Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Of June

I wrote another poem. After the last one, I realized how much fun it was. I hadn't written a rhyme in years. Apparently, there's a distinction between "poetry" and "verse," the latter of which must rhyme. The poetry that doesn't rhyme often strikes me as very weird, anyway. Verse is the sort of thing that Rudyard Kipling wrote a lot of.

Here's my work, and I'll put an interpretation below. This dovetails nicely with my earlier entry about work.

Of June

June has brought cascading rains that clean the dusty air
Something tells me farmers will delight
My nose rejoices over that the pollen isn't there
It's getting washed away 'bout every night

Soon the star charts will proclaim that summer's finally come
The heat's already trying to break through
The soil enriched, rain fills the ditch. Our task has now begun
to work the yard again, but we are few.

Upkeep is a full-time task when you're the only ones
who, hands and feet, must daily work, and plan
to work some more until you've made a dent in all the tons
of things to do for each and every man

Seeing the fruit of your labor lets you silently rejoice
-- or loudly, if it happens to be your style
With satisfaction, head turned skyward, prayer lifts your voice
to thank God for another day worthwhile

Working is no curse if what you're doing is infused
with worth according to a divine end
The ability to tell apart bad things from good misused
separates the godly men from men

Rain in this life can at times be undeniably cruel
when instead of falling calmly, it monsoons
Because I don't see work and rain as goods instead of tools
I'm thus disposed to make the most of June.

I don't think it needs much explaining, but here's some background:
* The farmers will delight because it's critical for crops to get rain right now. Last year we had a drought.
* Prior to the rains, I was congested and sneezy. Now I'm nearly completely uncongested. Rain does have a cleaning effect on the atmosphere. It takes the dust particles that the droplets form around, and brings them back to the ground during the storms.
* By 'star charts,' I'm referring to the astronomical definition of summer as beginning June 20, which coincides with the solstice being June 21. We've had a few days of hot summer-like weather already in May, but the rains have cooled the temperatures a bit. It seems that this year, we're going to get the hot weather nearly right "on time."
* Working the yard refers to my immediate family taking time out of our week to maintain the house and property, which takes up nearly all the time left over when you're working full-time. I myself am still unemployed, but for me, looking for employment and otherwise working around the house is my full-time task. Our house is shaded by trees, so we get lots of stick litter to clean up.
* The fifth stanza refers to the article "Leisurely Labor" that I wrote about a week ago. Not all bad things are necessarily inherently bad. The realization helps to get more enjoyment out of work, which isn't being done for no purpose. See the image above. The sixth stanza wraps up this thought and asserts that with the proper perspective, I can enjoy the season. Those who are begrudgingly laboring might benefit from a change of perspective.

As a neat coincidence, the title I chose for the poem (which wrote itself) is the same as the title for Adam Young's (Owl City) first album, one he self-released. ( I figured that giving it this name would be a nice homage to Adam's music, which is itself an example of how a different perspective can give you much more enjoyment out of the simple, even mundane, things in life.

~ Rak Chazak

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