Vice and Virtue Sonnets: Industry and Sloth, a little on both

Posted on Jun 14 2021

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The Ace Card: Work Hard Play Hard
“Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”
—B. Franklin 

My friend Richard Murphy knew some great aphorisms
one he often used to use was, “the steady man gets it.”
Ozark farmers used to quote from a hillbilly catechism
“got dried up food, there’s plenty water get it and wet it”
folk sayings and songs about work circle the earth:
by the sweat of his brow with blistered hands & feet 
aching muscles, some sang of joy some about mirth 
countries, cities, villages, farms and homes were built
digging sawing pounding shoveling for money’s worth
and lots of real blood, sweat and tears was often spilt
calloused palms disliked being called a working slob
proud fisher, farmer, carpenter or pick and shovel job
when it comes to work on the job or in the backyard
always play your Ace card: Work Hard and Play Hard.
Lazybones, Sleepin in the Sun
“Ever idle hours breed wandering thoughts” 
—from Lucan, Roman poet (39 A.D. to 65 A.D.)
“Lazybones sleepin in the sun how you gonna get 
your workdays done…” Hoagy Carmichael nailed 
the sloth question a few blows with his hit song back
in the 1930’s. The word sloth is not used as much these
days as it was back in Benjamin Franklin’s day. But the
Protestant ‘Work Ethic’ has persevered through to the
21st century. I’ve always liked the wise old saying,
“idle hands are the devil’s playground” which has
been traced back to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
there is nothing wrong with taking a break, a nap
a siesta, or a day off when common sense prevails
and logic is your cornerstone a laptop is on your lap
you lose arguments with your boss if all else fails 
you’re exhausted and time off is what your wishing
hang out a sign or send an email: Gone Fishing!

Joey aka “Pepe Batbon” Connolly is a retired educator who taught in the CNMI, NOLA, and LVNV. He is a sonnet practitioner who enjoys stargazing.


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