Tag Archives: poem about childhood

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

Summer

Version 3


Summer

Days spread like an Indian blanket in the grass
and those carnival nights.
Anxious sorties into unknown parts of town.

Feeling my number up as the wild sisters
kicked me all the way home
to what they called my posh neighborhood.

Yearned-for months
let out of school,
my continuing education.

The prompts today were posh, number, carnival and anxious.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/09/22/rdp-saturday-posh/

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/09/22/fowc-with-fandango-number/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/22/carnival/

https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/daily-addictions-2018-week-37/anxious

Skinny-Dipping

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Important note: This is a shape poem , but if you look at it in Reader, it distorts the shape by left margin justifying.  Please click on the title again and you will view it from my blog where it will be centered and you can see the shape.

Skinny-Dipping 

There’s a change in the weather, a shift in the light.
The palm trees are swaying. Three stars shining bright.
The water is cooling, my exercise through.
Clouds cover the moon. I think it’s my cue
to get out of the water before I turn blue,
then clouds shift and the moon turns its usual hue.

The wind stirs the water. I think of past times
ages ago in different climes.
All those past lives, can they really be mine?
If I put experience in a straight line,
could I see the reason for things as they were
as my life sped by–—a perpetual whirr?

What gave me the courage to do what I did
since that time long ago when I was a kid
and took that first journey out on my own,
out of the house across grass newly mown,
fresh from the bathtub, laughing with glee,
nude for the whole world to look out and see.

Running down the sidewalk until I was captured
again by my mother, winded but enraptured
by this one-year-old daughter escaped from her bath,
already set out on her singular path.
So many roadways traveled since then.
So many different lives that have been

tried and discarded in favor of others.
Surrogate fathers and surrogate mothers,
surrogate sisters and friends freshly minted,
plane tickets ordered, paid for and printed.
Travel adventures. Dangers to survive.
Making it through it all still alive.

I come up     from the pool,
dripping and     shivering.

Those few    bold stars
above me    delivering

promises     that I
might still   be a rover.

While there   is breath left,
my life       isn’t over.

 

For V.J.’s Weekly Challenge prompt, shift “Alter your routine in some small way this week.
The idea is not to do something that over taxes your already busy schedule – just something that shifts you enough to make a difference. Or maybe, it won’t. Your response can be in the form of prose, poetry, photograph(s) or whatever moves you.”

The “shift” I did was to go out to the pool and swim and exercise for an hour before writing to her prompt word. The poem above is what resulted.

Childhood Wishes

 

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Childhood Wishes

All those aimless childhood gambols—
dawn to dusk spontaneous ambles.
Up the block and down again,
back once more to where we’d been,
Hoping things perhaps had changed—
something misplaced, someone deranged.
But still, we found each of our homes
as regular as metronomes.
Day to day, each time we came,
everything was just the same.

How we craved a big event.
A calamity would be heaven-sent.
News to share in Sunday school
pithier than the Golden Rule.
We yearned for things to brag about
to cause town tongues to wag about.
Some juicy news or disaster that
served as excuse to chew the fat.
Instead, our lives were all the norm.
Safe and regular and warm.

We Monopolied and kicked the can.
We walked and biked and hopped and ran.
Combed back yards for a four leaf clover.
Played blind man’s bluff and Annie-I-Over.
But still we yearned for something new.
Felt caught in long hot summer’s glue.
Stones kicked down roads by summer sandals
attempts to dislodge unearthed scandals.
Little did we know one day
we’d be called upon to pay

Our debt for wishes finally granted.
Yet how we cursed and wept and ranted
when all those asked-for ills befell us.
Why didn’t anybody tell us
that normalcy is everything—
those quiet times that soon took wing.
Telephones first brought the news
of all those things we’d one day lose:
old pets, old dreams, old friends and spouses.
Totalled cars, repossessed houses.

War and pestilence and hunger?
We did not know when we were younger
that they were not simply a game.
We did not know that casting blame
on those responsible would fail.
For rich men do not go to jail.
They buy our votes then do their deeds
so no man but they ever succeeds.
And never can they get enough
as they cloak our eyes in blind man’s bluff.
But oh the scandals we now can tell.
Our childhood wishes realized so well.

The prompt word today was amble.

back when we were baby birds

back when we were baby birds

feeding each other
cold spaghetti worms
in grass clipping nests
empty summer stretched in front of us

stale plastic wading pools
pressing yellow circles
into grass
that smelled like wet bandaids

during a game of hide-and-seek
dust bunnies behind the chest
full of old prom dresses
in the upstairs hall

mouse droppings
in the basement
pits from sour cherries
scattered on the back steps

scraps of soggy paper
dried into small sculptures
under the weeping willow tree
revealing part of each original message

mommy is . . .
. . . ate my cookie
I hope Sharon . . .
my doll doesn’t . . . your doll . . .

summer just an empty cup
we filled each day
with the long summer rains
of daydreams.

 

The prompt today way fragrance. Since I have to leave soon for the first day of Campamento Estrella, here’s a poem I wrote so long ago that I’d totally forgotten it. I’ll post photos of camp later today.

I Used to Eat Red

                                                                  I Used to Eat Red

daily life color108 (1)My sister Patti and I, posed by my older sister Betty.  Those are “the” cherry trees behind us. The fact that we were wearing dresses suggests we were just home from Sunday school and church, our souls bleached as white as our shoes and socks!

 I used to eat red
from backyard cherry trees,
weave yellow dandelions
into cowgirl ropes
to lariat my Cheyenne uncle.

I once watched dull writhing gold
snatched from a haystack by its tail,
held by a work boot
and stilled by the pitchfork of my dad
who cut me rattles while I didn’t watch.

 I felt white muslin bleached into my soul
on Sunday mornings in a hard rear pew,
God in my pinafore pocket
with a picture of Jesus
won from memorizing psalms.

But it was black I heard at midnight from my upstairs window––
the low of cattle from the stock pens

on the other side of town––
the long and lonely whine of diesels on the road
to the furthest countries of my mind.

Where I would walk
burnt sienna pathways
to hear green birds sing a jungle song,
gray gulls call an ocean song,
peacocks cry the moon

until I woke to shade-sliced yellow,
mourning doves still crooning midnight songs of Persia
as I heard morning
whistled from a meadowlark
half a block away.

And then,
my white soul in my shorts pocket,
plunging down the stairs to my backyard,
I used to eat red,
pick dandelions yellow.

 (This is a reworking of a poem from my book Prairie Moths.) The prompt today was to talk about our earliest childhood memories.  https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/childhood-revisited/

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Companionable.” Head to one of your favorite blogs. Write a companion piece to their penultimate post.

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As I lie

Once, in that long dream of childhood, I
assumed that I would be a child forever,
slipping between the lives of adults, somewhat

off. The wrong hairdo, clothes
in my closet hanging in
that off-kilter way

like teeth missing in a child’s mouth, others grown half-way
in to not quite meet their lower neighbor.
It was a mystery

where I’d fit in adult life––
The job I’d do,
the children I’d tell what to do;

and I never quite found the answer, although
my teeth grew in, to meet
each other in the middle.

Blooming, after their
crimson exit––
two by two, they nourished a life,

burying childhood
like
a lie.

I chose S. Thomas Summers’ poem, “As a Child” as a springboard for my poem. Rather than use his poem as a theme, instead I used the first word of each of his lines as the first word in each of my lines. Go here to read his excellent poem: https://inkhammer.wordpress.com/2015/11/01/once-i/