By: Ashley Griffey
Whispers surrounding me.
Wrapping me in a blanket,
Taking hold unexpectedly,
Making me forget
Everyone thinks I’m crazy,
But I know more than them,
But unlike all others
I never speak on a whim.
And never letting go,
Words one forgets
I always know.
My white-washed bars surrounded me -
they held me as I slept;
they soothed me when the days were long,
and mother’s blue-eyes wept.
A baby girl, six months or less,
awakened from my sleep -
stood up legs as sure as hope;
as strong as flat is steep.
My hands, my saviors, gripped the rail
so I could peek outside –
the bluest sky I’d ever seen,
As tall as it was wide;
came into view - between the blue,
an airplane gliding by,
its smoky streamer like a flag,
across my memory’s sky...
The memory is a simple one -
a window, sky, and plane -
but in my heart, it's heaven's door
and there it shall remain.
I’ve hung it on my memory’s wall
Between that life and this –
It covers every hole I’ve dug
In sorrow’s vast abyss.
This picture brings the special peace
I knew when I was small –
Where mother’s just beyond the door,
and waiting for my call…
*Inspired by Danielle's Earliest Memory contest. I have blocked out almost every memory
from my childhood, and only a very few gems remain - this is the first. and I will treasure it
Sometimes, when I am alone
I go inside myself
and I get a little box
I keep upon a shelf.
My box is filled with memories,
sweet days that I once knew.
One of my greatest treasures
is the memory of you.
Time has begun to fade it
and has bent the corners in
yet when I gaze upon it,
it comes alive again.
I let it take me over
I ride it like a wave
feeling every inch of love
you once, so sweetly gave.
It fills my soul with pleasure
and helps me get away
from all the tribulations
that I must face each day.
Yet it was not always beautiful,
this memory I hold.
It use to only give me pain
and leave me feeling cold.
But so much time has passed away
and the pain has took its' leave
so now I may finally
enjoy instead of grieve.
Once it has embraced me
and filled me with its' wealth
I put it gently in my box
and place it on the shelf.
I'll always keep this precious jewel
with tender, loving care
so that when I need it,
it will be waiting there.
In times of retrospection we discover
The miles our vagrant compass trekked
Silent horrors from which we recovered
What be righteous or unworthy we assess
For to all children life is not toys and hugs
Or enchanting dances on daddies feet
But bitter realities of drunks and thugs
Eggshell walks and battering clubs
Bewildering the difference the years can make
And the choosing to which one is inclined
To follow the path with which they were faced
Or to carve a new path by need redesigned
They say that Rome was not built in a day
Stone upon stone is a sound foundation laid
Tethering twine pulling massive loads up high
Burying tears in abysses carving smiles from cries
Oh no, I'm fine. Concern yourself not with me
For I am the architect of my own design
Someday a pillar in the Temple I will be
My fortress not breeched nor climbed
My world hastens wisdoms patience
Compassion and mercy will abound
Fragrant love skilled willing agents
Through tenderness barbarians turn clown
Recreating the days of innocence
Forgiving those too weak to see
That some with all their pitiful ignorance
Have not the power to strip you of your dreams
There's a power of soul endowed to man
To walk by authenticity
Pities frown subsides as does vengeance
When taken hold of true humility
No promise of ease nor heart unbroken
To even one was this promise solemnly given
Though pain so deep to bleed is relief
It is friction that compels the driven
Though shadows past haunts you to fright
There is light to be found in its darkness
For shadows be slight illumination of light
The evidence of all you've accomplished
How far I've traveled from condemnation
My compass directs true north
On days my history taunts my persuasion
It's for loves sake I've stayed my course
An old board and a rope had made me a swing,
Sitting there when I was around the age of nine,
I curiously looked up to see the first sign of spring,
Where a robin was building a nest of twigs entwined.
Summer's heat burned my shoulders, so I sought shade,
I climbed up into your strong arms at the age of fourteen,
Along with a book, I relaxed in a solitude no one could invade,
I found myself lost within the pages and the leaves of green.
On a lazy, autumn afternoon, at the age of twenty-three,
I raked the dead leaves that buried my feet into a pile,
Through the orange limbs my black cat peered down at me,
Then leapt from the tree to play among the leaves for awhile.
Now, as I am rapidly approaching the age of thirty-one,
Branches are encased in ice, as winter continues to unfold,
From my window, I see the cardinals and the disappearing sun,
Reminding me that life still survives in the bitter cold.
March, 7th, 2014
Gail Angel Doyle's contest - "Memories On Branches"
What birth pains are these
The kind that bring no peace
It seems no one is pleased
Until someone leaves
©2014 Honestly JT
Hearing the jingling bells of Santa's sleigh,
Hanging silver tinsel on the tree for trim,
My cousin and I going sledding all day,
Reading the story of Scrooge and Tiny Tim.
Building a house made of spicy gingerbread,
And hearing a Bing Crosby Christmas tune,
Leaving out cookies before going to bed,
Seeing eight tiny reindeer flying by the moon.
Santa Claus bringing toys down our chimney,
Almost every house twinkling with lights,
Cutting down a fresh, pine Christmas tree,
Hanging antique ornaments, so shiny and bright.
Grandma and I baking my favorite cookies,
Shopping for Christmas gifts in every store,
A fireplace with a stocking hung just for me,
And singing Christmas carols at every door.
My hometown covered in glistening, white snow,
And the sweet, minty taste of a candy cane,
Presents containing treasures we wouldn't know,
And drawing snowflakes on a frosty window pane.
My Mom making a snowman, as perfect as can be,
Decking the halls with garlands, wreaths and more,
Whispering wishes to Santa, sitting on his knee,
And the excitement we all had the night before.
December 12th, 2013
Tonight the shore is pounded by the fretful, roiling surf,
dark clouds tempestuously race across a yellow moon;
the ocean's breast heaves a heaviness of bitter tears
flinging gray shadowed sobs against silent, white-faced dunes
Far across deep seated waters, another golden strand--
do you pace there the churning surf line as here I do;
are these waves that beat against my blistered, sand burnt feet
a desperate, longing message dispatched tonight from you?
Somewhere harbor lights safely chart the well worn channel
for anxious, weary sailors longing for the arms of home;
but you and I, marooned, remain in lonely shadows
forgotten memories between us, darkened pools of foam.
October 22, 2014
The Echo of a Soul
By Andrew Weeden
In the windswept hills of vibrant green,
Here I sit at your lonely grave.
The bright flower that made my heart beam,
Is the wilted flower I could not save.
From the beginning I did not know,
I was oblivious from the start;
Cancer’s blade cut away your happy glow
And would thrust to pierce my very heart.
Consumed in the darkness of raging anger,
Ten years I stand alone in the rain.
With death no longer a distant stranger;
My only companion in the storm of pain.
Now it seems no one remembers,
But you did not cease to be.
Your spirit still burns in glowing embers
And lives inside the fire in me.
The storm is passing; I finally see its end.
Happiness smiles again and shakes me to my core.
I realize every time I lift my pen
My Grandma speaks once more!
Reflections of your love
Weave tapestries in time.
As a singing mourning dove,
Your words whisper in my mind.
So though you had to go,
You remain in your begotten;
As an echo of a soul,
Gone but not forgotten.
Pen in hand or board with keys
Toil with verse and rhyme.
What disappoints might later please
Hasten borrowed time.
Chills run up and down my spine
To think of things I miss.
So much is gone that I called mine.
Tough to reminisce.
Years ago on any day
Far and wide I’d roam.
Busy with best friends at play
Seldom around home.
Now kids huddle on the floor—
Competing for the highest score,
Sit instead of run.
Guess I’ll wander at the beach—
Spend time along the shore.
Ponder all that life might teach
Had I a few years more.
With inspiration from and dedicated to Just That
Archaic Poet and the Quatrain King, Jack Ellison.
I hesitate for a moment outside the rod iron gates;
sensing behind those castle doors, a long past life awaits,
within those many mortared walls, rising high above the lake,
as my breath begins to quicken and my knees began to shake.
Step into the parlour, the old curator now implores;
where upon I see the winding staircase, I at once abhor.
Below the ground on cobbled stones, stepping up to marbled floors,
a scullery maid with calloused feet, summoned by her Lord.
As I climb those winding stairs again, my back begins to ache,
as visions of cups and saucers, tumble down the stairs and break.
The Mistress of the castle, coiled, and hissing like a snake,
strikes me down to lie among the shattered glass, and birthday cake.
Upon a marble checkerboard, in squares of black and white, I die;
barely fourteen years of age, a lonely child, frail and shy;
buried in a shallow grave, no marker telling where I lie,
just the roses in the garden, underneath a blue, blue sky.
Written: June 25, 2014
For Past Life Contest
Dundurn Castles is a real castle in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
On a visit there, I had an overwhelming feeling of familiarity,
which inspired this poem about a past life.
Remember Petticoat Junction?
Perhaps Green Acres too?
I Love Lucy and Carol Burnett,
Just for a laugh or two?
Dick Van Dyke and The Munsters,
Back when the "tube" was fun;
Doris Day and Love That Bob,
Don't forget The Flying Nun!
Maxwell Smart was an agent,
We all know Uncle Jed;
Hazel was that clever maid,
It's sad how comedy's fled!
The Honeymooner's over,
F Troop's down to zero;
The Beaver's long forgotten,
While Hogan's lost his heroes!
Gilligan's left the island,
A Jeannie no longer dreams;
Car 54, where are you?
At times, I wanna scream!
Andy was a country boy,
Gomer, a seargent's pest;
Who made room for daddy?
Don't fathers know what's best?!
Dobie shaved the goatee,
Mister Ed's lost his voice;
My Three Sons are missing,
Ozzie and Harriet had no choice!
McHale can't find his navy,
The Addams flown away;
A Martian ain't so favorite,
Our Laugh In's gone astray!
Primetime's lost its essence,
Laughter is a con man's game;
A Family Affair's in mourning,
Is the "new age" ours to blame?
They say that time heals all
Yet there never seems enough
To say the words, to give your love
A mother always dies too soon
You try to make it linger
As her age increases yearly
You pray that God will spare her
Because you love her dearly
But when the days get tedious
She’s sick, alone and weary
You pray that God may take her
Because you love her dearly
Mother, we will miss you,
Your love, your care and support
You have given us your all
And triumphantly defied life’s challenges
You were so busy caring for others
That you forgot about yourself
In honour and in gratefulness, we say
Sweet mother, dearest oma*, may you rest in peace
Rest peacefully now your time has come
May angels guide your way
The time has come...yet 'tis oh so hard
To see you on your way
*Oma is dutch for Grandmother
I struggle always with my memories,
The long ago past is forever lurking;
In a moment I am whispered back,
And the pages of my life are fluttering.
Fluttering in the misty winds of time,
To where the joyful and painful burn;
O but this is the key to who I am,
And each memory has its own turn.
Turn back the pages of my journey,
I am a little girl playing and dreaming;
O but to stay frozen in this memory,
And to not ever know the pain of weeping.
Weeping has always been my companion,
I so often stand in a place of sorrows;
Past the ornate gate and winding road,
And the past shall haunt all my tomorrows.
August 16, 2014
For the contest, Where Frozen Embers Still Burn, Gail Angel Doyle
Strolling along Myrtle Beach
Collecting shells in the sand
The waves become hypnotic
And the mood moves into grand.
So many thoughts and memories
Come rushing back with the waves
Thoughts that flood and can’t be stopped,
Some get panned, but some are raves.
Again and again
They flow in and out
Life reliving every decision
Life reliving every doubt.
Then sanity reasserts
For the mind knows what it knows
And hypnosis grinds to a halt
With the sand between my toes.
By E. Marshall Evans
I walked down the steps
To those musty gray walls,
And breathed in the air
Of hand soap and moth balls.
I saw the oil tank
Near the pipes to the well;
And the concrete sink,
With its dank, clammy smell.
Some jams and preserves
Lined the shelves with great care,
With labels that read -
Straw-, Rasp-, Gage Plum and Pear.
Then as I walked ‘round,
I hit line overhead;
Where aprons were hung,
That were stitched in fine thread.
At that I glanced down,
Seeing box under sheet;
Near a braided rug,
Which was under my feet.
I grabbed hold the box,
Where its sides read “C. James;”
And lifting the sheet,
Saw in bold print, “Ann’s Games.”
With that, I dove in,
As I opened the case;
And when I saw “Rook,”
Beams of joy filled my face.
Then reaching I pulled,
“Go Ahead of the Class;
Then Old Maids, then Snap,
And Monopoly last.
But after these treats,
Came another as well;
With old comic books,
That were all made by Dell.
I sat there and read
For an hour or two;
Then put all away,
With the box tucked from view.
Then climbing the stairs
To the kitchen once more;
I marveled the child
That my mom was before.
Copyright - By Paul Ray
Haunted by your memory,
You're in my thoughts and dreams,
They say you never forget your first,
There's truth to that it seems
Her hand of friendship, not desire
Though we traveled roads long and far
My heart was hers for all to lend
She sought from life a blazing star
The years became a seedless tree
A love kept silent, never grew
My honor held in quiet stead
As she disappeared from view
An Autumn night, as years had passed
Came gentle knock, my open door
And there she stood in quiet pose
A rushing kiss, the empty floor
A night we found of hungered bliss
The embers cold to passion's fire
A last goodby, it was her gift
She'd always known my heart's desire
contest Where Frozen Embers Still Burn
Oh great and powerful future
What will you do with our past?
We’ve labored over the years
To make sure our photos last.
Having filed hundreds in books
Where they’re somewhat organized
By event, by year, but by god
When we’re gone, will they still be prized?
Oh great and powerful future
I know I’m a simple man,
Without powers of prophesy
My life has a limited span.
But please remember these photos
Or if not, why do we save.
Can’t a record of memories
Have a future beyond the grave?
I cannot look in your eyes from here,
To touch your soul with my gaze.
Your too far away to reach, My Dear,
To be taken in by my embrace.
My whispered thoughts cannot extend to there--
Where you are's too far away.
I can only touch the empty air
Instead of holding you near always.
So many men between you and I.
I envy each one his place.
Oh, to be at the head of that line,
Looking at you again face to face.
Wonder of wonders, fate of all fates...
I chose to be where I am:
Sitting alone laughing at regrets,
Cursing the notion "what might have been".
I wish I could steal your heart to here
And keep it captive near mine.
But hearts are only given, it's clear...
All I can do is offer you mine.
I remember it now
Not all, but enough
To understand how
I am afraid to accept love
Because some love hurts
Especially the kind you gave
The kind nobody deserves
The kind that plants the seed of hate
It matters little if you feel remorse
Your guilt could never ease my pain
The damage you did cannot be reversed
I still wear the residue of shame
And you will never have my forgiveness
My hatred will be your only companion
As you lie upon your deathbed
Feeling frightened and abandoned
You still won't even have my pity
Pathetic as you are
All you will ever be is what you did to me
As I will always bear these ugly scars
I am sure the verse of fear in writing
Extreme sense of sadness lies in my dreams
Memories seem to be locked deep inside
I cry for the loss of my tender scenes
My heartfelt dreams, those of powerful love
Are also tucked away beyond any hope
Any hope of getting them for feeling
Making me try to understand and cope
Pain’s so intense that I can’t remember
The joys of life are gone with this disease
My longtime memories are gone, I hurt
I feel real terrible, it brought a tease
I’ll never know the sure pleasures of life
Like others who can see their past at will
They’re lucky, even with bad memories
All are hope for the future, loving still
Entered into Constance La France's "Memories Beyond The Door" contest
Remember your very first movie?
I surely remember mine
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
It was nineteen thirty-nine!
Went to a matinee with my parents
“Sit still!” my mother said
Saw two movies and a funny cartoon
Still dancing round in my head!
I remember being really frightened
By the sight of the wicked old Queen
Soon as Dopey came bouncing along
Happy times returned to the screen!
The music's been here for all my life
“Whistle While You Work”
And “Someday My Prince Will Come”
That's when my ears start to perk
Sure don't make 'em like that anymore
Now they're 3-D animated gems
Amazing but I long for the simpler ones
Sure wish I could live 'em again!
© Jack Ellison 2013
I remember when…
Main Street was laid with dark red brick
now it’s laid with black hot asphalt.
The stench alone can make one sick
with environmental assault.
I remember when…
Our radio was our television
we could get broadcasts all around the world.
Letting imagination envision
as the “War of the Worlds” unfurled.
I remember when…
Buzz Aldrin stepped down on the moon
how ecstatic our nation was.
Dancing about on big sand dune
setting communications abuzz.
I remember when…
On my first date, went to drive-in movie
where we viewed the picture “Bonnie and Clyde”.
We really dug it, thought it was groovy
but saddened they were so young when they died.
I remember when…
Schools showed respect for country and to God
with pledge of allegiance and morning prayer.
Today they have spared the punishment rod
and high esteem for beliefs we did share.
Copyright © 2013 By Caryl S. Muzzey
There on the porch
Sits the old rocking chair
Soft cushions to touch
Warm blanket are there
Where tadcu* used to sit
After a shift down the mine
Man and boy at the pit
Until he injured his spine
At his side on the stool
Is a gnarled old pipe
Tadcu made it a rule
He would never light up.
Said his lungs were busy
Dealing with the pit dust
coughing made him dizzy
Oxygen a must.
Loved to rock as he dreamt
Of his life as a lad
Remembering he wept
Getting old made him so sad
*tadcu - grandfather
“It might be gathering dust but it is still my most treasured memory”
Every since I was a child I loved bright things that sparkled shone
And saving every dime I splurged to purchase things of little worth
Thus Christmas time I tithed bits of jewelled gifts, in loving brawn
Unlike the hopes that faded way, the aftermath of such, was mirth
And on that special day he brought that box of precious gold
Along with laughter song and cheer, a father’s love tenfold
The birthday cake had flowers piped of green and red and pink
He handed me a ticket too, “The Great Ballet Of Brink”
It has been forty years since then and still it’s tucked away
At the bottom of my chest, where time has placed her crust
I’ve travelled far and wide to see the grand old top ballets
But never did I validate, the gift he gave with so much trust
In memory I keep it tucked away
Where it can be in memories way
Each and every day…
Husha husha we all fall down
Gonna take you back a few years
Everything was exciting and new
Memories we all hold so dear
First time riding a two wheel bike
Mom thought we'd break a leg
Climbing aboard some floating ice
Painting some Easter eggs
Our first encounter with puppy love
That pretty young thing next door
Sudden she's not just one of the guys
Feelings never felt before
An interview for our very first job
Nervous with hair all slicked down
Catching two people in the stock room
Passionately messing around
These things we all remember
With fondness and tears in our eyes
So sad we have to leave them behind
These feelings you just can't buy
Husha husha we all fall down
These memories are so bittersweet
They help us through the tough times
Making our lives complete!
© Jack Ellison 2013
Ring-a ring-a rosies
A pocket full of posies
We all fall down.
The rhyme originated from the plague in London in 1665. The red rings on the skin were the first sign of the plague. The posies were the herbs and spices carried by people because they thought the disease was carried in the smell. The last part was when the person died. The rhyme continued to be used referencing small pox outbreaks, long after the Great Fire of London in 1666 burnt out the spread of plague.
I see your name here and there
Suddenly, I can’t get you off my mind
I catch your fragrance on the air
Remembering when your lips touched mine
I feel your presence all around
In the night and the sunshine, warm
I would give all, and all again
To hold you once more in my arms
~Christopher Thor Britt
Nobody knows your dirty clothes,
Like your best friends do.
The small detail that few know,
Back roads that lead to you.
©2014 Honestly JT
So we're on the brink of a new weekend;
And I'm ready for the guests to arrive.
Come Friday everything will begin;
Let's go all the way live.
©2014 Honestly JT