Category Archives: Memory

Utilitarian Artifice

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Utilitarian Artifice

My sugar’s artificial. It’s a fact. So is my creamer.
A year ago, I had a little crackup in my Beemer,
and now I have an artificial ear and foot and femur.

Pretty soon my whole darn life will just be what it seems,
while the authentic “real” of me will be a thing of dreams.
I can’t find where I stored my leg, I left my fur coat somewhere.
I parked my car last week but can’t remember how to come there.

So if it’s really necessary—all this substitution,
I’m asking some inventor  to come up with a solution.
If artificial intelligence is the way it’s going to be,
please implant me with an artificial memory!

The prompt word today was “artificial.”

The Things We Leave Behind

Amazing that I was just going to suggest this as a prompt to Cee and then saw in the reader that it was a WordPress weekly prompt.  ESP working overtime lately.

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In this first photo, my friend in the foreground of the photograph is visiting the town she left behind over fifty years ago.  I love the repetition in the backs of the two women as they walk away reflected in the crossing light logo.

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This elderly gentleman has been visiting the beach at the same time I do for a number of years.  I once tried to involve him in a dice game, but he wasn’t much interested unless it was for money!  Instead he told me about his past as an artificial inseminator, which led to a few stories of my own about my dad who was one of the first ranchers to make use of this process on his cattle ranch.  I thought he had a bit of a twinkle in his eye as I expounded on the topic.

It was two years later that I met his daughter and related to her the topic of my earlier conversation with her father.  She looked askance.  Her father had never been an artificial inseminator!  What had been his job?  He was with the CIA, she explained.  Now, was that a twinkle in her eye as well?  Guess I’ll find out this year.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/discover-challenges/the-things-we-leave-behind/

Layers


Layers

We store our truths in layers,
peeling back the amount we can stand to see.
Each year peels away some layers and builds others
until we grow in furrows and in hillocks.

Smooth truth is for the very young.
The old need their protections
as memory, like flesh and misfortune,
begins to bury itself to cluster underground

in cliques and hidden passageways,
lurking like guests in a British mystery play,
searching for us as we search for them in kind.
Old beaus, lost children and beachside vacations

sealed shoulder-to-shoulder in a too-small room––
a pantry, perhaps, or closet––
waiting waiting
to be peeled away.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/layers/

Ashes and Dust and : NaPoWriMo 2016, Day 25 and “Whisper,” WordPress Daily Prompt

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“After all our years have settled like dust . . .”
                                           ––okc forgottenman

Ashes and Dust

When that cruel wind
blows against memories
that have settled like dust
on our lives,

what  will remain
sealed in our crevasses
––fine furniture that we are
of a bygone age?

What remaining minutes
of a long life of years
will define us then?
A kiss? A child held in arms?
Regrets? Terrors?

In those storerooms
where people  sit
stacked in silent cubicles,
what zephyrs whisper through
to stir the embers
of their minds?

Is there music in those currents
or are they the sad
whining winds
that curl over headstones
and lament the dust that settles there,

moaning through cracks in attics
and around hanging eaves troughs,
causing them to swing and bump
lonely against the fading
wood of abandoned houses?

LIfe builds us and wears us away
like the mountain.
Like sand on the beach.
We are not above it all.

No matter how much power
we think we gain,
Nature is a wind that breathes
into us at birth,
then blows itself away.

The NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem making use of the first line of someone else’s poem.  You can find the poem by okc forgottenman that I drew inspiration from Here. The WordPress prompt was “whisper.”

 

http://www.napowrimo.net/day-twenty-five-2/

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/whisper/

 

Suitcase

Suitcase

Like a worn suitcase
so stretched from countless trips back and forth
between the scattered parts of my life
that there is always room for one garment more,
I close around your memory.
Tomorrow I will take you out
and fold you like an old comfortable shirt
over my shoulders.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/suitcase/

Sentimental Journey

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The Smell of Curry

Would that sentiment were only
positive and never lonely––
but all emotions of the world
in sentiment are tightly curled.
Every  memory we cherish
is doubly edged with “live” and “perish.”
In every city, country, land––
bad and good go hand in hand.

The blend of cardamom and lentil
always makes me sentimental.
Odors of turmeric and its ilk,
garam masala and coco milk.
Curry spices being roasted,
degree of peppers being boasted,
chickpeas, carrots, potatoes, rice––
stirring in each thing that’s nice.

What do I think of when I smell
and taste that it is going well?
Bombay and wedding saris thin
sliding down my youthful skin.
Visions of a midnight ride
to cages with young girls inside
sold by their parents and then resold
nightly for a bit of gold.

Traffic, sitar music, fingers
scooping curry––all this lingers.
The beauty of that winsome song
that showed me where the world’s gone wrong.
His action, swift, unthinking, curt
of small coins cast into the dirt
to deflect those who beg and bleat,
surrounding us in every street.

Palaces and then the clash
of children in a world of trash,
the refuse of this giant city
the world they lived in–what a pity.
Back when traveling was new,
experiences were so few
that India changed my life forever.
So, will I forget it?  Never.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sentimental/

TAKING THE LONG WAY HOME

Taking the Long Way Home
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Class Reunion

Since we know where we are going so well,
let’s take the longest route there,
out past England’s Hill and that dip in the road we kids called lover’s leap.
Silly the traditions we tried to pretend––as though our histories weren’t long enough
to have attracted real ones. Now all of those old newnesses
are curling with age, discolored, cracking at the edges––
their roughness catching realities and dreams
and mixing them together so none of us
can remember the difference.

The Prompt: This Is Your Song–Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Turn that line into the title of your post. (My song was “Long Way Home” by Tom Waits.)