[lit-ideas] Re: Saturday Poem

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 14 May 2011 15:06:10 -0700 (GMT-07:00)

For my Colleague Bill Moore, on his Retirement

this is not a pipe
this is bill
the force that though the billowing cloud
acquires tools

first one lathe and then all the others
a band saw
tools a'plenty

you've been there
in the wood shop
as he tries every way he knows to explain what he knows
while still keeping eyes in the back of his head swiveling
so that everyone emerges safely
and with work
and with a sense of achievement
from that potentially dangerous space

this is not a pipe
this is bill's work
it's his fundamental form
arising from the sense memory of his fingers
which having cleaned out so many tobacco bowls
with those little training gouges
when presented with larger opportunity
given their turn on stage
so to speak
a pipe
let's do a pipe again
we like pipes

bill moore
turning and turning in a widening gyre
he's both the falcon and the falconer
the sharp-eyed one and the man who swings the bait
leading, training, caring

bill moore
smiling with his eyes
helping others out
being bill
the useful man
who in french
would be called
what adds up

bill moore
need i say more
he won't

though his word is as sound as good wood
the best compliment is probably finally to emulate him
so now
instead of rising to applaud
or maybe after rising to applaud
we should sit
imagine ourselves surrounded by a cloud of smoke

we smile
and like his hardwearing beard
we grow
a little longer
and older

this is not a pipe
it's an exit
bill moore
my friend
we thank you

David Ritchie,
West Coast

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