Friday, April 06, 2018

Poetry Friday: Late Due to Tomatoes

This is just to say
that I'm sorry I was late
to my meeting this morning
except not that sorry.
I stopped to take some pictures
of the tomatoes in my yard.
They were so beautiful.
So small and green
and so flecked with
And the meeting
seemed so far away.

Ruth, at

That happened yesterday morning.  I was only slightly late to my meeting - maybe a minute.  And it wasn't an official school meeting, just a get-together with a couple of friends to pray before school on Thursdays.  And look at my tomatoes:

On my way to that meeting, I was thinking wildly sentimental thoughts about why this was National Poetry Month and how growing things were like poems and how my tomatoes made me a lot happier than meetings.  And all of that thinking led me to a more realistic poem about the effects of poetry on one's professional life, "To a Frustrated Poet." It begins like this:

To a Frustrated Poet
by R. J. Ellmann

This is to say
I know
You wish you were in the woods,
Living the poet life,
Not here at a formica topped table
In a meeting about perceived inequalities in the benefits and allowances offered to employees of this college.
And I too wish you were in the woods,
Because it's no fun having a frustrated poet
In the Dept. of Human Resources, believe me.

I posted it here, but if you follow the link in that post to find the end of the poem, you'll reach a dead end with a statement from Minnesota Public Radio (grrrrr, talk about a Frustrated Poet - that's what I become every time I follow a link to the old Writer's Almanac).  So I found this link instead.

I have been enjoying all the extra poetry around this time of year, including the Progressive Poem.  Here's a list of the places you can go to keep up with that:

2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
5 Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
28 Kat at Kat's Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors


Tabatha said...

I, too, am sad about the Writer's Almanac being unavailable. I'm not sure why they have to do that, tbh.
It takes a pretty special meeting to compete with a tomato.

Linda B said...

I have those 'saved poems' from the Writer's Almanac, too, Ruth, hoping I can find them when needed as you did. Your poem hits me, and although I love reading the posts, I would also like to be in the forest! Beautiful post with lots of smiles!

jama said...

Wonderful post. Your tomato poem made me smile. I share your sadness about the WA -- it was such a great resource and I truly miss all those poems in the archive.

Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

Very William Carlos Williams, and your tomatoes are very plum-like. Beautiful mentor poem. I do wish I could be in the woods in spring instead of looking out at a gray sky and a tumult of snow.

Buffy Silverman said...

Your poem made me smile--and oh how wonderful to live in a land with tomatoes instead of snow in April! I miss the Writer's Almanac too....

mbhmaine said...

I loved your "sort of" apology poem and the worldview that stops to enjoy the wonder of tomatoes growing in April. (Around here that would be miraculous!) I also enjoyed the poem To A Frustrated Poet. The ending lines made me laugh. Thanks for sharing.

Linda Mitchell said...

Isn't it wonderful how much growing tomatoes can make you happy? Those silly plants become such an audience of mine in the summer as I water and tend them. They make me so happy too. How nice to have friends to pray with before have a colleagues that you feel close enough to -- to do that. I thought of you at Easter Vigil. I'm hoping you felt the hallelujiah.
That poem about wishing to be in the woods is a hoot. Too funny and too true!

Mary Lee said...

Both poems and your story fit so nicely together...and made me smile!

Kay said...

I love both of these poems! And those tomatoes are lovely. We're still covering the broccoli to protect them from more than usual late snows. I can relate to the frustrated poet as I've been swamped with a work project (even if it's from home) and have not enjoyed as much poetry as I would have liked this first week of National Poetry Month.

Christie Wyman said...

I am just so envious of your tomatoes at this point, as I stare out my window at my still snow-covered crocii. Two wonderful poems, lovely connection.

Catherine Flynn said...

This is just to say that I, too, would rather photograph tomatoes than sit in a meeting! Your poem is wonderful, Ruth!

Amy LV said...

"except not that sorry" - love!
Your tomatoes were their own prayer.
Thank you for the link too - I am with you about the "Grr" when I miss TWA.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Those tomatoes! So worth being late for. Loved your poem, Ruth. The other poem made me laugh as it reminded me of my former life as an HR representative... many, many moons and tomatoes ago.

Michelle Kogan said...

I love your late poem due to your tomatoes–and what inspiring tomatoes you have–they are gorgeous and oozing with wonderful water, hope you enjoy eating them too, thanks!

Unknown said...

I just love writing poems based on This is Just to Say... Thank you for the backstory and the frustrated poet poem.