RAY TAUGHT US TO...
To love compost,
To eat grapes, including seeds
To eat apples, including the core,
To shoot watermelon pips
That fruit is even better with cream on it
To lick your plate at the conclusion of a meal
To drive a car
To back a trailer
To ride a billycart
That getting bogged every weekend is fun
To ride a horse
To kayak in white melt water
To kayak in rough surf
To jump into deep, muddy rivers
To skip stones on a lake
Blow up a bullant’s nest
To shoot snakes
To love dogs
To build a campfire
To whittle a toasting fork
To lose it completely when pitching a tent
To tell a good yarn
To enjoy a road trip with no stops for any reason
Play a gum leaf
To milk a cow
To milk a goat
To love a cold bath
To hate authority
To use a powertool
To conduct a choir
To laugh just because somebody hurts themselves
When in doubt, hoe in the Vitamin C
To never give in.
|THE ROAD NOT TAKEN|
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
|And sorry I could not travel both|
|And be one traveler, long I stood|
|And looked down one as far as I could|
|To where it bent in the undergrowth;||5|
|Then took the other, as just as fair,|
|And having perhaps the better claim,|
|Because it was grassy and wanted wear;|
|Though as for that the passing there|
|Had worn them really about the same,||10|
|And both that morning equally lay|
|In leaves no step had trodden black.|
|Oh, I kept the first for another day!|
|Yet knowing how way leads on to way,|
|I doubted if I should ever come back.||15|
|I shall be telling this with a sigh|
|Somewhere ages and ages hence:|
|Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—|
|I took the one less traveled by,|
|And that has made all the difference.|
I dug in the garden today -
found some little potatoes
nestled there, in the earth.
Remember when we harvested potatoes
and found baby mice nests? The baby mice
looked like beagle puppies...
Planted grosse lisse tomatoes -
your favourite, Dad. A bit early,
but put some in, like you showed me.
A hole, filled with water, a slurry of
blood and bone, firmed down around the roots.
I pruned the lemon tree you gave me, Jen.
The last trim it had - you did.
The day before you left us Jen,
I hacked back the bougainvillea.
Something to do as I wept for you,
slipping away from us
in your bed in the mountains.
Today, while gathering the prunings
I found the earring I lost.
The ones you said you liked
that last day we spent on earth together.
They matched my scarf, you said.
That I was always good with colour.
Thank you for finding the strength
to gift me with this memory,
while your life was ebbing from you.
I sat beneath the umbrella at the table after gardening.
The rain came.
I saw your hands, Dad.
The way they looked at the close of the day.
But they were my hands -
caked with dried earth.
Picking some baby broad beans in the soft drizzle,
I ate them, still warm from the mother-stem.
You'd have loved them, both of you.
The sweet, bright beans
snuggled down inside the furry pod.
We loved the earth, us three
and in my simple, city plot
we communed together;
you sweetly haunting me,
this early spring afternoon
in the gentle, misty rain.
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
when death comes
like the measle-pox;
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
as a field daisy, and as singular,
tending as all music does, toward silence,
precious to the earth.
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.