Childhood Memories

“He went to sea in a thimble of poetry.” Poet Warning, Jim Harrison


Wynken, Blyken and Nod
my childhood friends,
lived in the well-turned pages
of mother’s Child Craft book of poetry.
Their neighbors always made me smile,
the Old Lady who lived in the shoe,
Miss Muffet sitting primly on her tuffet
and that merry Old King Cole too.

I often dreamed of that crazy cow
jumping over the moon,
prancing round the stars.
I lived in my imagination
where no one yelled at anyone,
hugging my yellow sort-of-teddy-bear
smeared with mother’s lipstick
so it always smiled at me.

Those dog-eared pages,
oh how I loved them.
When mama read to me,
all was good and calm and fun.

Linda is hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. She introduces us to Jim Harrison (December 11, 1937 – March 26, 2016), an American poet, novelist, and essayist, and provides us with a number of lines from his works. We are to choose one line and use it as an epigraph at the beginning of our poem. An epigraph is a short quotation at the beginning of a book or chapter (in this case, a poem), intended to suggest its theme.

I still have two of the Childcraft volumes published in 1949, including the Childcraft Poems of Early Childhood. I loved these poems as a child and then read them to my children and my grandchildren too. Photo is from the book.

For the Love of Sound

The only job she could land
landed her in an out-of-the-way town.
She’d cajoled and connived her way
to a choir of four.
Refusing to admit defeat,
she would not
call them a quartet.

David, eyes cast down interminably,
droned a background hum
for whatever tune was sung.
Delilah, the defiant one.
Deliberately off-pitch to shine,
spotlight stolen by default.
Dissonant in life as well.

Miriam, the honey-blonde.
Sensuous red lips
licked and dewed before each word,
mouthed dulcet tones too late.
Behind in every measure,
she flashed her thigh for all to see
beneath unbuttoned robe.

And Carl, the rapper.
Lordy, what a snazzy guy.
Snapped his fingers
while chanting words.
Smelled of weed with eyes glazed,
unwilling to shed
his percussive beat.

She smiled and waved her baton,
directing the motley crew.
Sweat dribbled down her chest
to that delicate spot
between her ample breasts.
Music is as music does,
always music to her ear.

She’d defied the warnings,
music her one true love.
So here she stood,
tone deaf and proud.
Her quartet, after all,
was magnificently loud.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets across the globe.

Today, Laura asks us to write a “sound poem” choosing one word from five lists she provides. She also points us toward Hart’s Thesaurus of the Senses, a valuable resource for poets. Laura, I ordered a copy yesterday. The words I used (or forms of the word) were drone, dissonant, dulcet, dribble, and chant. I also added a fifth word from the list, honey. Truly had fun with this prompt. Thank you, Laura! Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

PS: dedicated with humor to my daughter and son, both of whom direct a chorus and/or choir; and son-in-law, who composes choral music.

Image from A Scrub’s Life, February 1, 2017: “Sometimes We Can Be A Little Tone Deaf”

Some days I want to . . .

. . . put on roller skates and
careen down the esplanade
along the Charles River.
Grinning, looking straight ahead.
Faster, faster, and faster still.
Wind blowing back my hair,
tearing my eyes
until the real world blurs
and I am flying
with wheels as my wings.

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the vitual pub for poets around the globe. I’m hosting today, asking folks to use the word “careen” within their poem of exactly 44 words, sans title.

The esplanade is a wonderful green space in Boston that in part, runs along the Charles River. It has a very long walking/bicycling/rollerskating path along the river itself and is only about 2 city blocks from where we live. It goes for miles and we often take walks there. For those of you who watch the Boston Pops 4th of July concert on television, the hatch where they perform is on the esplanade itself, just off the river. Photo from Pixabay.com

Which Reflection?

I seldom use it –
the full-length mirror.
When I do, it makes me wonder,
who is that person?

I’ve had fun with crepe paper.
That weird webbing you could stretch.
Make it wider and longer.
Hung it all over the family room
for many a birthday party.
So I have crepe skin on my arms.
Okay, be honest. In other places too.
I understand the term’s origins.

How did my mother climb into that frame?
Save your clucking tongue,
your “you haven’t changed a bit” comments.
I prefer to see my value in other ways.
In my husband’s eyes.
In my daughter’s forty-seven year old smile.
In my forty-five year old son’s weekly calls.
In the tik toks and quick texts shared with five grandkids.

I’ll wear capri pants, sleeveless tops,
sparkly eye shadow below my thinning brows.
I love my almost pure white streak
in the midst of my grey hair.
Save your tears for somebody else.
I’m quite content to be a septuagenarian.
The mirror be damned!

Today I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. I’ve asked folks to go to the website https://mybirthdayhits.com and plug in their birth date. The site then gives you the musical hit that made #1 on the charts for every birthday you’ve celebrated until 2021. So for example, if your birthday is today, September 28th and you were born in 1952, you plug in that date and the site will give you the #1 hit for every year on September 28th from 1952 until 2021! AND the site gives you a recording you can listen to as well. Such fun! So the prompt today is to take at least one of the #1 hits from your birthdate and include the song title, word for word, in your poem. You can use more than one #1 hit if you wish.
My birthday is May 13th: In 2007, my 60th birthday, the #1 hit was Makes Me Wonder by Maroon 5; in 2021, for my 74th birthday, the #1 hit was Save Your Tears by The Weeknd. You’ll find those titles in my poem today.

At my age . . .

. . . my to-do-list is
much too mundane to do.
*Laundry
*PT exercises
*Vacuum
*Clean out drawers

So I sit, pen in hand
page waiting to be filled,
adorned by words. 
Words like scintillation
fantasia, pomegranate
or perhaps persimmon.

Images, dormant in my mind,
waiting to appear on the page.
Orange sherbet sun
flirting with shapeshifter clouds.
Raucous carousel horses
racing round a blurred world.

Pen over vacuum? Easy choice
to clear the cobwebs from my brain.

Image from pixabay.com

Oh Glorious Day

This Iowa field, this Iowa day.
I stand in the midst of flowers
green grasses waving,
sun’s warmth soaking my skin.
Double hollyhocks stand tall.
Gaillardia faces blush,
edged in sherbet yellow ruffles.
Ethereal clouds float lazily,
cotton ball fluffs
like white misshapen dots
on seersucker blue sky.
Newly painted barn gleams
surrounded by emerald shrubs,
trees and hills.
Ah yes, Iowa,
you are indeed the heartland,
loved by so many.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for global poets. It’s OLN (Open Link Night) and Mish is hosting.
We’ve not lived in Iowa since 1997, but oh the glorious memories we have of our days there. From teaching in a small rural high school, to owning our first home on 30 acres of land, to raising our children in a University town and earning my PhD there. Iowa is known as the Heartland – we surely found it that.

Photo is from Nancy Mast who often posts Iowa farm photos.

Give me some . . .

gloriosity
sunshineeeeness
popsicles, fudgsicles
sprinkler dashes
tasty juicy tomatoes
sweet butter dripping corn on the cob
kernels stuck between my teeth.
That’s summerliciousness!

That’s our grandson who is now 14 and ready to start high school next year. Most joyous photo I’ve ever seen of someone eating corn on the cob! Happy summer everyone!

Light the Candles!

What’s one year more?
I am NOT a dinosaur!

I’m thrilled to turn seventy-four,
let me give that an underscore.
Some decry growing old,
equate grey hair and wrinkles
with creeping mold,
and simply cannot be consoled.

Not as nimble with a few pains?
Hands mapped in purple veins?
Come on people, grab the reins!
What more could you ask for
than to celebrate one year more
with your family and people you adore?

So I’ll put on my tap shoes for a loud dance,
blow out the candles at the very first chance.
Then I’ll give my husband a meaningful glance
and celebrate seventy four with a night of romance!

Written for OLN – Open Link Night – at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. OLN means we can choose any one poem to post today – no specific prompt, form, rhyme scheme, or length. And since today is indeed my birthday, I wrote this little ditty. I do believe it is a privilege to grow old. I continue to be thankful for every day.

Please . . .

bother me with sunlight today,
streaming through windows
this crisp cool day.
Bother me with good news,
happiness smiles
and a baby’s grin.
Bother me with a romantic tale
full of daffodil cups,
a good merlot
and love tendered kisses.
Please, do bother me!

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today De hosts, asking us to use the word “bother” or a form of the word in our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Pub opens at 3:00 PM Boston time – come imbibe some words with us!
Also posted at Day 19 NaPoWriMo.
April is National Poetry Writing Month and the challenge is to write a poem every day of the month.