Monday, December 9, 2013

Knot Tying

Knot Tying

Do you know how to start an avocado plant from a pit?

Treat and prevent food poisoning?

Can you build a successful campfire?

Do you know how to graft fruit, plant an apple tree?

Have you ever canned your own vegetables?
Do you know how to cook and store eggs?

Could you, at this moment, mount and safely ride a horse?

Have you ever used a chain hoist?
How about testing and replacing an electric switch?

If you had to, could you rewire a lamp?

How about design a solar greenhouse?

Have you ever administered pet medication?

I never learned necktie tying or how to needlepoint.

But I can change an oil filter, grow orchids and treat a nosebleed.

Do you know the way things work? 
Do you know about levers and cams and springs and belts?

Are you capable of expertly bleeding a hot-water heater?

Have you ever collected rainwater, got rid of pesky rodents, built a retaining wall?

Are you master at weaving baskets?

Do you know how to eliminate leaks in a faucet? Test and replace a wall switch?

How about the universal calls for help?

If you had to, right now, could you clear a blocked airway, stop heavy bleeding, 
treat a dangerous spider bite?

Do you know how to use gasoline safely, eat with chopsticks, skilfully use a soldering gun?

How about maintaining a car battery? Or darning socks?

Could you survive if snowbound in a car at ten below?

Did you know that laziness can kill you and circumspection could mean your death?

Have you ever read of the way Eskimos used to treat their young 
so they wouldn’t become lazy?

Did you know that monks take a cold shower every morning to 
thoroughly wake themselves up?

Are you aware that things die out by attrition when they are, supposedly, no longer needed?

Could you exist in a different world if your one predictable world

were to disappear?

*art: collage, colored pencils


  1. Very nicely done - from laundry list to cosmic questioning. And isn't it funny-ironic (occasionally, funny-humorous) that the skills we hone, sure that they'll be the necessary ones, never are needed at all when the predictable world disappears?

    Here's my contribution: did you know that nylon stockings, knotted together, can serve as a substitute alternator belt?

    Now I have to go learn about Eskimos and their children.

  2. haha. really? well, I'll have to save all my stockings that have runs in them...who knows when one will need an alternator belt!

  3. There's a frenzied energy to this poem, and if I were to answer each question, I fear I'd feel hopeless, except that the turn it takes feeds right into my hopeful nature. ;-).

  4. Wonderful poem, Monica. I know how to do very few of these things, but hopefully can open the Universal flow to allow the Universe to accomplish through me that which is needed...

  5. Sure is fun to ponder, all those things you can't get with a college degree, but are nonetheless, necessitated by life.