WestWords Perfect Pair 11.08.2014


American poet and teacher, Thomas Lux was born in Massachusetts in 1946.  He is known for his humour and once commented in the Los Angeles Times, ‘I like to make the reader laugh—and then steal that laugh, right out of the throat. Because I think life is like that, tragedy right alongside humour.’ Some of his books of poetry include Child Made of Sand (Houghton Mifflin, 2012); God Particles (Houghton Mifflin, 2008); The Cradle Place (Houghton Mifflin, 2004) and The Street of Clocks (Houghton Mifflin, 2001). The humorous: 


By Thomas Lux

For some semitropical reason
When the rains fall
Relentlessly they fall

Into swimming pools, these otherwise
Bright and scary
Arachnids. They can swim
A little, but not for long

And they can’t climb the ladder out.
They usually drown – but
If you want their favor,
If you believe there is justice,
A reward for not loving

The death of ugly
And even dangerous (the eel, hog snake,
Rats) creatures, if

You believe these things, then
You would leave a lifebuoy
Or two in your swimming pool at night.

And in the morning
You would haul ashore
The huddled, hairy survivors

And escort them
Back to the bush, and know,
Be assured that at least these saved,
As individuals, would not turn up

Again someday
In your hat, drawer,
Or the tangled underworld

Of you socks, and that even –
When your belief in justice
Merges with your belief in dreams –
They may tell the others

In a sign language
Four times as subtle
And complicated as man’s

That you are good,
That you love them,
That you would save them again



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