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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Friday, June 20, 2008

Knee Deep in June Again

Today before I went to work
I sat half in and out the car
peeling off the old
and putting on the new
windshield sticker for our favorite beach.
I haven’t yet been home
in time to join the family there.
“Strange,” I thought
with razor blade in hand,
“to be knee deep in June
without the touch of sun or sand
or even a hint of having
nothing pressing for my time."

And then I heard
(without turning to see)
a ringing from across the road,
the sound of horse shoes
clanking into place against a stake.
"What a game!" I thought.
"There’s nothing like the sound
that says you've hit your mark
or come so near
that close still counts for something."
And in my mind I saw
eyes taking aim,
the slow and steady swing,
the touch that guides the Clydesdale cleat
through the thin summer air.
I thought of picnics at Pine Grove
near the rows of horse shoe pits
and heard again that jubilant clank
of ringers and leaners,
(the dusty thud of misses, too)
in the distance as we ate
and watched the water flow.
But that was long ago.

Backing down the drive
I turned to wave
at what I thought would be
two men at play
and saw instead a young man...
changing a flat tire in the driveway.
Clank! Again he dropped the tire iron
against the hard cement
then looked at me and shook his head.
Who knew that such a dreaded task
could sound so like a game?
I sighed and headed off to work
knee deep in June again.
Happy First Day of Summer!
"Father Far and Away" Part III coming after a Sunday trip to Chicago to put my 13-year-old daughter on a plane to Kansas. From there, she'll be heading to Oklahoma for a rafting trip with her grandparents, friends, and some counsins..


Blogger Julie said...

Love it! Nothing says 'summer' like a long, drawn out game of horseshoes (which we have yet to experience this summer). Have you ever played with washers?

Julie in Colorado

20/6/08 5:22 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Julie in CO,
Washers? Do you me really big metal rings or the hillbilly game where they set two old washing machines at 50 paces and take turns throwing scrap metal in them? Just kidding, but no I haven't played with washers. We did used to play with Jarts (big lawn darts) when we were kids, but then some dreadful accidents outlawed those toys.

The thing about this experience was I heard the clanking and in my mind it was horseshoes. Drop a tire iron on your driveway and you'll hear what I mean.
Hope you guys are having a great start to summer out there!

20/6/08 8:03 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Summer... not my favorite season now that I'm retired. I prefer the cooler months of April and May but summer is still full of many opportunities and blessings.

I'm not good at horseshoes but I enjoy watching. It was one of my dad's favorite games.

I too love that familar "clang" and could see how the tire tool could sound the same.

Enjoy your summer!

I look forward to part III.

20/6/08 9:40 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

I haven't played horse shoes very much either, but I have watched it played at Pine Grove Park in Port Huron. I love the roots of the game.

In this case, the mistaken sound fit in with the mixed feelings of the lines and the play on James Whitcomb Riley's oringinal poem about wanting not to have to work on perfect summer days.

20/6/08 11:12 PM  
Blogger the walking man said...

What a wonderful flowing read Tom. Loved the last verse, the way it just melted away while making its point!

21/6/08 2:53 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Thanks, TWM,
From such a prolific writer that is high praise. I must say the lines kind of wrote themselves with little time or thought. I must be learning something from you.

21/6/08 11:19 AM  
Blogger Dr.John said...

You are man of so many talents. I loved the poem. It has a great feel that and I used to play horseshoes a lot.

23/6/08 5:11 PM  
Blogger JR's Thumbprints said...

I have roadside service, which means someone else can do the clanking--even if my car's in the drive way.

As for poetry, nice read. I'm sending a few poems out to various editors this weekend. Should get plenty of rejection letters soon. Real soon.

27/6/08 7:51 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Dr. John,
Thanks. Glad you liked it. It's been years since I actually played but I used to love seeing the horseshoe twirl as if in slow motion end over end, and with a little "luck" land with a dusty clank and thud around the stake.

At least you have the courage to send the poems in with the hope of acceptance. Emily Dickinson once explained why she never published (all of her work was printed posthumously) that trying to be published was like auctioning off your mind... implying the fear of no one wanting to bid. That's sort of how it feels to submit work for other's approval, and why blogging has proven to be a kind place to test the waters for people like us.

Thanks for the comment. BTW.I too have Triple A for just such times as what this boy faced and what my we experienced along I-75 in the ongoing story. =)

30/6/08 11:02 PM  

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