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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dust if you must

Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better,
To paint a picture or write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed,
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time,
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world's out there
With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come 'round again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it's not always kind.
And when you go and go you must,
You, yourself, will make more dust
Rose Milligan
I have no idea where I saw this. Do you?
Rather than dust, I would sew, read or go to a theatre production...sit in my swing, cook, travel.
Your turn
What would you do instead of dust?


  1. I've read this poem before and it's so true. I'd rather do anything than dust, well apart from go to the dentists or the doctors. :D

    1. LL,
      The dentist would be so far at the bottom of my list of 'druthers.

  2. Pretty much anything but more cleaning - much rather read, knit, garden, even sit and daydream.

    1. Bellen,
      I thought of daydreaming when I hit "publish."

  3. I like that, and I hate to dust.


    1. Janie,
      I think it is universally disliked!

  4. Makes such beautiful sense to me. Really sound advice and so smoothly penned.

    Quentin Crisp, that late, great,"stately homo of England", gave an interview or two on TV when he was about 70-ish wherein the interviewer noticed all the dust in Quentin's humble flat.
    "Don't you ever dust?" asked the interviewer.
    "Oh no. Never. What's the point? After a couple of years one doesn't notice it. I've better things to do" or something along those lines.
    See him here:

    1. PhilipH,
      And, he is so right. I can attest to that, like making the bed or vacuuming--doesn't last. Thanks for the link.

  5. I have read this poem before, but not in many years. I had forgotten the part about old age will come and it's not always kind. I hear that now! This year has not been kind and I will remember to read, write, sew, embroider, walk and laugh. Time is moving faster!
    I hope your eye is doing better. You need to be able to go to the theater again soon.

    1. tana50,
      I hope the next year is kinder for both of us. I suppose the cost is why I don't go to the theatre more.

  6. Dusting? And cleaning more generally. I do it. But do other things far more often. Some would say (have said) too often. But it is my life and there are many, many more important things than dust in it.

  7. EC,
    I have always kept a clean and neat house until the last few years. Now, it is overwhelming and I cannot do it. It is impossible some days to even do the more important things! Good for you for recognizing more important things.

  8. Ah, once I kept it all clean and neat, then disability kicked in. Now I often comment to the puppers "I wish you knew how to do housework"! Of course, they look at me with their questioning, perplexed, then evading eyes. Hahahaha

  9. Is that too much to put on a tombstone? I might snag it. :-)

    1. Cherdo,
      Get a large tombstone. That will work.

  10. What does the poem mean--NEVER clean house?

    One could say similar things about writing a poem. Whatever you don't value, put people down who do value it, implying that you've found the right way to live and they haven't.

    1. Snowbrush,
      Not dusting would work for You are so right! However, I think the person is talking in broader terms in this poem. It could be dusting, sweeping, doing things that will not add anything to the world to go out and enjoy the world.

      I had a friend who would not leave the house for church, a child's ballgame, to go to the park or whatever until her house was immaculate, not a dish in the sink, and the bathrooms re-inspected after the last child was in there. She would be late to any event rather than leave a speck of dust or a baby toy out. She is the person this poem speaks to.


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