Love is Both a Path and a Guide ~~ Original Poems and Photographs by Rodney Standage, Gilbert Arizona

~~ Read Critically ~ Write Consciously ~ Speak Clearly ~ Tell Your Truth -Clint Smith

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Two Sides One Coin

Grandpa Shreeve and Curtis, Mesa Arizona, 1959

Two pairs of pliers of similar type -
One hung with care in Grandfather’s shop.
One found in a field midst turf and clod.
Two pairs of pliers now worlds apart!

Woodshed attached was Grandfather’s shop.
Chainsaw on a shelf with a blade prickly sharp -
A nail and wood block, turned to unlock the door
Small room held some tools, bench with dirt floor.

Grasping the pliers in my small boyish hands -
Far older than I - and its work was not done -
Worn smooth and bright was the action and steel -
Placed it back on the nail – how majestic it hung!

A dozen acres was the field that we plowed,
Alfalfa and rye fed our animals some,
I walked in the field in the afternoon sun,
And spied a tool that I could make mine.

I pulled from the dirt a needle nose pair!
Now rusty and worn, shut without care,
I thought with oil and a little work,
It might hang some day in my workshop.

Though I had high hopes and carried it about.
And the action returned slowly enough.
But it always stuck - opened or shut!
Two hands were needed if a wire to cut!

I do not know where these two are today.
One praised and valued and one thrown away -
But I see their brothers and sisters each day.
Of use or neglect – we choose the way!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Anvil’s Gone

Dad, Mesa Arizona, 1952
The project called -
For an anvil.
Talking here,
Searching there,
Thinking back,
Who to ask?

Ah, yes, My Dad
Now eighty years -
“It’s stolen - gone.”
His words - my ears,
“By the lane it lay.”
“Went missing that day.”

What lane could it be?
“Summertime, I was seventeen”,
He spoke as if reminding me,
I never knew!
Though he could see!
That day as clear as he saw me!

Through unnumbered years -
Taken, stolen he recalls?
Why remember the thing at all?
It’s gone. But he did.
Briefly I saw a young man -
Staring, standing in a lane

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Full Spectrum

Before the dawn
Cove Camp, Bartlett Reservoir Arizona, 2011
It’s black and gray
Lying awake
Morning break

Imperceptibly slow
Black turns to blue
Gray turns to green
Now yellow, red and white

I cannot tell
Precisely the time
It isn’t then is
Sun brings color to life


Jon and Rodney, Bradshaw Wilderness Arizona, 2010
Gnawing concern,
Back of the mind -
Of what others think
Yes, it does bind.

Other seem not -
Why do I care -
Do I second guess,
What just isn’t there?

The large solemn crowd -
And those whom I care -
I can’t get around
Yet no obstacle there

Time will allow,
To forget all about,
It’s all that I have,
The only way out.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Bradshaw Wilderness, Paradise Lake Arizona, 2010
Tree – tall and broad - my best!
As I plucked the orange fruit,
During February’s harvest,
I spied a watershoot.

It stemmed below the graft,
Usurping strength from root!
Too large to lop -
Needles sharp - tore flesh.

With hatchet sharp,
I went to work,
To cut it free,
It surprising me!

That through the tree,
Passed the leafy top,
No fruit did grow,
And sunlight block.

Shocked by size and girth!
Though hidden well,
Sapping root - shading leaf -
Bad habits draining life!