Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

  • Lucky

    Thursday, August 6, 2009

    There are times I need to pinch myself
    to prove this isn’t just a dream,
    this work that reaches right down
    through the rich loam of rhythm and harmony
    to the roots of joy and shakes
    the whole tree of my existence
    with laughter and apprehension that
    no matter how hard we play
    this can’t last.
    And, of course, there are times when it
    feels like going through the motions.
    Not that we’re phoning it in, but
    there just isn’t anything happening.
    The notes are all there in the
    correct combination’s, the right order,
    but there’s no connection, no groove,
    no conversation, no jazz…
    But if I keep playing, keep trusting,
    the hollow performance eventually serves
    only to intensify the real music,
    when it happens. And it will happen
    When the planets align, or the gods condescend,
    Or the fundamental particles resonate with
    The wave of the co-creation
    Which is to say
    it feels, I feel so incredibly
    lucky to be here in the endlessly unfolding work;
    So lucky not to be going
    through the motions of all the other
    jobs and careers and options
    to which I might have been resigned;
    So lucky to be here with you
    who also know the rush when it
    all comes together;
    So lucky to have learned, the more I practice,
    The luckier I get.

    © Sanford C. Shugart

  • Brickwork

    Thursday, August 6, 2009

    It wasn’t a work I had chosen, but
    I was young and the job came to hand
    like each new, rasp-edged brick
    and I was taken with the
    challenge of the craft.
    Head-down to lay to a line
    straight and square, feeling the
    grain of baked earth and
    handling the sanded mud with
    quick, smart flicks and jabs,
    a precision boxer working a square ring,
    mastering tools and letting them
    master me: hammer, level and trowel.
    Focusing, focusing until every
    cell is in the rhythm, speed,
    economy of motion, each brick
    leading to the next, no hesitation,
    no space between the notes and
    all notes the same,
    brick to brick, course on course,
    year stacked on
    year until I take on the very
    texture of brick, the grit of mortar
    rigid joints and flat face of the wall
    no view but the brick,
    no plan but the brick,
    no dream but the brick

    and then

    the walls, at last,
    connect and there is
    nothing to do but to set the
    iron bars in the
    tiny, high window
    and wait for
    the end.

    © February 2003, Sanford C. Shugart