Wooden spoons and cast iron
These things are elemental, essential: bass and drum May and October wooden spoons and cast iron. Everything else unnecessary, save for the listening. Be patient and rolling hills will write poems, flowing waters will read them, and winds will scatter the verses for all to hear. And your father’s jazz records? The ones you have stored in his army footlocker with the quilt his mother made for you when you were born? Take the records out. Open the windows on a cool Saturday evening in October, wrap the ragged quilt around yourself again, hear the saxophone and the swish of a drummer’s brush. As for the quilt – listen intently and you can hear scissors cutting squares of material, the gentle click of a thimble, the low hiss of sturdy thread being drawn through tightly woven cloth. These too are poems you do not have to write, no less important than those of rolling hills and flowing waters, their verses as essential as bass and drum May and October wooden spoons and cast iron.
Allen Guest is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at Clemson University, where he mostly teaches courses in the calculus sequence. He has been writing poetry for about four years. His work has appeared in Tilde, Flying South, The Petigru Review, The Esthetic Apostle, Cathexis Northwest Press, From the Depths, and Running with Water. Four of his poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.