Poem of the Week, by Ernest Hilbert

Once when my son was little I overheard him and some of his friends whispering in the doorway where they had snuck up to watch me type. “Is your mom the fastest typer in the whole world?” one of them said. “Yup,” my son said, “she is.” When it comes to typing all I want is speed, because then my fingers can outrace my thoughts and spin words out without thinking. But when it comes to cooking and quilting and gardening, slowness is what matters, physical labor that absorbs hands and muscles and lets thoughts wander free. (As I wrote that last sentence it just occurred to me that maybe speed and slowness are actually the same thing. Same coin, flip sides.) Poem of the Week, by Ernest Hilbert.

– Ernest Hilbert

A song for those who learn forgotten, slow
skills, crafts submerged long past by massed commerce,
by hard, dark, oily machines, and the din
of duplicates shipped by the millions, stowed
in cavernous depots to be dispersed
to each home, used once, and then binned.
This is for those who weave by hand, who brew
their own suds, and roll their own smokes, hammer
together shelves, print on presses, plant gardens
in vacant lots, raise beams, fire pots, the few
who challenge the swift, transient tenor
of the age, the lonely sincere wardens,
the last, noble pull of old ways restored,
valued and unwanted, admired and ignored.

For more information on Ernest Hilbert, please click here: here.

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