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The Rake

Posted in Poetry

leaf blower sound

It is fall, autumn,

the season meant to lead us from harvest,

into the cocoon of winter.

The air of unique flavour, free of the humidity that was

forged into the hot, arching, long days of summer.

Daylight, frilled now in coolness,

seems different, more intentional,

as if demanding us to meaning, to self-reflection:

How have you grown?

Are you doing your best?

I have long favoured the tone of autumn,

its nudge toward gathering outside,

so that you could then gather inside at table,

talk about the pass thrown,

or the race run;

there were few downsides.

Perhaps, yes the question of our

Toronto Maple Leafs and would we,

yet again,

sacrifice our now skeptical hope to

go forth because this is the year?

And of course, pumpkin pie;

generally applauded,

personally loathed,

but there was no hard thing about the season–

nothing that could fell it.

Until now.

Now there are leaf blowers,

legions of them that throw up noise enough to

both inspire, and hide my screams of insanity.

There is a grating dullness to their sound,

no place where the ear can land;

only horrible emptiness as if some tortured, good dragon

trapped deep, tries to sing its salvation,

but has no chance as it has been

bred for nothing more than misery.

A recent cool walk alongside a pond,

gone to hell as I step to avoid a grown man who

wields a leaf blower with one hand,

while his other hand sits lazy in a pocket,

as if this whole effort to move leaves was

an annoying afterthought.

It was the ‘hand in his pocket’ that bothered me,

added to the insult of the soulless, empty yowl of the machine that

slaughtered my experience of the swans on the pond,

took the best sunset, twinkling through the trees,

and slammed it into a garbage can;

nothing sacred, pastoral to revere.

I don’t want to get all precious,

but I’m going to get all precious;

It’s physical work, raking leaves,

the discovery of technique,

and rhythm,

and just how strong you are!
There is something about commitment to the rake that speaks volumes.
Nobody ever said,

“Oh, honey you must be so fatigued from

holding that leaf blower in one hand,

and your tiny dick in the other.”

And since we’re both here,

and the world is on fire,

there is the question of insects,

essential for life on this planet.

Your leaf blowing destroys them.

But you knew this, right?

You, the intelligent, up-to-date fella

with his very own thumbs,

though you still bought the damned thing,

to move your leaves,

in such a hurry,


for what?

I don’t like being preachy,

so stop goading me.

Leave me alone with my swans,

in the loveliest sunset,

and the quiet of the days rolling

toward the light on the

far side of the dark.

Have you grown at all?

Are you doing your…making ANY effort?