“There are those who love to get dirty”

There are those who love to get dirty
and fix things.
They drink coffee at dawn,
beer after work,

And those who stay clean,
just appreciate things,
At breakfast they have milk
and juice at night.

There are those who do both,
they drink tea.

Gary Snyder

This is one of my favorite poems, saved for the second to last day of National Poetry Month. I came in from the garden after making the photograph, put the risen bread in the oven, topped off my tea with hot water, and sat to write this. Except when I open my copy of The Gary Snyder Reader, I always end up reading. Always. Here’s another one, then I will check on the bread and head back out to the garden.

For the Children

The rising hills, the slopes
of statistics
lie before us.
the steep climb
of everything, going up,
up, as we all
go down.

In the next century
or the one beyond that,
they say,
are valleys, pastures,
we can meet there in peace
if we make it.

To climb these coming crests
one word to you, to
you and your children:

stay together
learn the flowers
go light