Those Were the Days

May12:  All poets, even house-poets, share bits and pieces of themselves every time they set pen to paper.  My poetry writing started in February, with an online class, and then another and another, with a wonderful teacher/mentor. A recent assignment: write a poem of celebration,  in an exhuberant mood, made from a list, possibly including negatives and positives.  Tall order.  This is what happened!

Those Were the Days

There’s Florida! I’ve got Maine. Shout outs
from the license plate game. Insert tapes.
Sesame Street morphed to Aretha.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T at the top of our lungs,
windows down, rolling along. Campfires
and that sloshing green water jug we lugged.
German shepherds, standard poodles.
One cat named Blossom, not mean like Siamese.
Recitals and running for yellow school buses.
Clouds of Aqua Net created almost asphyxiation.
Legos and taco suppers accompanied by
Circle of Love, our sung not said table grace.
Saucy beef stroganoff caused upturned
noses, just like Alice’s jello salad – green not red.
Escanaba cabin seven, just steps away from cold
Lake Michigan. Real play pens. Emphasis on safe and
play, not pen. RC Cola and Cool Ranch Doritos. Cold milk
and Oreos, no oatmeal and definitely not fish.
Birthday parties in 613’s orange and yellow family
room not at Chuckie Cheese or bowling alleys.
Singer sewing machine hummed near clunking
barbells by the chest freezer. Teenage angst appeared
with hot hormones. Not bad. Just challenging
and sometimes loud. Cymbals swished by foot thumping
bass drum while sticks twirled and beat. Juxtaposed
to sonorous organ chords or piano arpeggios.
Sweet Iowa corn with fresh-from-the-garden red
tomatoes. Melted butter and cherry juice slid down
licked fingers. Tractor tire sandbox in a city yard.
Pals walked to grade school with metal lunch boxes.
Not metal detectors. Split foyer house with upstairs
kitchen and one shower for all. Those Were the Days.

** Title inspired by the folksong, Those Were the Days….watch and listen to the original song by the Limelighters.

13 thoughts on “Those Were the Days

  1. BarbaraK aka fiddlbarb May 12, 2015 / 1:12 am

    “Those were the days” indeed. Your eloquent words resonate within my heart and soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 12, 2015 / 11:29 am

      Thanks so much Barbarak! Always nice to sit down with my first cup of coffee and find a friendly response to my post. I really did have fun writing this — and so glad you liked it! 🙂


      • BarbaraK aka fiddlbarb May 12, 2015 / 1:44 pm

        Coffeetime Cheers from Southern California!

        Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 12, 2015 / 11:32 am

      Ah, many thanks, Carol! Just having my first cup of coffee now…..maybe if I close my eyes, click my heels together three times and say, “Bring me to Carol just for coffee!” I can open them and be sitting in your kitchen chatting over a cup. I wish it were so. Miss you! …. and many thanks for the compliment! 🙂 I do really think you should plan a girls trip to Boston — Nancy, Lynne, you, Jaye, etc! How FUN would that be?!!!


  2. AnnMarie Roselli-Kissack May 12, 2015 / 10:38 am

    Hi Lillian –
    What a wonderful exercise, I might have to give it a go. I love getting a glimpse into your creative process. Reading through your list, I had a few flashbacks. 🙂
    Funny – we are somewhat of similar mind – I wrote a post about this very same song (it might be titled the same – I can’t remember) – and posted a video too. My sister and I used to sing this song all the time when we were kids.
    Those were the days, my friend 🙂
    Happy Tuesday

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 12, 2015 / 11:36 am

      Love chatting with you over morning coffee!! 🙂 I’m starting to look forward to your replies — which means you might be stuck having these morning conversations for a bit 🙂 So glad you liked this one — I must admit….my original list was much much much longer — as my mentor suggested would happen with the process. Then it was about paring it down. As always, she gave us several examples of published poems using these techniques….the one that resonated most with me was the one that included some statements that were negative IE not xxxx. I sent this to my kids on mother’s day 🙂 They both got quite a kick out of it.
      Will now have to peruse your site on a treasure hunt to see if I can find yours! 🙂
      Have a great Tuesday, my friend!
      PS: remember the days of Pen Pals? Maybe a new terminology…”Blog Buddies”?


      • AnnMarie Roselli-Kissack May 12, 2015 / 1:19 pm

        Hi Lillian,
        I for one, never mind a coffee chat, as coffee just happens to be my all-occasion beverage of choice (with Merlot running a close second, but one could get in trouble liking wine too much ;))
        Your mentor’s suggestion makes creative sense. I keep a pad and pen by every place I might sleep (bedroom, family room, piano room) often times I find as I’m waking there is much floating in my head and I try jotting the more interesting material down.
        BB works for me:)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Maz May 13, 2015 / 5:34 pm

    Melted butter and cherry juice…. lovely image of this mixture sliding down fingers…

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 13, 2015 / 9:51 pm

      🙂 And it always tasted good too!


  4. Joyce Pittman May 14, 2015 / 7:59 pm

    My dear Lill,
    “Those Were The Days”….brought back some vivid images for me. The sweet Iowa corn really was SO very delicious and the tomatoes I ate came from MY garden! How long has it been since I, too, used all that Aqua Net spray? But the image of Dan and Aaron walking to school together is what tugged at my heart. I also really enjoyed “New Lifej Abounds” because spring certainly is a colorful and welcome sight after a long winter….ever year.
    Your new found hobby of a poem a day is tapping into a different side of your creativity. Good for you! Well done! A coffee cup toast to you for sharing these poems with so many of us.
    Enjoyed your letter also.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 14, 2015 / 8:31 pm

      ….and do you remember the Sweet Iowa flavor of ice cream at that wonderful ice cream store downtown? So glad you’ll be joining me for coffee here in the mornings! 🙂


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