Tuesday, July 17, 2012

before the day is done

There was a time I worked with contract workers on a wiring project. Most of them are lowly educated, picked up their skills on the job. A couple were ex-cons. But one thing I learned about them, they never let their hard life get them down. There's always a smile on their faces and a joke waiting to burst out. Perhaps it is easier to pass the day this way?

photo by dsnake1

before the day is done

as the last rays
of the sun
strain through the rain trees
into the hoist bay
we sit at a makeshift table
in a pow wow
before the day
is done

rolling our cigarettes

it is not easy really
tobacco rolling is an art
the fingers greasy no doubt
it's either that
a big slab of leaves
smuggled in
from indonesia

or beedies

then the click
of lighters
the lazy flare
of a match
the cackle of laughter
crude jokes
crows caw

a puff of smoke
puffs of smoke

stub out ends
a dented coke can
choked with butts

or let it burn
to the fingers

dropping ashes
to the concrete

ashes like squashed moths

more crows caw
truly rude jokes
caw caw caw
cough cough

they leave
we leave

unwashed mugs on the tabletop
waiting for moonlight to wash
over them



I am posting this poem for Poetry Pantry -#106. (what, one week already?) It's been lurking in the hard drive for a couple of years, and I guessed it's time to drag it out. :)

Song for the day : Another Day in Paradise

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2012

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Anonymous Ravenblack said...

Wonderful poem, dsnake -- lots of atmosphere and vivid imagery, and the laughter and banter of these guys can be heard. Love the way you ended it. An incomplete gesture, leaving the mugs out under the moonlight, an emphasis of simply living the moment, instead of washing and clearing for a tomorrow. If you want to use the cup tomorrow, wash it when tomorrow comes. :)

18 July, 2012 16:07  
Anonymous dsnake1 said...

yes, i think you have nailed it nicely by saying they are "simply living the moment". they would have used disposable cups, but no one gonna come out the money to buy them. :D

i have thought of editing and sending this poem to some ezine like QLRS, but i am really very busy with work this year so i don't think i have the time and stamina to do it.

thanks for your comments! :)

18 July, 2012 22:12  
Blogger ashok said...

nice poem!

19 July, 2012 01:04  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thank you, Ashok!

19 July, 2012 23:30  
Blogger Brian Miller said...

really nice...you really capture the moment there...i like the details you pull out of it...like squashed moths...and the coke can...the repeated puffs...nice....

02 August, 2012 10:40  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Brian, thanks for the visit and comments. much appreciated. :)

05 August, 2012 23:36  

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