Monday, July 25, 2016


Senior Citizen

Probably 1,000 carpenters
Live in the southern part
Of this state, a lot of them
Hip and young with a brand new
Leather apron, heavy duty
Trucks, wives or companions
That are weavers or potters
Or dancers, and of course they
All have a story to tell.
Though yesterday I was in
An old woman’s house high off
From the back road, and she
Lived alone and missed all
Her grandchildren and braided
Rugs in the back of the house
With a hand needle and years
And years of wool, and the
Story she had to tell was
Already written in her choice
Of words, the rope of her hands,
And the scar above her left eye
Made thirty-five years ago
By the shuttle of a textile loom.

Back Road Caller

I came to have my chain saw fixed
And he did that, but
A half hour job
Stretched to three hours
Because he had to show me
All his new tools,
Plus his 75lb. bow
And the antlers from the buck
He shot last fall —
“Arrow went clean through”
Never mind the drawer
Of chewing tobacco
He offered me, and then
To his father, and we both
Politely declined a dip,
And as if that wasn’t enough —
He pulled out the flat
Enveloped reeds he used
For turkey hunting —
Tucked one up on the roof
Of his mouth and cupping
His hands chucked out a
Perfect few syllables
Which would have turned any
Bird’s head, and depending
On how he rolled his body
With a call he could make
It sound horny, but he
Only saved that one for
The summertime, when the
Weekend neighbor’s daughter
Came to visit all alone.


I’ve only been away one day
But already between the width
Of the stone wall gate
Spans the thinnest first strand of
A spider’s web, floating there
As the river fog this morning
In the valley — well enough to
Stoop beneath it,
Cause no harm.

Above the Valley
                        for Scott Tindall

Over 3,000 feet
Above the valley
Our eyes looking
Southward with an
Old man we came
Upon resting on a
Stump. We exchanged
Greetings in the warm
Light he enjoyed,
The leaves falling,
And asked where
He had hiked from.
And he stood up and
Pointed to a lake I knew
Far off in the lower hills
Catching the sun, saying
“The other lake after that” —
One I never knew of.
Then later in the day
Higher up from the old man,
Air sharp with balsam,
We looked back and saw how

His lake had lit up too.


Bob Arnold

photograph: "Berkshire from Greylock"
copyright 2015 by Two~Hands