(This chore in our house is something I have to "get around to doing". It is not something that fills me with anticipational excitement! This poem is about allowing myself the pleasure of living in the moment while doing the laundry, to allow it to become a contemplative act. The full stops between the stanzas allow for a pause and also indicate the time frames between the stages of laundry in my house - definitely not an all-in-one activity, but rather done through "stages of contemplation" :-) )
I remove wet laundry from the washing machine
Into my basket, I search for unseen socks
Lining the side of the barrel.
I carry the weighty basket up the passage
Through the kitchen and onto the outside bin.
Then I take the first garment
And choose where I want it to go.
All around me the garden is waiting to be heard,
Asking to be seen.
Every time I hang up my washing there is:
A mountain before me, trees, birds
Chickens cluck clucking, the sky and clouds of the day.
There is fragrance and colour, the whisper
Of a great yellow wood tree
And the invitation of the garden to be noticed.
I feel each garment, and peg, peg, peg
Peg up the laundry with my prayers.
I come back to it dry and take it down
Onebyonebyonebyonebyone draped over my
And I look and notice, look and notice.
I smell the fresh dry smell of the washing.
I take it to the bed and let it fall.
I fold, fold, fold
I feel the creases and press the garments.
I sort and organise, I pack into the cupboards
And breathe in the smell, breathe in the smell
Of the garments now packed away.
Artist - Richard Boyer