When I was in the middle of all the work I had to accomplish around the house, I saw postings in several blogs on the marvelous wordles from At that time, the words were: eke, chimney, textured, bridge, rural, brandishing, stop, slurping, salty, substituted, infusion and filtered.

I’ve kind of made my brag that I find wordles easy, and that darn wordle kept pestering me while I was working around the house. Even though it’s more than a week late, I finally found the time to sit down and let them write a poem. I have to admit, this wordle was tougher than I thought it would be.

by Mike Patrick

Flicker image by photony1

An honest man’s commitment
to the mother of his child,
ended a life of playing;
a life running wild.

With no skill set there to market,
eking out a living’s hard,
when all one had was two good hands
and a name of some regard.

From a tiny rural farmhouse,
two miles outside of town,
he became a chimney sweep
and passed the word around.

Each day he crossed the city bridge
to the cobblestone textured lanes,
brandishing his brushes high;
tattooed with soot stains.

The years, they took an awful toll,
through the process of his life.
His son grew up and moved away;
still he adored his ailing wife.

For her he climbs the ladder rungs;
fatigue an anchor for each step.
Through soot-scarred and blackened lungs
He gasps through every chimney swept.

He chokes upon unfiltered air,
as house to house he’ll troop.
The stop for lunch, his only break;
he slurps his tea and salty soup.

The infusion of his woman’s love
powered the changing of his ways.
No substitution has he found for her
to get him through his days.

This entry was posted in Family, Iambic, Love, Mixed Meter, Poetry, Rhyming. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to THE SWEEP

  1. vivinfrance says:

    Formidable! (French style). You tell a wonderful story. The only line I didn’t understand was the penultimate. What kind of substation?

  2. Tilly Bud says:

    You tell a neat story, Mike.

  3. Renee Espriu says:

    I love your descriptive words of the ‘chimney sweep’ and of all the types of work done, for some reason, this captures the imagination. Nicely written.

  4. earlybird says:

    Well done getting those words in.

    This poem was very apt – the chimney sweep came to sweep my chimney yesterday afternoon!

  5. Mr. Walker says:

    Mike, an excellent job with those difficult words. Cobblestones, of course, for “textured” – perfect. You evoke a relationship beautifully – and it weaves in and out of the story of the sweep and his work – and you evoke the place so well too. It recalls William Blake’s London.


  6. What a wonderful story/poem!

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