Dr. Weeks’ Comment: I met an old friend today in the library and learned that he had written a poem this very morning. Nothing so very remarkable about all that, but let me add that my friend is 95 years old, and that he competed last year in Langley’s own Soup Box Derby. Peter Lawlor, poet laureate of Whidbey Island, shared his poem with me and amidst a drab northwet (sic) day he was resplendant. I am in his debt for having brightened my day and so I am quite happy to share his poem with you now.
by PETER LAWLOR age 95
Just by walking down the usual street
There’s a word or two that can be said
To brighten that shadowed passing head,
To spread scatter squander and give free
A compliment about some quiet grace
In the casual scarf and thoughtful face.
No holiness, no bended knee.
No waiting for expected thanks.
Just absently a word of spontaneity
Words suggested by a cup of tea.
Does the thistle spread its feathered seeds
Expecting homage in the growing weeds?
Does the burning island rising from the seas
Need thank the birds who spread the seeds of trees?
Do snowflakes hesitate donating more
Do waves withhold their treasures from the shore?
The most generous of all is rain,
Gives all it has to earth and seas
Remembers umbrellas ships and elephants,
Plays a tambourine on tin roofs,
Softens turf below the horse’s hoofs.
So much is happening all around
To lift the pilgrim kneeling on the ground.
So much is here it only needs the hand
To lift and scatter goodness on the land.
God scattered stars that way and gave us one
With lots of stuff on it and thoughtfully as well, a sun.
21st Feb 2017