Sunday, April 25, 2021

NPM Spring Cleaning Day 25, What the Living Do


I don't remember why I opened this tab or when, but I've had Marie Howe's poem "What the Living Do" on my desktop for a while. Howe talks in the poem to someone named Johnny, detailing some of the mundane tasks of her everyday life. Johnny, I think, is no longer living. She says to him, about life, "What you finally gave up." 

What the Living Do

Marie Howe

Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.

And the Drano won't work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up

waiting for the plumber I still haven't called. This is the everyday we spoke of.


I've been thinking: This is what the living do.


Here's the rest. 



I have two poems, not on my desktop but in my inbox, that seem to go well with this one. Both came in the Poem-a-Day email from this month, and I forwarded both to people because they struck me so forcefully. One is "Bobolink," by Didi Jackson. The other is "The Little Book of Cheerful Thoughts," by Jeffrey Harrison. 


One thing the living do is to hold on to friends who are depressed, and to try to give them reasons why living is the best choice. 


April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method at
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

1 comment:

Linda B said...

I guess everyone needs "a little book of cheerful thoughts" and understand that when feeling really low, "That's what the living do". Lovely poems that feel like yearning, Ruth. Hoping your weekend was filled with wonderful birds!