P.O.E.T.S. Day: Carl Sandburg, a Recommended Selection from Our Peanut Gallery

From the Hibernian heights, we take the finest of fictional (as far as I know) semi-holidays from the sage raconteur Sir (if he’s not he should be) Ian Rankin whose detective characters revealed the beauty of P.O.E.T.S. Day – Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday. The weekend is yours and all the more so if you claim it early, so emulate the denizens of his award winning books and seize the day, early. After all, the Scots have done quite a bit for us.

Get yourself out of the office, away from the construction site, skip a vote in the Texas legislature with a few cases of beer in your carry-on, or tell your patients that it’s probably just a cold and you’ll check with them on Monday. Declare the workweek over and grab a seat at my bar.

This may require subterfuge. Frequent readers of these electronic pages will have already gotten past the moral quandary that arises on P.O.E.T.S. Day. The lies necessary for a successful escape are watter off their backs by this point, but that may not be true for those new to the site.

For the new, focus on that bit of guilt and understand that it is the one thing stopping you from achieving your desire. It’s the insistence of those who want from you. They want your labor. They want your allegiance. They want your obeisance. In a very real sense, they are the enemy. They are stealing from you. You owe them nothing. You are a free and entitled entity separate from them. Who are they to direct you? Isn’t their claim to your time the real lie? Don’t think too hard. Just let that justification flow through you.

This brings us to this week’s poet (actually it doesn’t but structurally it’s time to introduce Carl Sandburg) Carl Sandburg (who I just… damn. I introduced him twice – three times if you count the title which I emphatically do not.)

I asked our Friday regulars who I should feature and one clear and certain voice from the bar proffered Carl Sandburg and in particular his poem Grass.

Damn is that a nihilist offering.

But he was clear and certain, so here it is. A gaze into the void and a reduction of humanities penchant for evil all wrapped up in a big “you don’t matter in the grand scheme because the world keeps on turning.” Enjoy, but try to keep a happy thought in you head as a hedge against depression.

Grass

Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.  

Shovel them under and let me work—  

            I am the grass; I cover all.  

And pile them high at Gettysburg  

And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.

Shovel them under and let me work.  

Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:  

            What place is this?  

            Where are we now?  

            I am the grass.

            Let me work.

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