Photo of dust in light (Dru! / Flickr)‘Dust’ and Other Poetry by T.M. Moore The Society July 28, 2019 Beauty, Poetry 23 Comments Dust My soul clings to the dust. Ps. 119.25 How like the dust my soul can be. I see it sometimes, dazed and inattentive in a ray of light, or settled in a thin coat on a table, waiting languidly to be wiped off. It falls in easily with just the slightest breeze or passing wind, and drifts off nowhere, much to my chagrin. Such aimless, listless seasons trouble me. Perhaps it’s true that I am merely dust. But even dust has purpose, and I trust that, in my more devoted moments, when I’m neither drifting, dazed, nor lolling, then I’ll shimmer in the light, and lend my weight, though slight, to tip the scales for something great. In Mad River Apologia pro vita sua An ancient boulder, relic of a long forgotten past, stands resolute and strong amid the shallow, stumbling waters of Mad River. Facing to the sky above, and framed by forest glory, he confronts the crazy current, almost like he wants to say, “Slow down! What’s all the rush about? There’s beauty here, and you can find it out, but first you’ll have to take a hard look at yourself, and let your soul remind you that there’s more to life than rushing here and there. Just look and hear: there’s glory everywhere.” The river doesn’t listen, for it’s bound by earth’s attraction, and the only sound it hears is of the rushing crowd, the din of “Faster! Newer! There’s a race to win!” And yet the old rock perseveres. Streams come and go, but he abides, a witness from another time, content to see the sky, to share the forest’s grandeur, and to try to slow, if not to change, Mad River’s crazed rush to oblivion. He is unfazed by his obscurity and meager gains. For him it will suffice if there remains a legacy, known by a few, who see in him what they themselves might like to be. NB: Vermont’s Mad River flows north from Granville Gulf to Middlesex, where it joins the Winooski River. The Mad River Valley is a popular tourist region, due to its beautiful Vermont scenery and two ski areas, Mad River Glen and Sugarbush Resort. T.M. Moore’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals, and he has published five volumes of verse through his ministry’s imprint, Waxed Tablet Publications. He is Principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, he and his wife, Susie, reside in Essex Junction, VT. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 23 Responses Amy Foreman July 28, 2019 Both beautiful poems, T.M. “Dust” is one of the finest sonnets I have read on this site–elegant volta and inspiring, optimistic couplet at the end. Your poetry adeptly engages the corporeal with the eternal with an overarching Biblical worldview: demonstrating the captivating interaction between the Creator and the “created.” In that respect, your poetry has the power to speak to anyone and everyone. In addition, T.M., your poems bear up very well to repeat readings, and, in fact, the more times I read them, the more I like them! Reply T. M. July 28, 2019 Very kind, Amy. Thank you. Reply James A. Tweedie July 28, 2019 T.M. You have captured with elegance and skill the exquisite mystery where the words “dust” and “life” were joined together to produce a creature of such complex transcendence as a human being; a creature the Bible declares is more appropriately compared with angels (“a little lower than . . .”) and with God (“in the image and likeness of . . .”) than with anything else in creation. One does not ordinarily (or naturally or easily) identify mere dust as partaking of divine holiness. Even so, the Bible is audacious enough to make such a claim and you have been clever and perceptive enough to grasp this enigmatic truth and render it into verse that is simple, articulate, and beautiful in every way. I find these two poems to be everything that Amy has previously described and I congratulate you on their (and your) success. It is my opinion that the closing couplet of the first poem joins truth and beauty together in a way that I can only explain as having been inspired. No doubt you felt the same way when those words suggested themselves and appeared on the page in front of you! Thank you for sharing them with us this morning. Reply T. M. July 28, 2019 James, thanks so much. What a mystery we are, no? Reply T. M. July 28, 2019 Evan: Thanks so much for helping on the final couplet of “Dust.” What I had originally was not only insipid, but distracting from the point I hoped the poem would make. Your suggested revision directed me to the present lines. I’ve very grateful for you insight and help. Reply James A. Tweedie July 28, 2019 The Muse speaks with many voices and from many directions! All too often we fail to take a step back from what we are doing so as to take the time to listen for what she might have to say to us. Invariably, her words are better than our own. Reply Evan Mantyk July 29, 2019 You are very welcome! Thank you for sharing your poetry with us. Reply James Sale July 28, 2019 Beautiful poems, especially Dust – well done; superb work. Reply T. M. July 28, 2019 Thanks, James. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 30, 2019 Two admirably crafted, delightful poems – a real privilege to read. Reply T. M. July 30, 2019 Thank you. David Paul Behrens July 28, 2019 Interesting perspectives in both poems, and enjoyable to read. Reply Peter Hartley July 28, 2019 I have commented before that T M Moore’s earlier contributions have been among the very best that I have read, and re-read and read again and again on this site, and these little offerings do not disappoint expectations. I have also suggested somewhere that some contributors are more interested in describing or developing ugly themes couched in repulsive language, language better vaunted on the back of a toilet door in a public convenience. I do wish that more poetry was concerned with elevated thoughts and the sublime as this is, and less to do with the unpleasant and the obscene. I cannot believe that if we transposed Wordsworth to the twenty-first century he would have abandoned his lonely clouds (I’ve not often seen a lonely cloud, incidentally) and his daffodils to concentrate on the fascinating shapes and patterns formed by piles of chewing gum stuck to the pavements outside every off-licence in the UK. As with the present two poems I want to feel better for having read them Reply T. M. July 28, 2019 Thanks, Peter. T. M. July 29, 2019 Thanks, David. Sorry to have overlooked your comment. Do forgive. Reply C.B. Anderson July 28, 2019 T.M., Not bad, but I have some issues with your rhymes in the Italian sonnet. “languidly” does not really rhyme with “easily.” You are rhyming “-LY” with “-LY,” which isn’t much of a rhyme. “-LY” is only promoted to a stressed rhymed syllable because of context: the thrust of the meter, and it’s position between two unstressed syllables. “[E]asily” rhymes well with “queasily,” but does “apostasy” rhyme with “hypocrisy?” It depends. The two words assonate almost perfectly, and so the final promoted syllable is supported as a legitimate end rhyme. I had much more to say, and I said it earlier, but my computer doesn’t seem to get along with this format, so much was erased. Reply T. M. July 28, 2019 Point taken. I shall change the offending lines to read: coat on a table, waiting there to be wiped off. Or else it falls in easily Reply David Watt July 28, 2019 T.M., your sonnet, “Dust”, speaks to the profound truth that we are all created for a purpose. I really like the fact that you have eloquently expressed those moments when ‘something great’ may transpire. Although “In Mad River” presents the rush and tumble of waters, it retains an essence of beauty, and provides an equally uplifting message. Well Done! Reply T. M. July 29, 2019 Thank you, David. Reply David Gosselin July 30, 2019 Dear T.M., Dust has a great ethereal beauty about it. One of the highest qualities a poem can aim for, I believe. Very nice. I’d be interested to see more of you’re material. Feel free to submit something to The Chained Muse.com. If you’re interested, you can send what you’d like to: email@example.com. The ethereal quality of “Dust” reminds me of another poet’s work, Daniel Leach: https://www.thechainedmuse.com/single-post/2017/10/05/Poems-Unwritten Best, David Reply T. M. July 30, 2019 Thanks, David. I’ll have a look at your journal. Reply Gleb Zavlanov August 23, 2019 Dear Mr. Moore, I love your poem “Dust.” It has a surprising and very original metaphor. I wish I could’ve thought of something so imaginative, of how an individual can be like dust, measly and insignificant but nonetheless capable of glowing in the light and tipping the balance even if slightly. Thank you for the great poem. -Gleb Reply T. M. August 23, 2019 Gleb: Thanks for the kind and encouraging words. It always surprises me how much beauty, wonder, and profundity can be provoked by the smallest and most ordinary things. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.