Staying Put

Nancy Bell Scott

Nancy Bell Scott

“In the Lord I take refuge!
How can you say to me,
      ‘Flee like a bird to the mountains!’
Look, the wicked bend the bow,
they have fitted their arrow to the string,
to shoot in the dark at the upright of heart.
If the foundations are destroyed,
what can the righteous do?”~ Psalm 11:1-3

The hand`made sign
on the back of the trailer
read ‘Heading for Canada!’
The heat rises in the pot
the smart frogs jump

It was the dust bowl
brought Okies out west
‘We’re California Bound!’
Pickin’ oranges is better
‘an shuckin’ dry corn!

Staying is hard work
harder than running off
when the going gets tough
It takes a nation to build
a dam reclaim a land

Some days the wind
blows out of the west
other days from the east
Some days we eat beef
and other days beans

About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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8 Responses to Staying Put

  1. mikesteeden says:

    Peter, the structure/idea of/for your recent posts is absurdly brilliant…beyond measure. I’ve read this poem about 5 times now and feel I’ve had true value for money at a cinema, it is so very good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kind Sir . . . Deciding to take my prompts from the Psalms has been a crazy challenge! Sometimes I just sit for hours looking at a verse or two and scratching my head . . . I’m glad you’re following my train of thought if not my stumbling foot`steps . . .

      Liked by 1 person

      • mikesteeden says:

        I think I probably mentioned previous that I’m an old atheist who gets on with all good people for we share the same values and the use of the Psalms is the very thing that attracts this reader…the almost mirror effect; your words and those of the cherished book. Absolutely brilliant.


      • Better a pint with an old atheist than a cup of tea with a Trump evangelical . . .


  2. While staying put may be a noble pursuit for some, God moves those who are meant to move. Consider the dust bowl exodus (pun intentional): about ten percent of farmers affected by the severe drought were actually forced from their land in foreclosures, and the tenant farmers, well, what incentive or nobility was there for them in staying and facing starvation and/or health complications as a result from breathing heavy dust? The salt of the earth families that migrated under these circumstances (I tear up right now thinking of the final scene in Grapes of Wrath) were a far cry from those severely oppressed American political refugees today fleeing to Canada.


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