"The Death of Socrates" by Jacques-Louis David‘Nest Egg’ and Other Poetry by C.B. Anderson The Society July 18, 2021 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 23 Comments . Nest Egg The things for which I hoped have come and gone: The power to express a cogent thought; Ability to wake at break of dawn; Approval from a nearly perfect wife; And will to execute what I’ve been taught. But this is not to say that all is lost Within the precinct of the twisted life I’ve lived, for many turns are yet to come. Eventually—I keep my fingers crossed— I’ll realize a windfall benefit From old investments that I made. In sum, I’m less dependent on my bank accounts Than on tenacity and native wit, Which I possess in copious amounts. . . The Weight of Uncounted Blessings You worship weekly and you always tithe To keep aggressive clerics off your heels, But this will not forfend the Reaper’s Scythe, Which suffers no exceptions nor appeals. You look to Heaven as you stoop and labor As though you were expecting some relief, But you must carry on, just like your neighbor, Accepting your allotted share of grief. Somewhere above, your just reward awaits, A dwelling where the pantry’s never bare, Yet nothing you have witnessed indicates That such a pleasant home is really there. Travail, it’s said, will only make you stronger, Prepare you for Communion with the Saints, If you can just hold out a little longer And not indulge in venting your complaints. No virtues lift you up like faith and hope, Two mental states in full divine accord. If all you ever do is moan and mope, Then don’t expect sweet mercy from The Lord. . . How Low the Sweet Chariot Swings Caught up in our humanity, We’ve all become obsessed with things: Expensive cars and diamond rings Inflate our native vanity. Imbued with faux urbanity, We foster thoughts that have no wings, But when the doughty bluebird sings, Its chirp restores our sanity. What’s been foretold shall come to pass, And lies shall nevermore be spread In service to a darkened heart. Bright green will be the living grass That grows above the silent dead Who had good reason to depart. First published in The Rotary Dial . . C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden. Hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Australia and India. His collection, Mortal Soup and the Blue Yonder was published in 2013 by White Violet Press 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 David Paul Behrens July 18, 2021 All three of these poems are thought provoking, imbued by wisdom and a lifetime of experience. Reply C.B. Anderson July 18, 2021 I’m always happy to provoke a thought, D.P. But from over here it sometimes seems like my lifetime has been spent doing stupid things. Reply Brian Yapko July 18, 2021 These three poems are very enjoyable to read, each one imbued with wisdom and sadness tempered with a decidedly unsentimental, wry wit. I especially like The Weight of Uncounted Blessings which skillfully articulates an important message about discipline and its connection to faith and hope. Thank you for sharing these memorable poems. Reply C.B. Anderson July 18, 2021 You may have noticed, Brian, that a good number of my poems have a vein of what I call speculative theology running through them. I’m glad you enjoyed reading them. Reply Paul Freeman July 18, 2021 I enjoyed all three of these poems. I liked ‘Nest Egg’ especially for its positive turn, though I’d maybe consider changing ‘twisted’ to ‘winding’ – another connotation of ‘twisted’ initially entered my mind first and had me a bit perplexed. The second poem really does leave the reader thinking about stopping and counting their blessings rather than giving in to negativity. How Low the Sweet Chariot Swings brought to mind the quote ‘Getting and spending we lay waste our powers’ and is a timely reminder, as with the second piece, that we should stop and count our blessings. Thanks for putting a shine on an otherwise tarnished day, C.B. Reply C.B. Anderson July 18, 2021 “Twists and turns” was how I looked at it, Paul, but maybe you are on to something when it comes to the more unsavory connotation that entered your mind. I think “entered my mind” is a strange and interesting phrase, and that there is probably a poem to be written using it as a point of departure. My wife has little signs posted all over the house that read: Spend time counting your blessings, not airing your complaints. Tarnished? Did something happen today that I haven’t heard about yet, or is it just raining where you are as it is here? Reply Paul Freeman July 18, 2021 Colleagues at work needing my help on my first day of leave and Covid curfew re-introduced (I remembered just after getting ready for a midnight run), etc. As for rain, it rained for the first time in about a year yesterday, which was very nice and a blessing to count. Reply C.B. Anderson July 18, 2021 Rain is often a blessing, and at its worst it is still better than drought. Norma Okun July 18, 2021 Lovely expressions of regrets. Musically put it all makes sense. Reply C.B. Anderson July 18, 2021 Regrets are worth but half a pence; Unmusically put, it won’t make sense. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 18, 2021 These three beautifully crafted, engaging and spirit-lifting poems are brimming with wisdom, wit and wonder, and I thank you for them. Reply Joe Tessitore July 18, 2021 I agree. Good, old fashioned poetry. Reply C.B. Anderson July 19, 2021 Who are you calling old-fashioned, Joe? C.B. Anderson July 19, 2021 Perhaps more wit than wisdom, Susan, but you are welcome anyway. Reply Julian D. Woodruff July 18, 2021 I especially like the wry humor in the 1st, and its unusual, but I suspect very deliberate rhyme scheme (rather Schoenbergian, I think). the 2nd reminds me of a good joke, which I may try to turn into a poem, remembering Susan Jarvis Bryant’s challenge of a while back. Congratulations, CB, on a distinctive, excellently crafted trio. Reply C.B. Anderson July 19, 2021 Thank you, Julian. For a fact, I often find it difficult to come off completely serious when I write a poem. I should address such a work to whom it may amuse. Reply Joseph S. Salemi July 18, 2021 “Nest Egg” has an amazingly intricate rhyme scheme — I had to map it out on paper before I could see what was going on. Apart from the ABA of the first three lines, and the GFG of the last three lines, the other rhymes in the poem are separated by two intervening ones, so you get BACB, CBDC, DCED, FEGF. This arrangement “mutes” the rhymes, so to speak, while allowing them to tie the poem together with unseen stitches. Reply C.B. Anderson July 19, 2021 This rhyme scheme is something I came up with many years ago. I sometimes refer to it as “rolling interlock. It’s basically an extension of the ABACBC stanza, which we see now and then, and can be used for any even number of lines. It does “mute” the rhymes, and it also gives the writer more time to find suitable follow-up rhymes. I used this scheme in “Sibling Revelry” from Iambs & Trochees and in “Bosom Buddies” from Trinacria, among man other poems. Reply Gail July 19, 2021 Really enjoyed these. We have a lot in common. Reply Jared Carter July 20, 2021 Just checking in. Sterling, as always. Reply C.B. Anderson July 22, 2021 Thanks, Jared. I’ve never known you to utter a false word. Reply BDW July 22, 2021 as per Wilbur Dee Case: The iambic pentameters run smoothly, with grace notes of Kipling and others, joined with the casualness of Millay and Frost. As an aside, I prefer “twisted”, for its connotations. Reply C.B. Anderson July 22, 2021 I don’t know much Kipling, but my nickname is Kip. Iambic pentameters run smoothest when they run smoothly. Nowadays we are asked to force ourselves to use metrical substitutions. 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