Tag Archives: memories

Memory Games

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Memory Games

Though memories are sketchy, those that remain are vivid—
mere scraps of joy or humor or times when she was livid.
No way to tell what snips of time her memory will nourish—
current relations lost to time while past ones live and flourish.

The mind does nasty tricks when it decides to misbehave.
It may leave us abandoned within its darkening cave,
or perhaps it casts a cinema only one can see,
drawing them into a world of dreams where they are free.

No one who walks through memory’s door can return to tell
whether it is heaven or a living hell.
Another trick of life that draws us fast within it,
forcing us to play the game without a way to win it.

Prompt words for today are jive, sketchy, relations and vivid.

Bright

Bright

Why do all our memories fade out to pastels?
The dulling of the colors, the muffling of the bells?
Often we discover that a happening once dated
becomes a strain of music half-remembered, mostly faded,
and we labor to remember a life so full and vast
that fades down to a shadow relegated to the past.
Better to infuse the present with such light
that all its various colors shine out vividly and bright.

Prompt words are pastel, musical, labor, discover and why.

Glimpses

 

Glimpses

At times you were the problem and at other times the buttress.
At times my lost direction and at other times my compass.
You were my kindred spirit, my teacher and my lover,
and when you went away, I felt that I could not recover.

I saw your face in everything—in rivers and in clouds.
A dozen times, your profile. Your retreating back in crowds.
Love dies but does not vanish. It has a thousand faces
seen at the least likely times in unexpected places.

Facts we can’t face up to in our mutual lives
swarm around in memory in buzzing swarming hives.
Facts as sweet as honey. Facts that sting like bees.
Niggling facts that seize the mind to torture or to tease.

It is a constant truth with love that one will first depart—
an act that seems so far away when love is at its start.
But the truth is always looming. Death will end what we’ve begun.
That inevitable setting of the brightest glowing sun.

Prompts today are things with faces, buttress, kindred or recover.

Ashes

Ashes

A handful of memories, discounted by time.
Five for a nickel and ten for a dime.
Burned down to ashes, their bodies erased
along with the dreams they achieved or they chased.

How we incorporate thoughts of the past
into our lives may alter and cast
the present in molds that are better off shattered.
Better new memories than those aged and tattered.

Life is for living, so best throw away
corpses of the past that get in the way.
Living is glorious, but it’s not portable.
By merely living, we become deportable.

Thoughts hoarded in dreams should dissolve in the day.
Think too much of the past and it gets in the way.
As hard as it is, it seems that we must
render ashes to ashes, return dust to dust.

 

Prompt words for today are ash, portable, glorious, incorporate and erase.

If

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If

 

 

Prompt words today are coast, natural, aghast and venturesome. Here are the links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/rdp-saturday-coast/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/04/06/fowc-with-fandango-natural/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/your-daily-word-prompt-aghast-april-6-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/venturesome-2/

The NaPoWriMo post is: Today, write a poem that emphasizes the power of “if,” of the woulds and coulds and shoulds of the world.

Buried Treasure

 

Buried Treasure

Though my diurnal actions may be slower now and measured,
imagination’s richer—its journeys fully treasured.
I feel the whole world opening. I roam it at my will,
unhampered by long distances—undaunted by each hill.

I explore new continents, revisit former haunts.
In nocturnal wanderings, I enjoy surreal jaunts
joined by friends departed, unhampered by my years.
I do those things undone before, conquering all my fears.

Daily, I relate to friends by voice or screen or paper,
confessing past  adventures, admitting every caper.
Laugh over pains and  learn from misdeeds that I may have done—
each ill-advised decision transmogrified to fun.

Life in the doing’s richer when we have vigor for it,
and when our energy runs out, we still can re-adore it.
Our memory is a treasure box with contents vast and rare,

made richer by each telling. Increasing as we share.

 

Memory boxes and photos by jdb

Prompt words today are diurnal, opening, action and treasure.
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/03/12/rdp-tuesday-diurnal/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/03/12/fowc-with-fandango-opening/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/03/12/your-daily-word-prompt-treasure-march-12-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/03/12/action/

Lovesick

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                       Lovesick

Memories of her
stretch out like a voluptuous lover
over the couch of his mind.
He takes refuge in them in his loneliness,
gathering a sequelae
of the aftereffects of her loss
around him
like a scratchy woolen blanket
drawn by habit,
offering little comfort.

The prompts today are sequelae, stretch, voluptuous and refuge.  Here are the links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/rdp-sundaysequelae/
https://fivedotoh.com/2018/10/07/fowc-with-fandango-stretch/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/voluptuous/
https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/2018/10/06/daily-addictions-2018-week-40/refuge

I Took a Picture of Your Name

 

I Took A Picture Of Your Name.

After so many years, seeing it again on the screen,
I took a picture of your name.
Not written by your hand,
it had a strangeness–
featureless, revealing nothing.
It had no voice,
no breath.

Out there sharing itself with the world,
it has formed a wall around
that intimacy it birthed when you took my hand in yours,
using your name to pull me closer,
powerless against its strength on your tongue.

Everyone wanted to share a part of what made you you,
but I only wanted to be with you, back when,
scrawled in your careless hand,
you were written on my soul.

Wanting to be perfect for you,
remembering that tattoo you traced across my back.
Your name and mine.
“Always,” you wrote.

My trip to Guanajuato with my nephew Ryan was wonderful–just about as perfect as it could be.  Since I was 49 when he was born and living two thousand miles away, we had never really spent any time together, other than 4 short overnight visits I’d made to their house enroute to other places or for graduations or other celebrations, and he was always a kid with the other kids, I an adult with the other adults.  This was our first meeting as adults and with an entire week to get acquainted, we walked and looked all day and talked all night. Ryan did fine taking in the sights with people about fifty years older than him and formed a particular bond with one member of the group–a bit of a rascal at 76–really a kid who never grew up.  Ryan was actually better behaved than this man who could serve as the pattern for a trickster.

As our tour bus pulled into Ajijic at the end of our four-day tour, Ryan asked for his name and information so he could send him this photo I’d taken of the two of them. I pulled out pencil and paper, but the man had his own phone in his hand with his contact information on it  as he was spelling out his name so I could copy it , so Ryan merely reached over, clicked his phone over his, and said, “I’ll just take a picture of your name and look you up on Facebook.”

“I Took a Picture of Your Name” popped into my mind as a wonderful beginning line for a poem and although the resultant poem  is not about them and has nothing to do with our trip, here is a photo of them in recognition of the fact that their overheard conversation was really the prompt for the first poem I’ve written in five days.  My Internet-less vacation is over, but I’m going to try to remember the lesson it taught. Less time on the computer.  More time out in life.  Ryan and I are already planning our next adventure. I’ll show some photos later after he’s gone.

Ryan and friend about to descend into a silver mine in Guanajuato.

Play Date

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Play Date

 

My sister’s house has sold and they are cleaning out her attic. My niece and I make one trip more and I find my old dollhouse, collapsed, in the garbage can. I take the pieces out—some of them—and stash them in her trunk. I’d thought them gone forty years ago when the tornado took the roof off my parents’ house, but now, here they are like the leaves of memory blown miraculously back to me.

When she sees I’ve taken them, my niece asks what she should do with the dolls she found in the back recesses of her mother’s attic storage room—the one I hadn’t got to on my last visit—perhaps because of the roofing nails sticking through the wood which made reaching back behind the eaves a physical danger.

I find them where she has stashed them In a suitcase in her garage, and when I open the case and see the first doll staring up at me, I think it is a “find” from some antique store, like the dishes in my sister’s China cabinet or the tiny figures on her shelves. One rubber arm, sticky with age, has burst open and streams kapok like a froth of bleached and fermented blood. Other limbs have decayed to nothing but empty puddles of congealed rubber. Only the torso, held in place by a sagging pink fancy gown; and the face, stained red in places from some surface it’s been pressed against for too long, are still intact. As I lift the first doll from the suitcase, the other doll—the size of a toddler—stares up at me, one eye unhinged, her hair in pigtails sealed with rubber bands. When I lift her by one arm, her head turns, her legs pump and I realize this is my Ideal walking doll. When you raise her arms, one at a time, she walks toward you and her head swings, side-to-side. Hard and beautiful, she was not a doll to cuddle and she would not sit. She stood propped up against one corner of my room, rarely played with. What, I wonder, has happened to the bright blue dress she wore? Then I look closer and see that she’s still wearing it—faded to paleness even in the dark. What is here is original—her hair, her limbs, her dress, her petticoat—but her shoes and socks have been lost to another little girl, perhaps, or have jiggled off in some trunk and been left behind.

I’m 1500 miles away from home, yet I load the child-sized dollies into my boyfriend’s trunk: my sister’s doll in it’s fancy pink floor-length formal, my doll with her eye gone wild in its socket. They won’t make it home to Mexico in my suitcase this time, but it is impossible to leave them there in the suitcase to be thrown away by someone who has no memory of them. They are not collector’s items. They have been too neglected in their lives since they stood propped up in the corners of our rooms, then in the corners of our closets, the basement, my sister’s trunk and then her attic 800 miles from where they called us their owners and stimulated our imaginations to the extent they were able.

They’ll now reside in my boyfriend’s garage in Missouri until the time comes when I can carry them back in an extra suitcase or he can mule them down for me. If they were miniatures, I could include them in a retablo or a memory box, but each head is larger than the largest assemblage I’ve ever made. The closets of my house are full and overflowing, as are the wall-to-ceiling cabinets in my garage and studio and every area of my house where I’ve had room to build a closet. But I must use them. Give them some purpose for still existing other than to fill up room in some box on some cupboard shelf.

I imagine a memory box of gigantic proportions and suddenly, I have to make it, even if it takes up all the work room of my studio, and I start to plan how I could take my own doll back with me and what I’ll have to leave: the case of books that I’ve just had printed or my clothes or all the cartridges for my laser printer? If I wear a baby carrier, will they believe it is my baby, sound asleep? And what sensation will I cause when I try to stuff her into the overhead rack?

When I start to plan what else will go in the memory box with her, I remember the metal dollhouse sides and suddenly, I’m planning another trip back to Missouri, where I will make the mother of memory boxes—four feet square—and I wonder how my boyfriend will react to this and what I’ll do with it when it is finished. But somehow all these practicalities do not matter, because this dolly, relegated to corners for its whole life, is finally going to get played with!!!

This is a reblog from a 2014 piece. Since their prompt was “Play,” I’m reblogging it for the Ragtag Daily Prompt.