Sisyphus Buys the Farmhouse This forward, backward dance, where boulders fall, is how I roll; what’s done is done once more, and progress could be better, overall. While fixing one, there’s two to overhaul; it’s all downhill, with never-ending chores. This forward, backward dance makes boulders fall into my new-old home; the grass gets tall while I’m still busy hanging broke-down doors. So progress could be better, overall, when reinstalling what I’ve just installed; new sheetrock onto rotting two-by-fours. This forward, backward dance lets boulders fall through patched-up holes; the roof above these walls now fills too many buckets to ignore. My progress could be better, overall, as hungry termites taunt me, softly calling Encore! Encore! Feed us like before! This forward, backward dance, where boulders fall, means progress could be better, overall.
Ted Charnley’s verse has appeared previously in Pulsebeat, in multiple issues of such journals as The Orchards, The Road Not Taken, Think and The Lyric, in the anthology Extreme Sonnets and elsewhere. His first full-length book, An Invocation of Fragments, was released in the Summer of 2022 by Kelsay Books. He lives with his wife in a 200-year old farmhouse they restored in central Maryland. There, he herds woodchucks, practices chainsaw topiary and leaves offerings for the nymphs of the springs.