Slavery of Chlorophyll


My garden rests
heavy with the weight of rain
drained at evening from the growth
from daylight slavery
from chlorophyll machinery
from nagging voice of seize the day.

“Do the best you can” my father says,
“Use daylight for what’s good”
“Don’t postpone what could be done today*
and he leads me duty bound
in lutheran ambition
by working through the days
and like the faithful servant let the minas grow
rewards will come through duty — “do your best”.

But like the way the garden smells of rot
he died a bitter man,
far from Cythera.
Unrested, bound by duty.

I try to drink from darkness — breathe
and disconnect myself from slavery of chlorophyll.

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Today I have MTB at dVerse and we are doing flashback poetry. To move through time in present time requires a time machine. When I thought of the tireless garden growing tirelessly under the influence of summer I thought of how my father drove himself, and I could hear him talking as if he was here. Especially the parable of the ten minas from Luke 19 was important for him.

Bring your flashback poem to the bar and join us at 3 PM EST.
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June 24, 2015

25 responses to “Slavery of Chlorophyll

  1. It is not good to be bound by any kind of slavery; it is good when one is able to disconnect with teachings that do not resonate. There is definitely more to life than duty. Very effective flashback, Bjorn.

  2. It’s in the nature of advice that it’s overstated, in the hope that we’ll sit up and pay attention. Interesting that most children are aware of this, and apply their own filters. But it never stops a parent from giving advice. I enjoyed reading this one, Bjorn. Well done.

  3. Those words of the parents – the true-isms they passed on,
    I guess their demeanor does not make it less true, but that made for an interesting point — perhaps it is our own truthes and beliefs that kill us in the end.

  4. i have yet to find the balance between work and taking time to relax.. my parents used to say: first work, then fun – but honestly – there’s always work to do and you have to be careful not to end up having no fun and relaxing times in life at all

  5. Goodness, I love to do gardening when I like to, not duty bound ~ I admire the flashback conversation, and the present time – to find the bitter man yet is sad though ~ thanks for the wonderful prompt ~

  6. I am glad I am not (too) haunted by my parents’ sayings but more by family old stories about people I did not know. One certainly needs to learn when to stop as there is always something to do.

  7. Oh, goodness, yes, that sounds very familiar ‘idle hands make room for the devil’s work’ – that sort of mentality! So keep busy, busy, all the time. It’s hard not to feel guilty for every minute off, when you are brought up like that. I love the description of your garden resting in the evening from all the tyranny and slavery of things being done to it or the voices within.

  8. “I try to drink from darkness — breathe
    and disconnect myself”

    This is my favorite part.

  9. To this day, my husband refuses to do any yard work due to how his father pushed and forced so hard while his younger brother scooted out free. I can hear my uncle in this …. busy hands, idle hands, devil’s work, always work to do, work first fun last (if ever)…..it is hard being a parent. I was never one and don’t think I would have made a good one.

  10. Ha.. no father at home… mother with
    no rules.. free home.. no chores..
    no duties.. just be free..
    no allowance..
    but with trust
    enough in love
    to get a job and do it all..:)

  11. Insightful and painfully honest…my Dutch roots are tangled up in hard work too. Unique title…seems like oxymoron, hmmm

  12. I love knowing more about you and your father through this poem, Bjorn. You brought him to life, as he was then, and also how he died, “a bitter man.” I love the use of the garden , the lushness that adds so much to this tale.

  13. I like how ‘seize the day’ trickles through the stanzas specially in father’s voice…a very effective flashback poem…I also like how the poem ends….

  14. This is haunting in a fine way…just the right amount of angst contrasted with respect of a boy and his father I could see in my mind’s eye. Flashbacks really take us there, don’t they?!

  15. I believe one able to find the work that convey joy in it so you don’t think about being busy…metaphor of gardening very well fit the theme of time perspective…and how we change what is true for us…

  16. It is necessary to achieve a balance between hard work and relaxation–too much of either leads to problems. You’ve done a good job of capturing your (? or the) father’s ethics and the son’s conflict. Great prompt, by the way.

  17. Whew! So much to this piece. And again the first line “set-up”: “My garden rests” – brilliant (to say nothing of the loaded irony encapsulated in those three words).

  18. There is certainly a time for working hard…but you have shown the need to balance that with a time that is just for drinking in the moment

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