There has been a lack of finished poems these last 6 months while I’ve been getting my house in order. So this is a guest spot by my Dad who has a much wider vocabulary, and a talent for poetic apologies.
In the summer of 2015 I helped a friend take down the old kitchen ceiling in the manse of our local Baptist church. The pastor and his wife were away, and their son hadn’t quite got round to clearing the shelves for us. We draped some dustsheets over everything and carried on…
PLASTER AND LATH
Plaster and lath – we let you down.
Splint’ring crash leaves dust motes reeling
Oh dear. Adieu. So long, ceiling…
Creation’s workers tireless toiling
Mindless, aid the pair’s despoiling.
Gravity. Her one ambition:
Seek the nadir of the kitchen.
Entropy. His sole intent’s
To maximise disturbulence.
Out of Order. Chaos rises.
Up above, the hammer prises.
When time is done and all is cool
The universe runs out of fuel
And all the little motes of dust
Will do what every such mote must:
Seek out any empty spot, ‘n
Settle there, to lie forgotten.
(This work was started long before
The ceiling kissed the kitchen floor.)
She spends a day of sacrifice
Restoring all to “clean and nice”.
Through gritted teeth and hours of slaving
Diasporate motes are gathered up.
Crock’ry mired in sin, she’s saving:
Smirchéd bowl and dusty cup.
Next time (we think) we’d do it better:
Box and clear the pantry shelves.
Maybe leave a note or letter.
Apologise. Explain ourselves.
Hermetically seal the cupboards.
Seek the help of kitchen elves.
Enough. What’s done is done. We messed up:
Did the job but missed the crown.
All that’s left is just to ‘fess up:
Pastor and lass – we let you down.
Bill Phelps, August 2015