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Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer Poems.....

from our Poet Laureate from Cattle Country, Cow-Punchin' Mack! The first is humorous, the second more melancholy, but both typically thought-provoking.

The Theory and Practice of Summer

In theory, Summer is capitalized
As a sovereign kingdom of happiness
An unfallen world of sunlight and bare feet
Both dancing lightly across a new-mown lawn
In practice, summer is when the mower won’t start
While weeds grow high in a season so dry
That heat and allergens veto all joy
The damp crushes deodorants and hopes
In theory, summer is idle hours
Saved in a magic piggie from long ago:
Comic books and plastic water blasters
And lying in the night-grass, counting the stars
In practice, summer means driving to work
In a wheezy old car that runs on notes
And gasoline more precious than rubies
While the boss sets an ambush at the time clock
But see:
In theory and practice, a little boy
Slow-pedals his bicycle to the creek
His fishing rod in hand, his dog behind,
And he will live for us our summers past

I Must be Buried in my Suit

“I must be buried in my suit,” he said,
“For soon I will be called to meet the King.

No, no, I do not scorn my workday clothes,
My ragged, oil-stained jeans and chambray shirt
The beatup hat I wore against the sun
For God was with me in the heat of the day
And the cold of the night when duty called –

I’ve torqued machine bolts through hard double shifts
Dug post holes, strung bob wire the summer long
And hammered, fenced, plowed, built, dug, cussed, and bled
Not for bragging, but to keep the children fed

I’ve ciphered accounts and counted the coins
And watched the boss’s child promoted up
For she had graduated college, you see,
And there she learned to send my job away
To some place on a map I saw in school,
Before somebody changed all of the names

And then the lady at the Social Security office
Told me that my life was privileged
But said that I’d get something anyway.
So my old clothes are fine for sitting on the porch
And lifting up a cup of Seaport to the dawn.

But you make sure I’m buried in my suit
Because I want to wear my Sunday best
When I am called away to meet the King.”

"A little boy.....his fishing rod in hand....."


  1. Mack is truly man of words. I found both poems immensely moving, thank you Pearl.

  2. I agree with you, Richard. Mack is an incomparable modern-day bard.