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Literary Hook: Time to slow down and savor life

August 12, 2009

Summer is beginning to wane. The pleasures of the season linger just a little longer as we savor them.

Of course, we have seasons in our lives as well. Sometimes when we’ve led busy, goal-oriented lives, the idea of slowing down and savoring becomes enticing. When we actually have a chance to live that way, it’s positively delicious.

Here is a poem I wrote more than a decade ago when I was experimenting with rhyme, rhythm and form.

Give me Time

Give me time to slow things down,

Meander through a Wisconsin town,

Dilly-dally the morning away,

Read romances on a rainy day.

Give me the grace of fine, small things,

The grace of lightness and of wings—

Hummingbird hovering over a trumpet vine,

Spotted cat chasing a ball of twine.

Give me time to tend the garden—

Tulips, lilies—slice of heaven.

Scent of roses pink and white.

Persian lilacs’ scent delight.

Give me the grace of time slowed down.

A limestone steeple in a Midwest town.

Or the grace of prairie tassels,

Turning leaves and wet sand castles.

Give me the grace of tiny treasures—

Lady bug, swallow-tail—simple pleasures.

A glass of wine, buttered toast.

These are what I love the most.

Give me time to watch the waves.

I love the way the sea behaves—

Agate, star fish, gulls in a line,

Tide pools, rivulets serpentine.

Give me the grace of gabled roofs,

And painted ponies with muddy hoofs.

Fireflies beneath a moonlit trestle,

The invitation of a train’s last whistle.

Give me time to think about

The ones that I cannot live without.

I want to give them more of me

And know the best is yet to be.

Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet who has written several books of poetry and formerly wrote a column called “The Writer’s Garret” for this newspaper.

from the Aug 12-18, 2009 issue

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