If there should be a pot hole as deep as Satan’s pit
appearing as I’m driving, I’d run right over it!
My husband’s luck is worse than mine, but we’re a package deal.
So every bad thing that befalls him, I can also feel!
One day I lost my best cat ever; needing a new pet,
I looked and looked to find a cat, the best that I could get.
One person getting desperate with no new owner found
was feeling sad he’d have to take his poor cat to the pound.
His cat , though not a lap cat, was pretty, sleek and black.
The guy was leaving town; there’d be no way to give her back!
I like to look to numbers for the logic that they show.
Two negatives makes positive; that’s one true fact I know!
So if a person has bad luck, it stands to reason that
perhaps his bad luck could reverse by having a black cat!!
I got that cat! She loudly purrs, which I find comforting
It’s like my mom is right nearby with lullabies to sing.
The cat’s my charm when in my arms; my luck has turned around,
for she’s become the second best of cats I ever found!
So if with many problems you’re always getting stuck,
just get yourself a big black cat to cancel out bad luck!
For the Create an Idiom Contest of Jesse Day
(For those who don't know about this contest, the title is an idiom I made up for this poem)
Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2016
Some madness banter of insanity
is pulling at my thoughts
in giant verbs and huge marching nouns
collecting snippets as it walks
stomping on flowers
and mushing liquid the paints of images
with great toed boots
I can hear it coming
a hefty heavy steady stamp
and I am almost afraid that it might rack me
hit me hard
and demand some elucidated expression from me
I would shudder
but excitement won't let me
Instead it sets me to a creaking ball points
and tiny alphabets that strain my eyes
while spelling out its diffident request
Write it says
Write, while some half cold sickness grip my stomach
and I wretch on grammar
and thus the great feathers quill
dips in the ink of my soul
and so ineptly scribbles epilepsy
explanation, image, wordage, spillage of sensory lobotomy
partridge in a god-damn pear tree
Curl about my finger
and reek havoc through those dictionary brain cells
yer! smash them brain cells
mush, mash and squeeze the last drip
find expression in the gooey lumps that are left
WRITE ! god dam it !
Be succinct, be poetic
surpassing idiom and useless language
for Christ sake just WRITE it !
Pilloried on my own sheets of paper
by my own pen
because it never catches enough
as it twist this origami of words
I want to express
To etch with you
A moment of perfection
I need your voices
I need to hear you sing my poets
I need these scratching and scathing claws
and I need your delicate dance
I need something to end this misery
and I need this piquant
this ever enlightened soul search of words
to wrap up this bundle of love
And toss me nonchalant into eternity
Lest some madness of bantered insanity
Takes hold of me
Copyright © colin mitchell williams | Year Posted 2009
I gather up each word, each thrown away,
putting my poetry back together;
words "thrown" to wither and decay,
this garbage- I love forever.
My poems called worthless,
my poems so breathless;
poems never- wordless,
making a gem out of garbage;
is my endeavor.
My pen will bleed with my dark surrender,
writing my poems like a rose bouquet;
praying this sad pain will leave someday,
I gather up each word, each thrown away;
and weep- making a gem out of garbage.
July 25, 2016
For the contest, Create An Idiom
sponsor, Jessie Day
Copyright © Broken Wings | Year Posted 2016
I am amazed by the power of you words,
They seep through my skin
Like ink’s aphrodisiac,
And I feel powerless to stop them,
The mere thought of your hands
Touching me makes
Atoms explode inside my chest,
As if a universe is being born,
A light sweat glistens over my form
As my eyes devour every syllable,
My heart beats to the tune you write,
With quickened breath
I feel it consuming me,
This sexual fantasy wax lyrical,
I fail, not miserably but excitedly
To control my minds dirty idiom,
Where do the thoughts of lust go?
I feel them cling to me
Begging to be made manifest,
Tonight your pen is my phallic pleasure,
Take me and make me your muse.
Copyright © Paula Lelitte | Year Posted 2010
Sidney sloth was so very very shy
He’d hide in the treetops way up high
Hanging upside down so no one could see
He’d painted his toes red like a ripe cherry
Sidney hid in the tree so silently
High in the branches where no one could see
But soon Sidney discovered a major snag
Ripe cherries were being picked and put in a bag
The cherry picker pulled at one of Sidney’s toes
Sidney was no longer in a state of sweet repose!
Wanting to maintain his privacy
Sidney climbed to the top of the tree
Soon autumn came and the leaves she did thieve
Forcing poor Sidney to hurriedly leave
Sidney sought sanctuary in a local zoo
Now he can’t be seen by me or you!
Fun write inspired by the idiom contest
New or Old 3 contest Sponsored by Eve Roper
Copyright © JAN ALLISON | Year Posted 2016
THE IDIOM I MADE UP IS - HE EXPLODED LIKE A PRESSURE COOKER
My son has returned to our home
He’s mouthy and just loves to moan
Now nothing is right
We constantly fight
He’s like a dog missing its bone!
His wife was once such a good looker
Her red lips she just loved to pucker
After botox and filler
She looked like a gorilla ...
He exploded like a pressure cooker!
The tension between us is rife
I’m his mum and not his ex wife
But his reaction is mean
Shouting, letting off steam
She left him because of this strife!
Create an idiom contest Sponsored by Jesse Day
TOTAL FICTION WRITE!
Copyright © JAN ALLISON | Year Posted 2016
Every cloud has a silver lining
in dark there's light no need to fear
if patience's kept living righteously
bad days become good luck dear
When Sun sets brings then dark
after passing time light comes again
it doesn't mean that light's forever
in life there's both happiness and pain
in despair hold conscience strong
think positive will happen very near
go ahead on with true courage
see everything bad has gone clear
For Create an Idiom - Poetry Contest
Sponsored by: Jesse Day
Copyright © BL DEVNATH | Year Posted 2016
An idiom by which she's always stuck
is 'having one's head buried in a book'
The truth behind it, she was unprepared
that morning as she went to climb the stairs.
Stopping to lift a bottle, bad mistake
especially when one isn't quite awake
her balance gone, could not control herself
now plunging headlong into the book shelf.
Bruised head, bruised knees,bruised pride was quite enough,
thankfully, make-up would disguise the scuffs.
But then she only went and made it worse
by saying that it would make a good verse.
Hopefully next time she will be wiser
and not tell me, but tell 'Trip Advisor'
29th August 2016
With love, Connie, from Viv x
Copyright © Viv Wigley | Year Posted 2016
Dad strummed the guitar
long into the night
while something called grief
scented the smoke.
We had circled to warm
our hands and our feet
while a campfire burned, and the crickets would hum
Weighted words in the dark
spoke of babes in the woods
They were lost and afraid
and would never return
Lyrics drifted through trees
like ghost feathers of ash
Swept into the pines,
that wept in the wind
Sieved from the stream of a far away land
His song disappeared, of the robins that lay
green strawberry leaves to cover the graves...
Words drifted away, and then our bedtime would come
and the darkness consumed .....a song that is gone
Yet, guiding my dreams when I'm lonely for home
and stoking the embers of a memory's moon
Resubmitted for contest sponsored by Laura Loo
(Based on an old folk son, 'Babes In The Woods", my Dad used to sing to me)
My Idiom ---"Stoking the embers of a memory"
Originally written for Idiom Contest.
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2016
I've got a fist full of Buddha,
And a fist full of Rand,
A pocket full of Jesus,
And the other's filled with sand,
That's in case I need to make some glass,
As it will proceed my foot in relation to your class,
That's a diametric description of an uncommon process,
I use it to repel obnoxious thoughts and logic,
The political storm seems to be the hot topic,
But what I see is dinosaurs in power,
Who don't want to get off it,
The ball, you dropped it,
Gigs up, you lost it,
Wings done, let's sauce 'em,
Awareness has blossomed,
We done playing possum,
You're boss, we want him,
Bring him down to the bottom,
And let's make him aware of our consciousness.
Are you really missing this?
Yo this is Excentrix,
Rich's psyche been known to split in an instant,
I represent a hulk like samurai witch,
Equipped to solve problems via the switch,
Cuz the man inside there is just a little kid,
See I tell the truth even when I lie,
Puttin' juice in busted axioms like Pie in the Sky,
"Yo dude, you know that's an idiom?"
Suck it, you're an idiot,
Guards, get rid of him!
I'm a linguistic mystic,
Suffering from a transpiritual sickness,
Where I'll always be a kid,
And live through my own deliverance.
Witness as I stab my own body of Christ,
Feels so nice to bleed emotion into the night,
With Excentrix as my weapon of my own conception,
I can justify intervention into the seas of deception,
Cleverly apply art to the lesson,
Of respecting yourself and recognizing transgression,
I don't need a stinking studio session,
Just flex my pen and in the end I'm winning,
My mental digestion invents a feeling,
That feeling going to climb me to the top of nimbus,
Behind us is a portal to another dimension,
Forgot to mention I'm the medium for the transmission,
I must be the exception because I'm good at listening.
I flip furniture when pressured,
Then turn a lecture,
Into a story told next to a lectern,
No disrespect sir,
But I'm disturbed by your indiscretion,
So curb your enthusiasm,
Before I burn this whole place down with plasma,
I got the EMP flow I brought back from the Matrix,
Excentrix is MVP for knowing when to go back to the basics,
Take it from me,
The artistic process is worth taking a stab at,
Just to prove that we're all humans,
And American Celebrity is mostly a magic act.
Copyright © Rich Metzger | Year Posted 2016
Slipperier than a Greased Eel In a Vat of Astroglide
That Hillary’s sociopathic streak is a mile wide
In case you haven’t noticed, the fix is in
But her followers love her even if she’s guilty as sin
We all think she should be a woman of greater convictions
Both moral and criminal, given her total lack of friction
She’s got a layer of Teflon thicker than Gotti
And to the Secret Service, a mouth full of potty
She looks crookeder than even a barrel of snakes will
Phonier than A William Jefferson Clinton three dollar bill
© By Author
For Contest: Create An Idiom
Sponsor: Jesse Day
Copyright © Tom Quigley | Year Posted 2016
A scientist pursuing research—
with disinterested curiosity,
Poets distancing themselves—
from personal emotions,
from ‘personality’ (in Eliot’s idiolect),
A sportsperson focusing on the event—
not obsessed with results,
demonstrating sporting spirit,
Anyone doing their karma—
regardless of results,
as characterized in Indian scriptures,
notably the Gita—
All these are instances of detachment—
Of varying degrees
And of course in various domains.
Thus, they all fit into a paradigm.
The old order changeth, yielding place to new!
There was a paradigm shift in the globe—
Detachment suddenly changed
To (greedy) Attachment—to profit.
And the Rat Race started.
It originated in Keiser’s pre-War Germany.
Chemical industry sponsored Academic programmes.
But chemical weapons were piling up.
Oh, what a pity!
And war seemed to be the only solution—
To dispose of the weapons.
No free lunch!
A weak Kaiser yielded.
Germany plunged into war—
A development not dissimilar
To the piling up of warheads in the US,
Leading to the Gulf War.
Kaiser abdicated and fled.
Now, a broken Germany
Had to launch another war,
To salvage its economy—
With far more disastrous consequences this time.
The Fatherland broke down.
Führer killed himself.
Germany was broken in two.
But the new paradigm continued to work—
The world came to be governed
By corporate concerns,
No free lunch!
The rat race continued
And still continues,
At breakneck speed,
Between the two Geopolitical Blocs,
Between members of the same Bloc!
What about ideology, then?
No free lunch!
The paradigm shift means
Commodification, Cutthroat competition,
Aggressive marketing, Subliminal appeal,
Exploitation of labour.
What about ideology, then?
No free lunch!
Benjamin Bloom came.
Displaced Liberal education
Academies gave up Engineering,
Research was all geared to
A noble, commercial purpose.
The world became a Workers’ Paradise,
(in Tagore’s idiom)
Exploitation of labour?
Will go on.
No free lunch!
But what about values?
‘Politically correct’ language, please.
No free lunch!
Of late busy with contests—of course.
And write only for prize money!
The muses or Sarasvati?
No superstitions, please.
No free lunch!
All on the market,
Waiting to be bought off
Or already auctioned.
Can’t help it.
No free lunch!
And sporting spirit?
What do you mean?
Current English, please!
No free lunch!
And what about detachment?
Why, are you a Buddha?
A Charlie Chaplin?
A Rip Van Winkle or an ET?
Google Postmodernism and Kali Yuga
And find out.
Read rags and update.
Or you’ll be detached.
No free lunch!
Om, shantih, shantih, shantih!
Copyright © Ram R. V. | Year Posted 2017
I was drinking wine
I was making minds mine
I was turning keys
I was setting people free
I was being deceived
By the silent side of me
I was welcomed home
I was gone away
I was free to roam
I was told to stay
I was being confused
By the soul that I had used
I was flying by
I was flying high
I was never questioned why
I was prepared to die
I was beautified
By the ugly side of life
I was crying tears
I was drowning in my fears
I was feeling weak
I was releasing my years
I was afraid to peak
Afraid to get near
I was smart enough to be a step ahead
She did more crying than I did
I was strong enough to be brave
She loved enough to be my slave
I was dumb enough to let her go
She was smart enough to lose hope
Copyright © Ryan Wegenast | Year Posted 2011
Caught between two stools poor grandma's toilet paper
Not for the Contest(Idiom with a double meaning: )
Inspired by SilentOne's One liner contest
Copyright © Charmaine Chircop | Year Posted 2016
Many plan to live for ever
But can only try
Death always visits
No matter how hard we cry
Faith in longevity is ill-judged
Life spans vary
Time rolls by
One day we are welcomed
Another we have to say goodbye
To be distressed about death
Is to want to go on and on
None can out last the end
The biggest question is WHEN
Living and dying are twins
That cancel out each other
Only one can take the stage
But they are eternal bedfellows
The only truth we know
Is that we who live must die
This is our only steadfast truth
Any other idiom is a lie
When we are stone cold
That’s when life stops
An obvious statement
That the daily grind of living cannot forget
Three score ten?
That’s a myth from way back then
You are here one minute
And gone the next
All before you live
The life you thought best
Death is here to stay
It outlives the now
It cannot be bribed
It cannot be bargained with
It just takes as it sees fit
Luckily it only comes
After you have lived
Copyright © evrod samuel | Year Posted 2015
I’m the mother of the sprawling expansive earth,
From the greenest eastern hills to the western shores.
I own all those verdant plantations and their owners;
All the high quarters and the glittering executive doors.
Before the eyes of bubbling presidents opened
I was, and their virgin earthly cries drew my notice
Before the world knew the existence of waves,
The coming of talking toys found my fertile forties.
I’m the mother of the trendy multi-colored world
But I long ago ceased to claim a single thing in it.
They think I need a car and a chauffeur but, No!
I just need them to know I own every earth’s bit.
They think all I need is a dress and a matching scarf.
Of what use is a gown to a mother so full of mirth?
I need the haughty prized models only this to know:
They hold the fleeting beauty but I own the earth.
Their language is the chirruping of restless birds
And the mischievous kids think I ought this to learn,
They will never unravel the hidden wealth of my idiom
That gave them life and prosperity, and wit and fun!
I used to teach their deaf ears as their frames grew
But they ignored the genuine voice of their true soul,
Until another spoke with a weird tempting voice
And they naively hearkened to a stranger’ call.
Copyright © Hannington Mumo | Year Posted 2015
An idiom for you
An idiom for me
It’s just an expression,
a message, you see.
Silence is golden.
Trouble comes in three.
Each to his own taste.
The powers that be.
A rock and a hard place.
Bat out of Hell.
A pig in the poke.
The day will tell.
Pedal to the metal.
Pie in the sky.
Over the top.
Apple of my eye.
Pictures paint a thousand words.
They are dropping like flies.
Put your thinking cap on.
Pull the wool over his eyes
Now, I have shed
some knowledge here for all.
Go learn some more idioms and
have yourself a ball!
Copyright © Michael Degenhardt | Year Posted 2008
sage (is) acumen,
a life force calms = meaningful;
wisdom (is) the idiom.
Scribe January 9, 2015!
Copyright © Verlena S. Walker | Year Posted 2016
With you here in my life:
All enemies seem far away!
No longing have I now to roam!
The world seems like it’s meant for play!
Your aura’s warmth is always home!
God knows this cannot stand:
Illusion hide your heart from me?
Demonic agents Love erase?
Our stars subvert astronomy?
Without us is there even space?
Oh where were you when world began,
And where suppose was I?
And where the bridge that crossed time’s span
In twinkling of an eye?
From dust we’re made, to dust in kind, (1)
From star’s hearts we were blown,
To share Creator’s heart and mind,
It’s all we’ve ever known.
(1) ‘in kind’ – An English idiom. Suppose you are selling eggs, and I am selling bananas. You give me 3 eggs and I give you 2 bananas in trade. No money changes hands but we both accept that the exchange is a fair one. The sale then is said to have been 'in kind', i.e., produce for produce.
God gives us the star dust to make our bodies and when our lives are over, we pay it back to him 'in kind.'
MAYBE THE LAST LETTER - POETRY CONTEST
What irony Elly! Every condition of your submission standards is met with this poem. She is 16, a young poet herself, surviver of an accident/attack on her family that killed her mother, father, and younger brother. Car hit by a military truck on a winding narrow road, the car perched on the edge of a cliff, her mother pushed her from the burning car, only to die herself with her husband and son.
The young girl fell some distance, only to awaken a month later after several surgeries with severe head trauma, having missed her family's funeral. Taken in by accident almost, by a woman who turned out to be her mother' best friend from her school days, in a completely serendipitous reunion (they did not know of each other), the young girl survived another automobile attack/accident escaping with two broken legs after a hit and run injury.
Then within a month small pox came. And then just weeks later, brain tumors resulting from the original accident have put her life in danger again. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy and has withdrawn from communication with others because she can't bear to think people are feeling sorry for her. Sadly there are those around her as well who say she is bad luck and fear her company! Her name is N**** and she has a poet's heart. She became my honorary Grand-Daughter shortly after her family's accident and and I, her honorary Grand-Pa. I love her with all my heart. She needs all of our prayers. This poem was written the night of her disappearance. Don't trust the internet right? But for my part, I believe every word of this story is true.
Copyright © Brian Johnston | Year Posted 2014
the lights are on but nobody is home,
the confused elderly mumble and roam,
at the nursing desk they stand,
their minds in another land,
no shoes, no clothes, the hair could use a comb.
May 4, 2015
The lights are on but nobody is home, is a common idiom, cliché
used to describe a person mentally vacant or lacking awareness.
For the contest, Dumb and Dumber, Personal Quotes,
Sponsor, John Freeman
Copyright © Broken Wings | Year Posted 2015
I saw you alone with her in silence,
gaping…there’s not much more I can handle.
You were the one I’d go to for guidance,
but for now I’ll just blow out the candle.
A blaze we shared under constellations,
flames of romance; be still my beating fears.
So intense we died in consummation,
but the breeze came along and brought me tears.
I needed you…like the air in my lungs,
you needed freedom from my restless heart.
Our hot flare left leaving ashes that stung,
but the wind blustered, our torch did depart.
Wax melted before we got to dandle,
so for now I’ll just blow out the candle.
Create an Idiom Contest
Idiom: "Blow Out The Candle"
To me this means the loss of romance; a fire of love burned out
Date Written: July 21, 2016
Copyright © Laura Loo | Year Posted 2016
Considering how many times I set out to pen a small,
Master piece of art, a gem that might underwrite,
The utter liability of being just that stamp,
Or tramp, or whatever other denomination one might reliably take into use,
To put me in some camp,
By way of classifying the contingent being -me-
Whose eagerness presently strives to present
Himself as himself as truthfully as Truth writ large,
In terms, of course, both endearing, flattering and “brutally honest”,
(Which, parenthetically, is what my soon to be deceased ex-step-mother-in-law once Said,
Would be the way she would have to describe some of My more salient character flaws)
To you my reader, my chosen few, my undeniably very few chosen few,
As a being in the here and now,
As living flesh and burning spirit,
As a man of substance and substantial capacity
To transmit radiant rays of thoughts,
That reside, quite Evidently,
And in no doubt to some degree by Providence,
Within an interior space- MySpace- where nothing gets elbowed around-
Nor for that matter ever gets liked, commented upon, shared,
Or, even worse, put at risk of going viral-
For this is after all an authentic space,
Not a virtual race to create a face,
Nor a terrific place to leave a cyberlinear trace
But a true mental galaxy,
An individual-wide web of self-associating neurons,
Where all and everything is self-made and dependent upon Nothing more,
Than a small light switch which I alone am the master of-
This then will indeed be far from the grandeur of the art I imagined.
Therefore my fair friend
I humbly ask,
With hand on heart,
Notwithstanding those fingers so inclined to be bent and crossed,
And hat in hand
(That would be the other hand)
For your forgiveness and forbearance
And do solemnly promise to get this little ritual over with
As fast as a cat on a motor scooter-
Which is an image I kind of like by the way
Because it reminds me of Sally,
The old toothless Steinbeckian woman who lived alone above the basement apartment,
A dank little hole I might add,
Back in 1992,
Where my ex-wife, now an Artist, used to live in a snotty little town called Westport.
Sally uttered those timely words
With a Cheshirean grin to boot her point home
Because her landlords were kicking her out
Not only for going sour apple on three months rent
But for being a rotten apple to begin with in a part of the world
Where only Golden apples were entitled to reside.
Sally had to get the hell out.
Faster than a cat on a motor scooter.
Oh toothless rootless Sally how I celebrate you!
Hardly a master of your own destiny
You were at least a Masterful speaker
Unlike those marginal creeps,
Mr. and Mrs. Somebodyimportant,
Whose sharp noses wedged you out
Of their little cash crop cottage
And who no doubt live comfortably
This very day
In some vaulted tomb under Floridian myakka
My little friend
Are but dust in the wind.
With that aside now put aside
I now commence
To end quickly this brief debriefing
And by way of Introduction
Will only add the most necessary details to conclude
What urgently needs to be concluded as rapidly as possible,
To paraphrase our heroine in modern idiom,
Then a cat going global on youtube.
One important detail to get over with,
A small but relevant
Fact of the matter,
Is confessional by nature:
I hate introductions because they do
In fact Matter
Under the unique circumstances
Which with bated breath and increasing alarm
I have come to recognize
As not only necessary
In a way-
How do I say this?-
That will not only defy
The very conceptual idea
But defy it in such a way
As to peel its meaning down
To its very atomic anti-structure
Which is to say,
That brevity in my hands
-Drum roll please-
Is brevity in geological time.
Why you ask?
I suffer from nothing less
Then a syndrome,
Unique upon this earth-
(Oh wretched wretched earth you are!)
Unique among all earthlings,
(With some note-worthy exceptions among
Those posturing, lumbering humanoids called writers)
And certainly unique among all rational creatures
(Who Nature by way of de-evolution has so endearingly
Immunized against MyDisease by way of social nurture
And social constructions that protect humanity’s bloodline from madness),
In proper taxonomic terms-
Copyright © Yorn Called | Year Posted 2014
So, as we say in Greece
That’s where I’ll End my story
For the things that happen next
Weren’t made for song of glory
So many Tails, throughout the ages
Have spoke of love and loss
Of passions and betrayals
The triumphs and the cost
But never was one told
That meant as much to me
To launch a thousand ships
And survived through history
And with every great Greek story
There’s a lesson to be learn
So, I’ll leave you with this message
Now the last page, has been turned
The moral still stands true
Throughout all time, which passes
Don’t steal a person’s love away
And beware Greeks bare-ing asses
THEE END Authored By Jerry T Curtis
The Year of The Horse
Copyright © Jerry T Curtis | Year Posted 2014
- - - Chapter 1: Early Days - - -
My father was a rich man, la, *
Though schooled in poverty, (1)
As such he seldom raised his head,
The center of the ‘Dust Bowl' years,
Just thirty miles from home.
And children, seniors died from this
(Their lungs were clogged with loam) .
A huge tornado struck Woodward, (2)
Destroying our downtown,
It, cut a swath near one mile wide,
Dad fought back, doubled down.(3)
When storm had cleared, sky was fire red,
Dad put me in the car,
But roads were blocked in just three blocks,
The world become bizarre!
Barbed wire that penetrated trees,
Homes cracked like eggs insides,
Our home had grass blades drove like nails,
Into its wooden sides.
The biggest storm in history,
My dad was gone for days,
Storm victims sleeping on our floor,
The whole town in a daze.
Dad's rebuilt store, nicest in town,
Our home ‘across the track, '(4)
Attended too the poorest school,
But did not suffer lack.
Appearance was Dad's calling card,
No pretense there to see,
For ‘living too high on the hog, '(5)
Caused bankers misery.
The school board melted to Mom's charm,
(Or to her tongue of fire) ,
For with Dad's stature in the town,
Few dared to risk her ire!
Good teachers forced to leave rich schools,
Complained it wasn't fair,
Till they encountered Sis and I,
And found that they could care.
That was my mother's legacy,
And ‘ART' (6) the air she breathed,
Though slight she strongly stood her ground,
Our future she bequeathed.
We did not know the difference,
Just sometimes things were tough,
Our clothing did set us apart,
We always had enough.
There were some very poor kids there,
The same clothes thru the week,
Impoverished not just in clothes,
But that which all men seek.
I had a bike to ride around,
Of course it was a Schwinn,
And almost always home for lunch,
For Mom thought we were thin,
With two desserts at every meal,
(And Mom was quite a cook.)
But if you didn't clean your plate,
From Dad you got a look,
The waste of food a mortal sin,
A thump upon the ‘bean, '(7)
Made every meal traumatic fare,
And tears a daily scene.
My guess is Dad got worse than me,
Depression's (8) oldest child,
I mourn the innocence he lost,
That made his wrath seem mild.
Our parent's roles were well defined,
My dad brought home the bread,
My mom the joy of hearth and home,
Dad's entrance met with dread.
My dad did most the punishments,
But whippings weren't enough,
We even weren't allowed to cry,
To show we had the stuff!
Small wonder romance frightened me,
(So sure I'd be like him) ,
To challenge violence I feared,
Chose music over gym.
An auto-biographical look at family life impacted by both the American Great
Depression and the Dust Bowl years (1930-1950) in the Mid-West, divided into
This is a work of love and homage to the courageous and desperate people who
survived both. I hope that you enjoy it. New Chapters will be released as I complete
* When I was in the American Peace Corps in Tanzania, East Africa we had a group of
7 surveying assistants that were always with us in the first year and that we became
very close to. Their conversation was always sprinkled with 'la' and I thought it was
kind of cute. Like they might say to me, 'Why don't we stop in this village for some
food, la.' They used this word kind of like I use the word ‘OK' in casual conversation.
'You've got food in your teeth, la.' I really enjoyed this idiosyncratic affectation.
(1) ‘poverty' - born in 1911, my father was just 19 years old when ‘The Great
Depression' hit the US economy. The Dust Bowl began shortly after.
(2) Woodward, Oklahoma - the town that I grew up in.
(3) ‘doubled down' - after Dad's business was destroyed completely by the tornado,
he doubled his efforts to be successful in Woodward, borrowing heavily from the
local banks to do so.
(4) 'across the track' or 'wrong side of the tracks' referred to the part of town where
poor people lived, frequently, but not always, meaning 'colored people' as well. In some
towns no 'colored people' were allowed to live in the more prosperous 'white only'
area. Some towns (like Woodward) had no Negros at all. I take that back. One black
male did have a job shining shoes in the local 'Baker Hotel' but I think his home was
in the country somewhere (He did not live in town).
(5) 'living too high on the hog' - an idiom referring to people who have to have the
most expensive things in life and buy them frequently on credit even though they
can't really afford them.
(6) ‘ART' - My mother was a gifted painter and wood carver, but even meals she
prepared were done artistically. Art was always spelled with capital letters in her life!
(7) ‘thump on the bean' - to hit the offending child hard on the head with the
knuckles of your closed fist.
(8) 'Depression' - Hard times, not mental issues. (Actually works both ways though
I guess!) Born the oldest of 3 brothers and one sister, my dad's father worked him
hard and used a leather shaving strap to whip his boys when he was upset with them
about anything. Grand Dad Johnston made my father seem like Florence Nightingale.
I believe that he beat his wife as well (just a guess) .
Copyright © Brian Johnston | Year Posted 2014
Dizzied by the whirl of crowds
On sidewalks, seen through windows --
Reflected in mirrored, columned walls --
I drink, I eat, I mull and fret, I yearn,
Little lulled by homely music
Softly playing beneath sonorous
Strains of Spanish
(Beautiful tongue, not yet quite my own,
But now not strange to me --
Not wholly foreign.)
I sneak sidelong glances, I peek, I stare.
And I almost always feign indifference:
A pseudo-cosmopolitan air.
I am quiet and excessively polite,
Not yet knowing how to be rude
In this still stiff idiom.
And, I am ever intensely lonely --
Hungry for a caressing, offhand phrase,
Or only a stray familiar word, hardly heard,
Whispering all there is to say of home.
Copyright © Leo Larry Amadore | Year Posted 2011