Song of the Vacuum

I’ve seen those old stone steps, worn and hollowed,

Not by footsteps but by housewives scrubbing, scrubbing,

Themselves worn down by careworn chores and drudgery.

I remember the song of women’s work:

Wash on Monday

Iron on Tuesday

Mend on Wednesday

Clean on Friday….

A woman’s work is never done, they say.

Cleanliness is next to godliness, they say.

Well, screw that.

Here is my messy studio.

Art is created in chaos. Deal with it.

Welcome to my messy home.

We only clean for company, so come on in!

You can leave your shoes on.

This is my messy heart,

Still learning friend from foe, “nice” from “kindness”,

“charm” from “danger”.

Loving you for who you are

Instead of who I want you to be.

Here is my muddy soul.

I set down the burdens others put on me.

I wipe away the dirt some thought that I should hold.

My soul shines bright in the moonlight,

Radiant in the dark.

Here is my life, the awkward, stumbling journey,

Waves rolling, crashing,

The sun in my eyes, shoes filled with sand

The waves break, the sun sets.

The wind is wild and cool.

I take off my shoes.

I see our footprints, side by side, as gulls cry and soar above us.

The beach is full of sticks and rocks,

Dead kelp and screeching gulls,

Clouds of sand flies and salt.

It is beautiful beyond imagining,

And so are you, and I.

Luann Udell


Author: Luann Udell

I find it just as important to write about my art as to make it. I am fascinated by stories. You can tell when people are speaking their truth--their eyes light up, their voices become strong, their entire body posture becomes powerful and upright. I love it when people get to this place in their work, their relationships, their art. As I work from this powerful place in MY heart, I share this process with others--so they have a strong place to stand, too. Because the world needs our beautiful art. All of it we can make, as fast as we can! Whether it's a bowl, a painting, a song, a garden, a story, if it makes our world a better place, we need to do everything in our power to get it out there.

28 thoughts on “Song of the Vacuum”

    1. Because I earn way less income than my partner does, I often feel I need to make up for it by doing most of the housework. (I put it on myself.) But I’m realizing that has to stop. I’m going to follow your example! :^)


      1. Thank you so much! I used to believe I only wrote one good poem every few years. Now, like writing & making art, I’m realizing if you do it every day, a few more good ones are bound to show up.


    1. Thank you, Pam! I was in the middle of working on a new series, fully engaged & happy, and then realized I was OBSESSING about how messy my studio was, and how much time I’d have to spend cleaning it instead of working on these pieces. Then I thought, “Who am I cleaning for??” The rest is history. (I’ll still straighten it up, but I’m gonna wait til the last possible minute!) :^D


  1. Yes, yes and yes!!! Thanks for this poem.
    I used to have a clean house, a barren studio, and reoccurring nightmares about packing up and being more orderly. Now I have a messy house with sand on the floor from ocean walks, a fertile studio, occasional sightings of underwear on the lampshades, sounder sleep and a happy heart. Screw it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Luann, like Gaelle1947, this almost brought me to tears, you are indeed a true artist, everything comes from your heart! How beautiful, inside and out!!
    Thank you


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