Tag Archives: childhood dreams

Reined-in Adventures

daily life color096

Reined-in Adventure

My first mount was a hobbyhorse, I’d ride him up and down
all around the basement, if not around the town.
In summer we would come outside and ride along the walk
that my sister used for hopscotch–all scribbled up with chalk.

With reins clipped to his harness, I maintained a healthy clip.
Careful over sidewalk grooves, avoiding every dip.
Never did he tarry as we hurried on our way,
for when we reached our destination, I would feed him straw and hay.

Then, being very hungry after my vigorous ride,
I’d put away my pony before I went inside
and I’d become the pony and my mother would feed me
carrot sticks and cabbage hay, sitting on Daddy’s knee.

I’d whinny with each forkful. I’d toss my head, then prance
upstairs to my nap to dream of England and of France
where policemen still rode horses along the city streets,
racing after robbers and other heroic feats.

And in my dreams, my horse and I would have a glorious ride
more dangerous than earlier rides we had had inside.
Charging after bandits, fording rivers and
forsaking backyard sidewalks for dirt and stone and sand.

We’d clamber up steep mountainsides to try to find a pass,
then kick up rocks while sliding down to sail through fields of grass.
We’d conquer all the beaches, then roll through fields of clover,
having wilder adventures until my nap was over.

Prompt words for today are hobbyhorse, harness, groovy, tarry and straw.

Dream World

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Dream World

My little nephews were quite the rapscallions,
with tinfoil armor and mop handle stallions
they conquered their foes and made off in their galleons
to sail the wild oceans, and then this wild pair
got into their airplanes to sail through the air.
You barely could tell that the swing set was there.

From morning to night, they were batting or pitching,
expounding on hockey and football and itching
to escape the tame lives that they would be ditching
as soon as they grew up. Then they would be soaring
in airplanes and gliders and missiles less boring.
Their engines fired up, the crowds would be roaring

for the heroes they’d be, taking off into space,
vanishing upwards with barely a trace—
off to adventure, intent on the chase.
They would catch up with life and grab onto its tail.
They’d travel each highway and ride every rail,
pass “go” every round and get out of jail!

Life in short would be anything but dull and tame.
It would be a wild spree—an adventurous game
wherein they’d be heroes, ensconced in their fame.
At least this was their theory when they were young,
when adventure was made up in mind and on tongue
and all of their upcoming conquests were sung!

But childhood dreams often go far astray.
They tend to evaporate as day-to-day
we slowly grow up and enter the fray.
Now one’s an accountant, the other a doc,
and there’s little adventure and even less talk
of being an astronaut, pilot or jock.

Yet who knows in the nighttime what sorties are planned?
With their heads on their pillows, do their wishes expand
to soar off to adventures more wild and grand?
Perhaps in their dreams they go back to their youth
and to pastimes less sane—more reckless and uncouth.
Perhaps in their slumbers, their dreams become truth.

The prompt words today were air, theory, rapscallion and itching. Here are the links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/02/23/rdp-saturday-air/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/02/23/fowc-with-fandango-theory/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/02/23/your-daily-word-prompt-rapscallion-february-23-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/02/23/itching/

A Fine Vintage

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A Fine Vintage

Roving has been in my blood since I was just a  kid.
In hide and seek, I ran away while other kids just hid.
I’d stash myself six blocks away where they could never see me.
I couldn’t wait for age and circumstance to come and free me.

Other kids had tantrums, but I just had my dreams
that took my sheltered sedate life and split it at the seams.
It never once occurred to me that it would be naive
to think that after high school, I’d pack my bags and leave.

And after college in some place exotic in my mind,
I’d be off to travel with others of my kind.
I’d have a travel bonanza to Africa and France.
I’d even go to China if I had the chance.

Was it precognition or simply intuition
that all of my  travel dreams have come  to sweet fruition?
Everything I sought out there, each thing I hoped to find
I found in all those years that now I find I’ve left behind.

Now that my world is smaller and I’m more content,
nonetheless I still have memories that I can vent.
They’ve percolated in my mind as I cure and age
until they’ve aged sufficiently to pour out on the page.

 

The prompts for today are tantrum, roving and bonanza. Here are the links:

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/11/01/fowc-with-fandango-tantrum/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/11/01/roving/
https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/2018/10/27/daily-addictions-2018-week-43/bonanza

Explorers

Click to enlarge photos.

Explorers

Sitting up past midnight, we search our mind for facts,
parting long grasses of the past for long-forgotten pacts
of secrets kept from parents and long-forgotten games:
“New Orleans” and “Send ‘Em” *. We comb our minds for names.

Of talents left to childhood, like flips off monkey bars.
Adventures dreamed on rooftops and the back seats of cars.
Favorite childhood dresses and jokes pulled on our folks.
Afternoons in Mack’s Cafe, sipping on our Cokes.

Hot beef sandwiches at Fern’s and running up the stairs
to avoid Mom’s fly swatter aimed at our derrieres.
Childhood dramas staged in trees or in our backyard lawn.

Teenage slumber parties that stretched out into dawn.

We journey through old albums, searching photos for
any tiny detail that will open up a door.
Each time I come to visit, we remember a bit more
on these safaris of the mind that we both adore.

*These are the names of childhood games. Did anyone else play them?

For the Word of the Day challenge: Exploring

The Holy Apewoman of Mexico

This post made years ago at the very beginning of my blog answers today’s prompt of “conjure” perfectly, so here it is again after a small edit:

The Holy Apewoman of Mexico

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 My dialogue takes place between my 7 year old self and my 70 year old self who, ironically, is writing this in Mexico.


Childhood Dreams

7
The mysteries
of Grandma’s barn
and basement—
whole lost worlds there.
Our own attic—a door held down
by a gravity never challenged.

I wanted to see
the hanging gardens of Babylon,
Mexico and Africa—
all these places from books,
their pieces jumbled together
like puzzle pieces
in the deep recesses of my closet,
scattered,
but ready for assembly
some day
when I would
make my future memories
happen.

70
I crouch with myself at seven—
sharing imagined dangers
in deep closets,
trying to conjure the world.
So many small town stories
overlooked
while I dreamed of living
in those fairy tale places
of Bible stories
that stood on a shelf
sandwiched between
the Bobbsey Twins
and Tarzan.

Some of us spend our lives
trying to be like books,
then spend our old age
trying to remember childhood,
mainly remembering
childhood’s dreams.

*

The prompt word today is conjure.

White Boots with Tassels

JudyBen1954This is the only photo I have of me wearing the white boots lauded in this poem.  Too bad the tassels aren’t showing! That’s my dad being silly and sporting as a hat a centerpiece brought back from Mexico by our neighbors.


White Boots with Tassels

Hand over hand, hand over hand—
we were a little twirling band—
Sharon, Diane and Meridee,
Jerilyn, Sheila and me.
We felt that we were in cahoots
as we donned our tall white boots
that sported tassels hanging down,
strutting them all over town,
dropping batons we soon retrieved
and we all truly believed
one day we’d be good enough
so we would come to strut our stuff
before the band, wands held on high
then thrown aloft into the sky.

Those dreams, alas, soon became dated
when our high school mentor graduated,
going on to college where
her baton rose to higher air
while ours were relegated to
shelves that sported a single shoe,
old castoff dolls and castoff dreams,
Teddy bears ripped at the seams
and small batons barely abused
because they were so rarely used.

Yet in our dreams, we strutted tall,
the finest majorettes of all—
batons twirling as they rose high
above us far into the sky,
returning safely to each hand
in sync with music from the band
we marched in front of, pert and sassy,
our tasseled boots sexy and classy.
Big girls now grown up from small,
the coolest high schoolers of all.
The truth of this, alas, it seemed,
 to be something we merely dreamed. 

The prompt word today was strut.

Temporary Rivers

Patty in mud 001-001

This is my sister Patti, college age, walking barefoot out to her last big adventure in the ditches of Murdo, South Dakota after a July rain. Not quite the gusher depicted in my childhood vignette below, but nonetheless, Patti’s final puddle adventure. She had taken my visiting niece out. The next day the neighborhood kids rang our doorbell and asked my mom if Patti could come back outside to play again! Ha.

Temporary Rivers

When the rains came in hot summer, wheat farmers cursed their harvest luck, for grain soaked by rain just days before cutting was not a good thing; but we children, freed from the worry of our own maintenance (not to mention taxes, next year’s seed fees and the long caravans of combines already making their slow crawl from Kansas in our direction) ran into the streets to glory in it.

We were children of the dry prairie who swam in rivers once or twice a year at church picnics or school picnics and otherwise would swing in playground swings, wedging our heels in the dry dust to push us higher. Snow was the form of precipitation we were most accustomed to––waddling as we tried to negotiate the Fox and Geese track we had shuffled into the snow bundled into two pairs of socks and rubber boots snapped tighter at the top around our thick padded snowsuits, our identities almost obscured under hoods and scarves tied bandit-like over our lower faces.

But in hot July, we streamed unfettered out into the rain. Bare-footed, bare-legged, we raised naked arms up to greet rivers pouring down like a waterfall from the sky. Rain soaked into the gravel of the small prairie town streets, down to the rich black gumbo that filtered out to be washed down the gutters and through the culverts under roads, rushing with such force that it rose back into the air in a liquid rainbow with pressure enough to wash the black from beneath our toes.

We lay under this rainbow as it arced over us, stood at its end like pots of gold ourselves, made more valuable by this precipitation that precipitated in us schemes of trumpet vine boats with soda straw and leaf sails, races and boat near-fatalities as they wedged in too-low culvert underpasses. Boats “disappeared” for minutes finally gushed out sideways on the other side of the road to rejoin the race down to its finale at that point beyond which we could not follow: Highway 16––that major two-lane route east to west and the southernmost boundary of our free-roaming playground of the entire town.

Forbidden to venture onto this one danger in our otherwise carefree lives, we imagined our boats plummeting out on the other side, arcing high in the plume of water as it dropped to the lower field below the highway. It must have been a graveyard of vine pod boats, stripped of sails or lying sideways, pinned by them, imaginary sailors crawling out of them and ascending from the barrow pits along the road to venture back to us through the dangers of the wheels of trucks and cars. Hiding out in mid-track and on the yellow lines, running with great bursts of speed before the next car came, our imaginary heroes made their ways back to our minds where tomorrow they would play cowboys or supermen or bandits or thieves.

But we were also our own heroes. Thick black South Dakota gumbo squished between our toes as we waded down ditches in water that flowed mid-calf. Kicking and wiggling, splashing, we craved more immersion in this all-too-rare miracle of summer rain. We sat down, working our way down ditch rivers on our bottoms, our progress unimpeded by rocks. We lived on the stoneless western side of the Missouri River, sixty miles away. The glacier somehow having been contained to the eastern side of the river, the western side of the state was relatively free of stones–which made for excellent farm land, easy on the plow.

Gravel, however, was a dear commodity. Fortunes had been made when veins of it were found–a crop more valuable than wheat or corn or oats or alfalfa. The college educations of my sisters and me we were probably paid for by the discovery of a vast supply of it on my father’s land and the fact that its discovery coincided with the decision to build first Highway 16 and then Interstate 90. Trucks of that gravel were hauled to build first the old road and then the new Interstate that, built further south of town, would remove some of the dangers of Highway 16, which would be transformed into just a local road–the only paved one in town except for the much older former highway that had cut through the town three blocks to the north.

So it was that future generations of children, perhaps, could follow their dreams to their end. Find their shattered boats. Carry their shipwrecked heroes back home with them. Which perhaps led to less hardy heroes with fewer tests or children who divided themselves from rain, sitting on couches watching television as the rain merely rivered their windows and puddled under the cracks of front doors, trying to get to them and failing.

But in those years before television and interstates and all the things that would have kept us from rain and adventures fueled only by our our imaginations, oh, the richness of gumbo between our toes and the fast rushing wet adventure of rain!

 

This is a rewrite of a story from three years ago. The prompt today was ascend.