August 1, 2016

Three Poems by C.B. Anderson: "Dyed in the Wool, and Cut from the Whole Cloth - For Jared Carter," "Mortal Fatigue," and "Harder than Ever"

C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden. His book of poems, Mortal Soup and the Blue Yonder, was published in 2013 by White Violet Press.

Sterling Silver Plate by Tiffany & Co.

Dyed in the Wool, and Cut from the Whole Cloth
                       For Jared Carter

The bard of Indiana is
a master of
The subtle trope. The text is his,
but such a love

For words must come from somewhere far
away. The less
He says, the more his measures are
the warm caress

Of language in its native state—
Presented on a sterling plate
from Tiffany’s

Mortal Fatigue

I’m getting tired of mourning persons close
To me who’ve joined the legion of the dead,
So if I’ve lately seemed too lachrymose,
Then let my loved ones weep for me instead,

And I’ll conserve my few remaining tears.
Preoccupied with sundry aches and pains,
I’ve lost all track of just how many years
I have been viewing cold embalmed remains

Of dear departed friends and relatives.
The body is a vessel, I’ve been told,
An instrument in which a spirit lives
Until the mortal husk has grown too old

To house it. What shall happen after that
Has been a source of endless speculation
Since Noah beached his Ark on Ararat,
But this should not engender trepidation,

Because the Lord above is merciful—
Or so Isaiah wrote. Much more convincing
He’d be if aging were reversible,
Or we were spared the groaning and the wincing.

Harder than Ever

To overcome a tragic destiny
Determined by the doings of our past
Is not as easy as it used to be,

Since much accumulated history
Has put in place a pattern hard and fast.
To overcome a tragic destiny,

Adherence to a fresh approach is key,
But editing bad habits we’ve amassed
Is not as easy as it used to be,

And that’s the bottom-line reality.
Our earliest compulsions are the last
We overcome. A tragic destiny

Is seldom cured by psychotherapy,
And feeling smug when others are aghast
Is not as easy as it used to be.

Because we’ve built a shameful legacy,
Our disappointment with ourselves is vast.
To overcome a tragic destiny
Is not as easy as it used to be.

~C.B. Anderson 

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