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
On an asphalt street where my shoes grew up
The marbled walls drape night gently beaming,
I trace youth's innocence like morn's teacup
Pouring glee from fairy tales to mud slings.
Strange, our guava trees now dwarfed by skylines
The garden looking small for tugs-of war
Where siblings rushed in late noon pastimes;
After Mom calls for bedtime on window’s bar.
Near lamp post was my room of teenage fun
Shoes now bigger, chateau’s a memory
Trimmed with puppy-loves from journal’s rerun
Huddling the child, girl, and fresh adult in me.
And evening’s ray now settles on the ground
While urban traffic booms, only to impose
On heart breathing childhood prints all around;
A moment when life blossomed like a rose.
Not Just Any Old Quatrain Contest
Sponsor: Kelly Deschler, 7/05/2014
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"
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
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
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
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.