Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

Archive for the tag “weeds”

Sketch 5: A Priest of the Faith

Many of the poems I write are only partly autobiographical or factual, if you will.  A Priest of the Faith is one such.

My father lived just up the street from a small Catholic Cemetery, mostly made up of French-Canadian settlers, and being Catholic would with his best friend, help pick weeds and what have you. At the time, the area was rural (as in rural juror). If you saw the location today you would have never guessed there were farm fields all about and that the area was once considered out in the boondocks. My father’s friend would grow up to be a priest.

My dad was quiet, but Father G. was a yapper, and would go on for hours if you’d let him.  One gets the impression that the Apostle Paul was a talker as well, whose fall on the road to Damascus is said by some to be the result of epilepsy. In old Ireland the illness was known as Saint Paul’s disease.

Father G. was, you should know, a collector of mushrooms, a food I love to eat but would honestly prefer to eat okra rather than pick them.  It’s not that I have any aversion toward manual labor (okay, a little), but I’m just concerned I don’t accidentally poison myself.

To be honest, I don’t recall at all where the “cursing the midnight moon” comes from – I suppose my imagination had him picking them at night. Perhaps, I was influenced by Thomas Hardy.

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Water and Silt

Water and Silt
Ever the dreamer
unable to see
as his carefully laid plans
came to naught,
and he found himself
in a century-old house
where cats had
crawled about
the matriarch of the clan
rocking in her chair
with simplistic ease. 

In a land of poverty
where nothing took to the soil
but weeds.

When winter came
you moved about
to keep warm
as if there were no walls
surrounding you.

You turned on
the creaky bathtub
faucet,
and after an
interminable delay,
there came a
burst
like a bronchial fit,
an equal measure
of water and silt.

The Forgotten Grave

The Forgotten Grave by Emily Dickinson
After a hundred years
Nobody knows the place, —
Agony, that enacted there,
Motionless as peace.

Weeds triumphant ranged,
Strangers strolled and spelled
At the lone orthography
Of the elder dead.

Winds of summer fields
Recollect the way, —
Instinct picking up the key
Dropped by memory.

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