Oh! cursed pile of dirt, in crude repair,
what reason dost thou have to be so cruel?
Anchored firm with that cold and heavy stare,
as would befit a cross and cranky mule.
Has’t thou not some purpose of greater worth?
Could thou not be a mound or grassy knoll?
Could thou not be a monument on Earth?
Has’t thou not some use, some virtue to extol?
Give way to the dig of a shaping spade.
Let go the stature of a mongrel beast.
Let go the attitude as of now displayed.
Be thus reduced; for purpose-sake increased.
. Be not soiled or muddied with despair,
. let thyself be moved as from here to there.
© Tim Grace, 23 September 2011
To the reader: As a university student I earned a meagre income removing rubbish. I owned a small utility truck (known as a ‘ute’ in Australia). For seven-dollars a load I’d remove anything; mostly other peoples’ unwanted garden refuse. Occasionally a large pile of dirt would stare me down! With stoic fortitude I remember the words “Oh! cursed pile of dirt” thrusting deep into the core of my adversary. Slowly at first, with slight impact, the pile would respond seemingly none the worse for curse! But … as I was to learn … persistence beats resistance!
To the poet: That “persistence beats resistance” is a truism; one that serves the poet well. The weight of stubborn words can take some shifting; some very heavy lifting. The original words to this sonnet were in the form of my own spiritual; in the face of adversity there is hope; the human spirit is well equipped to cope with hardship: “Oh! cursed pile of dirt, with thy cold and heavy stare, given time and shovel, thou shalt be moved from here to over there!”