time 
in her own way, as a newly-retired teacher. 

(Photo thanks to Pixabay.) 

*Thank you, Tenth Doctor, for "wibbly-wobbly": 


Denise Krebs said...

Karen, your beautiful introductory paragraph sounds like poetry--August barreling and plowing through uprooting. Time, that "wibbly-wobbly thing" So many lovely images. Thank you for sharing Barbara Crooker's poem too. Beautiful!

Karen Edmisten said...

Denise, thank you! I must, however, credit the Tenth Doctor with "wibbly-wobbly." I should go find the clip and add it to the post! :)

penelope said...

I was going to say! Thumbs up for the Doctor reference :-)

Time, indeed, is an oddly shaped bubble. Lately more often than not, I am feeling as if I am looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope ... the seasons turn and somehow ‘just yesterday’ becomes last year ...

Tabatha said...

Excellent pick, Karen -- love that poem by Barbara Crooker!

Mary Lee said...

YES to taking off our watches for some hammock time (whether it's actually a hammock, or just the Adirondack chair on the porch with a cold glass of lemonade on the wide armrest). I kind of love getting August back, but the passage of time in my poem and this does resonate. And this:
"Each day, we must learn
again how to love, between morning's quick coffee
and evening's slow return."

Another Yes.

Janice Scully said...

Thank you for sharing Crooker's poem. It's stunning and for me bittersweet as my son is moving across the country and everything seems to change so fast.

Carol Varsalona said...

Thanks, Karen. I think everyone feels the fast passage of time. Your poem was a great reminder and here is some wisdom I garnered from the poem:
Each day, we must learn
again how to love, between morning's quick coffee
and evening's slow return.
Enjoy a slow day...

Karen Eastlund said...

Karen: Thank you so much for posting this poem. I LOVE it! Time just gets more wibbly-wobbly as I go on, but I like the words that you and Crooker use to talk about it. Thanks again...

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Here we stand on the precipice of the Empty Next, a typo I made last week and which I am hanging onto just as hard as to my need to MANAGE the last wibble-wobble of time I'll have as a parent of permanently-housed children. My Next is actually cued up to be rather full, pleasantly uncluttered, and yet, each day I'm sure will bring something to learn, such as that I do need to cry on this cloudy day. Thanks, Karen.

Linda B said...

Crooker knows our lives well, doesn't she? Even in retirement, my life fills up too fast, not leaving time for those things I "think" are important, but linger on my list. My son turned fifty yesterday; all the family wonder how that can be! Best wishes for you having some hammock time, Karen. Thanks for this poem of wisdom.

Ruth said...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful poem.

Karen Edmisten said...

Penelope, my kids have long laughed at the way I can refer to something as "just the other day" when it happened last year!

Tabatha, glad you loved it!

Mary Lee, lots of new and different yeses in your days these days. :)

Janice, hugs to you and your family as you adjust to your son's big move.

Carol, so happy to share Barbara's wisdom.

Karen, thanks so much! I'm pleased you loved it as much as I did.

Heidi, the Empty Next! So bittersweetly perfect, as is the knowledge that sometimes a good cry is wanted and needed.

Linda, happy birthday to your son. I'm sure it feels like "just the other day" that he was born. :)

Ruth, I'm so happy you stopped by!

Elisabeth said...

Summer really is barrelling through to the finish line ... Thank you for sharing this poem by Barbara Crooker. That was new to me.

Jone said...

This was always my question when I was teaching: 'How does August barrel in at such an alarming speed every year?'
I still sort of feel it even though I am retired three years.
Barbara Crooker is the perfect poem for today.

skanny17 said...

For me, August was summer part 2. We never went back until after Labor Day and got out near June 20. So I loved Aug. with my whole heart and my parents made the most of it, but it does have that feeling of gloom because, well, where I live fall is glorious but ut oh, winter. Comes on like gangbusters!!!! I like the poem. I still get that back to school jittery feeling though retired and currently not subbing due to Covid and life. Yes to savoring our days, all of them.
Janet Clare F.

Karen Edmisten said...

Janet, that's the only thing I dislike about fall, too — I know that winter will be just around the corner, ugh!