Stop and Do Nothing For A While










You see them on porches and on lawns
down by the lakeside,
usually arranged in pairs implying a couple

who might sit there and look out
at the water or the big shade trees.
The trouble is you never see anyone

sitting in these forlorn chairs
though at one time it must have seemed
a good place to stop and do nothing for a while.

Sometimes there is a little table
between the chairs where no one
is resting a glass or placing a book facedown.

It may not be any of my business,
but let us suppose one day
that everyone who placed those vacant chairs

on a veranda or a dock sat down in them
if only for the sake of remembering
what it was they thought deserved

to be viewed from two chairs,
side by side with a table in between.
The clouds are high and massive on that day.

The woman looks up from her book.
The man takes a sip of his drink.
Then there is only the sound of their looking,

the lapping of lake water, and a call of one bird
then another, cries of joy or warning—
it passes the time to wonder which.
~Billy Collins “The Chairs That No One Sits In”  from Aimless Love








I don’t take enough time
to do nothing.

I think about doing nothing all the time
but then do nothing about it.

Too many lonely benches
too many empty chairs
too many vistas unappreciated
that deserve the sound of my looking.

Maybe today.
Maybe, just maybe.











4 thoughts on “Stop and Do Nothing For A While

  1. Here in Northern Michigan we have a special red bench overlooking Little Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan. When travelling through the Tunnel of Trees there is just enough room for 1 car to pull over at a time and stop to sit awhile on the red bench and have a relaxing view of the water! Here is a link if you are interested:
    I so enjoy your beautiful pictures and inspiring and thoughtful words each day in my inbox. There are many great bloggers out on the internet – most of them younger than myself. It is a joy to read a blog post from the perspective of someone my age! Thanks again!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “Maybe today”?
    Forget about the ‘maybe.’
    Just go ahead and do it, girl.
    There is something ‘delicious’ about playing hooky occasionally!
    I won’t report you to the blogger’s union or tell anyone where you are….promise..

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We’ve just spent several deliciously tranquil days doing nothing at Pt. Comfort Lodge on the shores of Klamath Lake, Oregon. Added to the peaceful wonder of songbirds flitting by and the occasional fish plopping into the water was the sense of timelessnesssitting outside a beautifully crafted building that was over 100 years old.

    thanks for blogging and here’s to nothingness!

    Liked by 1 person

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