PROMPT #347 – SO MUCH FOR TECHNOLOGY

ANCIENT WORD PROCESSOR

Today, we vilify technology. We found some new gadgets made our lives better. But some were like opening Pandora’s Box. Think of some technological wonder of this modern age and then consider its predecessor. We want that poem. Write of an old technology as it was or as we remember it. Lift it up or paint it with a dour brush. Your cell phone is your old land line (still have one). A cassette or CD was your music player. We’re getting anachronistic of you. Today, everything old is still old but we’re resurrecting the idea of them. Write a new poem about an old thing!

MARIE’S OLD DAYS:

Milk Delivery
 
Back in the days of house-to-house milk delivery, Uncle Ray had the greatest technology:  a horse-driven, refrigerated milk cart. The horse knew what she was doing.  She would take Uncle Ray to the first home on the route.  He would grab enough ice-cold milk from the cart for the next several homes.  She would walk the cart to the spot where he would need to grab more milk, and wait there for him. Then along came even newer and greater technology:  refrigerated delivery trucks.  Unfortunately, Uncle Ray was not permitted to turn down the newer technology.  Not only did it make his job harder, but he lost a dear friend and coworker. 

Often new knowhow’s
know how is negligible
or nearly inept.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

WALT IS ANCIENT:

LOST DISCONNECT

A lost connection:
a faulty wireless router,
giving and taking away.

A frayed cord on the telephone
cracking and crackling and
inaudible incoherency.

A heart string that was
forever pulled taut but
was never allowed to break.

A sibling rivalry that threatened
the familial bond beyond repair,
brought to bare by the passing of our Pa.

All misdeeds and failures forgotten, a phoenix rising,
in the imminent demise we will all face,
dealt with in grace and dignity.

I find that lately I balk at technology.
I'd rather talk to my genealogy
face-to-face in full embrace.


© Walter J Wojtanik - 2021

243 thoughts on “PROMPT #347 – SO MUCH FOR TECHNOLOGY

  1. STICKS AND STONES

    Sticks and stones were brilliant.
    They were nature’s best toys
    that brought us the joys of childhood.

    Sticks happened to be machine guns
    that housed unlimited ammo,
    that didn’t kill, maim, or destroy.

    Stones were the legos of the days of old.
    Dusty, dirty, irregular shapes of grey
    building blocks as free as the earth.

    Sticks and stones were brilliant.
    Until nature’s best toys became
    the tools and weapons of destruction.

    Sticks were replaced with AK-47s.
    The wicked steel of automatic weapons
    stole the joys of innocent childhood.

    Stones were replaced with heinous drugs.
    They became the new building blocks
    for a life of crime, addiction, and doing time.

    Benjamin Thomas

  2. THE BEST TECHNOLOGY

    In the old days, the best entertainment
    streamed directly from one’s own
    imagination.

    There were no needs for downloads,
    petty subscription fees, or confusing
    commercial competition.

    There was no need for a screen,
    to be tethered to an electronic machine,
    or plethora of messages to be seen.

    There were no need for cell phone towers,
    dropped calls, bad signals, because
    all you needed was an electronic imagination.

    An imagination never required
    the best coverage, fees for talk, text, and data
    to keep one entertained.

    The best technology was the spirit
    and wild imagination of a child; who
    playfully explores the colors of the world in style.

    Benjamin Thomas

  3. Marie, your poem created a flood of memories for me, especially of a rag man who had a glass eye and a big grey horse. Loved it.

  4. THE WOUNDS OF OLD

    Bones can shatter.
    Flesh can be cut.
    Bones can heal.
    Flesh can be stitched.

    The mind can shatter,
    like brittle glass.

    Shards of splintered
    self, scattered en masse.

    Emotions can be deeply
    slashed, deeply cut.

    Although—

    Bones can shatter.
    Flesh can be cut.
    Bones can heal—

    but…

    The healing of the latter
    can’t be switched.

    Benjamin Thomas

  5. BIG WHEEL COBRA CYCLE

    Who needed a car payment
    when you could get an old Cobra
    big wheel cycle on Ma’s dime?

    Sleek, and mystique every time;
    a three wheeled black menace
    with a snake curled to the top.

    You didn’t need to top it off
    with unleaded gas, but it would
    last as long as you did— or it’d stop.

    Just needed a bit of old fashioned
    foot juice, know what I mean? Elbow grease,
    as they say.

    So you had to keep your foot lose,
    if you wanted to look cool cruising
    down the sidewalk on Cordova drive.

    Benjamin Thomas

  6. Of Wings and Platforms

    In a new electric world
    with eclectic stages
    we may reach broad audiences
    but it’s not the same
    as this physical experience . . .

    We show up as moths to light
    take a turn in the glow
    show our fellow beings
    just what we’re made of
    expose soft-center
    heart revealed.

    Words pour forth
    magnified and mirrored back
    ignites faces of watchers
    gathered souls become one
    in that brief lit moment . . .

    Gossamer Wings Shimmer.

  7. Forgot to add… yesterday marked the 11th year that I’ve been sharing poetry in person at the local UCC which we call the neighborhood. I’m actually in the schedule to read today! I’ll be back to enjoy everyone’s poetry on this platform that is dear to my heart and is one where we do gather and share our hearts. 💓 Thank you for each of you! 😊

  8. Truths

    Pages once typed
    are now word-processed
    on laptops and i-pads
    mistakes once permanent
    now deleted
    with the touch of a key.
    Term papers on paper
    are replaced by files
    on flash drives
    emailed to instructors
    after a round of video games.
    Research online offers
    different slants on facts
    ever-changing truths.
    Questions once asked
    face-to-face
    are texted,
    cues offered
    by body language replaced
    by the media we chose.
    The sun shines
    on a virtual landscape,
    spring and summer recalled
    by computer-generated birdsongs.

  9. Simpler Times (for me)

    Not a Luddite, certainly, but
    still overwhelmed and
    even a little annoyed by
    the world of
    Netflix, Prime, Hulu,
    and all the other
    five-dollar-a-month
    time sappers.
    My youth was long ago,
    but I still remember
    and appreciate
    my little white AM radio,
    the one which brought me
    home team sports and
    a Chicagoan who read poetry
    late at night, while I hid
    under the covers,
    pretending to be asleep.
    Life was so much simpler,
    less complex, easier for me.
    But of course, there was also polio,
    and there were lynchings,
    the back of the bus for black people,
    corsets for women,
    closets for gays.
    All that, but only one brand of corn flakes.
    Simplicity carries a price tag.

  10. Marie, I always hearken back to the “good old days” around my natal day, and your piece enriched my thoughts today, recalling my dad delivering Omar bread in Wisconsin, driving down country lanes, beeping his horn, so all the kids would come out with notes from their moms for their orders, giving each kid the reward of a Bazooka bubble gum.

  11. The bane of progress.

    Composing once was nothing more than waltzing pen o’er paper dance floor
    but when Royal’s Signet hit the store, one handed writing, nevermore.

    Ten flying fingers troubadour quickly morphed into dinosaur
    when the power of PC hit the store, the bane of whiteout I forswore.

    Hardware-software esprit de corps, autocorrect, accept, ignore
    but one habitual carriage-return settled the score, sent my PC to the floor.

  12. Hey, y’all. I was just thinking along these lines. The heat.
    This piece is on the long side because of that. Apologies.

    Oscillation

    We went from town
    to country
    on every other Friday
    evening. Back
    home again on Sunday.
    To television,
    toilet paper, indoor plumbing,
    ice cubes,
    square white house, black
    oscillating fan
    that could slice pencils
    (they said).

    Those alternate, country weekends
    had a light bulb hanging from the center of each ceiling;
    a rope-and-pulley well;
    two-hole outhouse with crumple-softened newspaper,
    out-of-date Sears catalogs, spiders, wasps, flies,
    aromas, cracks;
    a yard full of chickens, a pasture with five cows,
    two mules, four fox hounds, two rabbit hounds, pigs;
    barn cats and their equally feral kittens.
    The telephone line was shared with seven other families,
    each with its own special ring, anyone
    able to pick up a phone (to see if the line was free)
    and listen a while. The coals
    in the wood-fired kitchen stove never died iron cold.
    The only insulation under the bare tin roof was air.
    The only fans were your hands
    maybe waving a magazine, or rounded square
    of cardboard tacked to a tongue-depressor-like handle
    with a Jesus scene and the address and phone
    of some funeral home.

    But the porch was shaded, smooth dark gray concrete,
    and cool on the hottest days. And if you lay
    on the seat of the porch swing
    and put your bare feet on the chains, a push
    would move the swing just slightly. Timed
    carefully, a second push added to the sway.
    Another, and another, and the swing rocked
    side to side, breezy. The slightest pushes,
    and you were your own
    oscillation.

  13. Ain’t No Buggerman Out Tonight Daddy Kilt Them All Last Night…

    Just before the lightening bugs
    Came out to play,
    And after supper had been ate…
    We ran out to play
    One last game of tag…
    Sometimes freeze tag,
    But my brothers were told
    Don’t swing her so hard.

    Sometimes we had spent the day
    Over Johnny’s listening to him
    Tell his tales with morals, and
    Da recite his poetry…
    We would have a bowl of soup beans,
    Cornbread and chow-chow.
    The best food, I ever had.
    I would have a glass
    Of warm milk fresh from the cow,
    And Myrtle, Johnny’s wife,
    Slipped me a bit of chocolate syrup,
    When Ma was not lookin’.
    Ma would shake her head
    At the both of us.
    Their grands would call to me…
    “Skunk come play with us…”
    Johnny would say, “Don’t call her that.”

    We would gather together,
    And decided who was the buggerman.
    The buggerman would hide,
    And try to catch us.
    The rest of us would marched around the house,
    Shouting loud enough
    To have people looking out their windows
    And shaking their heads.
    As we marched with our arms linked,
    In unison said,
    “Ain’t no buggerman out tonight,
    Daddy kilt them all last night.”
    The buggerman jumped from out of the bushes
    As we ran squealing
    To our base.
    Then it began again,
    Until the last one caught
    Became the buggerman.

    By then the lightening bugs were out,
    And we were given a jar.
    I would carry that jar filled with lightening bugs,
    And Da would put me on his shoulders
    As he turned their magic loose.
    This was the best of summer.

    But no more is it the summer for children.
    They play video games,
    And watch programs they like.
    No one goes out to play tag,
    Until it gets dark,
    And catch blinking bugs
    That some call fireflies,
    But in the south
    They are lightening bugs.
    How sad for them.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    August 15, 2021

    • A couple of things…. Johnny and Myrtle were my surrogate grandparents… and when I think of who my grandparents were… they are who I think of as mine. A buggerman well it is a haint,( a ghost that is an evil spirit) or a ghost or a monster or someone scary…. in Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a place known by locals as buggertown.. Probably developed over now but I remember locals saying, I am going up to buggertown.

      • I worked in Pigeon Forge one summer when Dollywood was still Goldrush Junction. We’d take our paycheck stubs to The Burg for half price on most everything, free shows, but no buggertown hainthouse.

        • I was living in Hillsbora Acres back then across from the grammar school…It was originally Rebel Railroad and my brother worked there and I got to ride the train for free… then there Silver Dollar City… and then GoldRush junction used to swim over at the pool Monday thru Friday…. Got a horrid sunburn and thus the reason I had melanoma… and it was in the early stages so thank goodness… lived in Waynesville before then.. But if you went to the Glades community that is the general area of Buggertown which is really close to Dollywood…

  14. THE OLD CREAMERY

    Treat days
    With my grandmother
    Involved the old creamery
    On Pacific Avenue
    Where we’d decide on our flavor
    In her old car
    On our way
    Excitedly discussing
    Chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry
    Just to start
    Whipped cream was a must
    And certainly, a given
    The man, dressed in white
    With his pointed hat
    Behind the counter would politely ask,
    ‘What would you like today’?
    After ordering
    We’d sit down nearby
    Watching the whole process
    The very cool fountain glass
    The scoops of delightful ice cream
    The whirring sound of the machine
    The fresh whipped topping
    The beloved cherry on top
    And their immediate delivery
    To our table
    As fast as they were able
    Already excited
    Ready for our chosen favorite
    That day
    That cherry
    A cherished memory
    Of times long gone
    Now
    Yet I can still see us
    Eagerly awaiting
    Our sacred treat
    A sweet choice
    The sound of that machine
    With our growing anticipation
    Not the same as the drive through at McDonald’s
    Stopping the other day
    Grabbing a milkshake for my husband
    As that old memory of the creamery
    Faded into the sound
    Of the impatient car behind me
    Knowing there would be no cherry on top
    After my stop
    Yet I was grateful for
    my sweet memories
    of times I once had
    And still treasured
    Long ago
    Of my grandmother
    And that old creamery
    On Pacific Avenue
    As I can still imagine
    And hear
    The whir of that old timeless machine
    Still churning In my head

    (c) Janet Rice Carnahan 2021

  15. The Ice House….

    Da was going to make ice cream.
    He said, “Sis, come with me.”
    I knew we were going to the ice house.
    In my young heart,
    I did not say to Da,
    What I was thinking
    For I was but eight.
    The building was ancient
    The wooden boards
    Were worn and broken
    In the rough grain grooves
    In greys and blacks.
    The smell of ice
    Came through the crumbling walls,
    Clean, and powerful, and cold
    On a summer day…
    It smelled as the air smelled
    Just before a snow falls.
    We stepped inside the screen door,
    And there in the dimly lit building
    Young men worked bare from the waist up…
    Their muscles rippled as they
    Took the huge metal tongs
    To lift the ice into the machine
    That roared grinding noises
    Until the ice was crushed
    Into bite size pieces.

    My eyes never left the young man
    Who waited on us often.
    He was from Cherokee,
    Dark black hair
    Heavy and smooth,
    And eyes deep and dark
    I never could fathom
    What he was thinking.
    His skin dark, and
    He often winked at me,
    When Da wasn’t looking.

    Sometimes there would be
    Girls, I knew closer to his age,
    Who stopped in to get a bit of ice,
    And I know to look at him.
    I understood.
    I was eight, but
    I understood.

    I used to see ice houses
    Now and then, and
    Wondered if there were young men working
    In the cold and sweating
    From the work.
    I don’t see icehouses anymore.
    Now you pick it up from the grocery store
    Or gas station.

    It is not the same…
    By the time I was thirteen
    Most of those ice houses were gone.
    What a shame,
    For I would have been
    One of those girls
    Who came by to get a bit of ice,
    And see the young men working.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    August 15, 2021

  16. A Letter In The Mail

    I think I shall write
    a letter. Better yet,
    I will write it in
    purple ink. The receiver
    will open the envelope
    with care and curiosity.
    He/she will touch thick
    stationary, note flow
    of writing, style
    of each letter, and nod.
    ‘Yup, that’s her. What
    a job I have now to decipher
    the words. No mistaking
    whose handwriting it is.’
    I will wait eagerly
    for a reply.

  17. Anachronistic

    My son is a bit anachronistic.
    When he was 8, he discovered old-time radio.
    Someone had bought a set of cassettes
    of the old shows for my mother:
    Burnes & Allen, Fibber McGee & Molly,
    Abbot & Costello, Jack Benney, Phil Harris,
    Our Miss Brooks and the Bickersons.

    Being homeschooled, we encouraged
    him to follow his own bent.
    He spent hours with the old comedians
    and even had some of their routines memorized.
    If you want to relive the old radio days,
    talk to my son, he knows more about them
    than the eighties when he grew up.

  18. Just for fun!
    It is scarce to see someone using a pocket watch these days, so I thought this old poem about a lost one might both fit within this fun prompt, and bring a smile to someone’s face. I hope you can allow yourself to wander into my wacky imagination, which envisions me “diving” into tall grass to recover a lost pocket watch. This is my rendering of an amphigouri with an Easter egg.

    (An Amphigouri riff about a pocket-watch lost in the tall grass)

    Alas! And do cruel pirates sail
    ‘mongst towering waves of grasses green?

    Perhaps! Frogs jade, and pimpled pale
    half frightened, dive to depths unseen.

    Indeed! I plead, may snail and whale
    give credence where, and what they’ve seen.

    Oh, treasure lost in verdant dale,
    unctuous yon ticking tangerine!

    Return! I, lest in quest should fail,
    impersonate a submarine.

    (Just for fun, each stanza begins with an exclamation.
    As an additional poetic Easter-egg, the first letter of each line is an acrostic. Hope you enjoy it)

    • Okay. NOW you’re just showing off. LOL! Kevin, I hope our Connie Peters sees this. She will be entertained and thrilled with the acrostic, and just as amazed as I am with how you pulled it off. This is a fun read. Entertaining. Visually delightful. Flawless rhyme and cadence. Unique in subject matter and presentation (i.e., I guarantee nobody else has done an acrostic of amphigouri, lol!).

      Rattle magazine is a hard one to get in to. I’m going to suggest you send this to them, and see if they will accept it for publication. It’s different enough and SO cleverly written, I think it just might have a shot. Let me know if you need some help finding them.

      In case I haven’t “really” said this yet, I am THRILLED you are posting here at Bloomings with us!

  19. The Respect for Your Elders….

    Growing up, I learned to call
    My aunts and uncles their titles respectfully,
    And later when I was grown
    I did it out of love.
    They were different
    From each other, but
    They were the older generation,
    And we knew they were owed
    Our respect.

    I listened to their stories
    Of how their lives had been.
    I knew my mother’s cousins, and
    Some of my father’s I grew to love-
    Like Ansel who told wonderful stories,
    Some lovely ladies who used to come to call.
    I didn’t have to read history books
    To know how it was back then.
    Somethings I did not like,
    But Ma told me to hold my tongue.

    There was Cousin Lucy who was a Todd,
    But married my mother’s cousin…
    And another branch of my tree
    Is so entwined I don’t dare to tell ya.

    I remember when I was first called “Aunt”
    And I thought I was all grown
    Though only fifteen.

    The world makes me sad these days…
    Our stories have become obsolete.
    There is much more interesting tales
    On the internet than sitting and listening
    To an old woman remembering.

    I look at these younger people,
    And think if they disregard us,
    Because they think our time has passed
    What will become of them
    Because they disregard life
    That is not their own-
    Unless it fits their cause-
    Will the next ones who come
    Who are disjointed from their elders
    And having lost their wisdom,
    For the young are rarely wise…
    It takes life to teach us
    And the lessons are not easy…
    Will they say, these lives are useless
    It won’t hurt to let them go.

    Except their souls
    Will be damaged…
    For each choice we make
    In this life…either builds us up
    Or breaks us,
    But
    Along with the respect for our elders-
    We no longer teach
    Choices have consequences,
    And choose wisely
    Young one.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    August 16, 2021

    • I pray daily (several times per day, actually) for my granddaughters. This is a whole different world than the one I grew up in. I pray daily for protection, and for wisdom that comes only from God. For the girls to draw close to Him. For them to make wise choices, and to learn from the ones that weren’t so wise. But as I pray for them, I realize I need the same things every day and in every way … and I pray for myself.

      • it is a strange and difficult world they are growing up in and I worry for little ones and who out there will form their minds…I have great nephews and one great niece who have been too much influenced, and my heart has been broken hard this summer for them and their parents….I have been praying hard not to let anger rule my heart… I posted an old poem this morning that popped up in my memories….

        I will not let hate rule my heart.
        I will not let anger take my peace.

        I will walk the walk of forgiveness.
        I will allow the Lord of Peace
        Shine His Light through me.

        I will wake in the morning
        And rejoice for what will come to me that day.

        I will close my eyes in sleep grateful
        That I was not alone that day.

        If someone brings me anger….
        I will be an instrument of peace.

        If someone brings me hate…
        I will let the Lord of Love
        Use me as an instrument of healing.

        I will not condemn those who do not agree
        With me, but accept that they are on a journey
        And I will pray for them to have a safe journey.

        I hope that in some small measure
        I can give more than I ever was given
        Knowing that this is an impossible task…
        But knowing in my heart it is possible.

        I will not let anger and hate
        Rule who I am.

        Mary Elizabeth Todd
        August 17,2017

  20. Like the One Who Raises You

    Perhaps The Machine of my acquaintance
    was first pounded by crusty men leaning in
    from beneath green visors crouched
    in the eerie light from darker green
    shaded lamps teetering on desks
    ashy from stubbed cigarettes
    round glass keys trembling as
    smudged fingers jabbed steel keys
    grayed from dust and paper pulp
    the zzzzz of paper ripped from platen
    the endless clacking of words
    spewing letter by letter behind
    cloudy glass partitions

    typing classes yet the hallowed purview
    of high school boys destined for newsrooms
    and boardrooms so our second-hand
    Underwood of questionable provenance
    sat on the hand-hemmed ironed cloth
    atop a varnished typing table
    made by my oldest brother in wood shop
    solely and only to hold the hulking black
    and gold machine at the ideal height of 28”
    complete with splintering bench borrowed
    from some long vanished piano, tarnished studs
    the only reminder of velvet upholstery aside from
    some frayed bits yet fluttering

    after brother left for seminary and before
    they told him to pack up and leave
    I had free range balanced on a stack of books
    to sit and pound the keys; grade school fingers
    straining for the clickety-clack that meant real
    words marched between one-inch margins
    pinkie fingers aching from pressing shift-keys
    that lifted the heavy platen for capital letters
    keeping one eye out to manually reverse
    the ribbon spool to avoid shredding
    red and black nylon once it filled the second reel

    and yet here I found more satisfaction
    than mandatory piano practice where
    notes vanished into anguished air so unlike now
    when I could read back my efforts
    count strokes per minute, take pride
    in endless chains in their endlessly
    repeated combinations until one day
    The Quick Brown Fox jumped over its log
    as I heaved a heartfelt sigh of relief
    only to be bested later in high school
    time and accuracy drills by a senior pianist,
    unable to compete with her muscled arms
    hardened and honed by concertos nd sonatas

    came the day the tall business teacher
    in her black habit and flowing veil led us
    through glass doors into the Business Room
    to stand gape mouthed in front of the only three
    electric typewriters owned by the school
    finally letting us touch one after calling them
    State of the Art and Sensitive, memory
    still vivid of jumping back when struck keys
    fired like rifle shots from fingers’ accustomed pressure
    confirming a truth too soon compromised:
    I’d never use them

    but alas the Real World called
    and I was loosed into a jungle:
    Picas and Elites, hulking IBM Executives
    with variable spacing followed soon
    by the whirling balls on glitzy Selectrics
    all them too often draped in yards
    of inky nylon delicately lifted by
    manicured nails as whining stenos
    insisted I alone knew how to
    Untangle Rewind Unjam Reset

    but fickle though I came to be
    buried in the back of my mind
    was my first love long mothballed
    somewhere as an antique and yet
    like the one who raises you always
    remembered, never forgotten:

    • I read this one three times, soaking in all the details. As is always the case in your poems, I can put myself right there. I can see and hear and smell and feel … feel both with hand and heart. You must be one of the most mindful people on the planet, Pat. The details here (as always) leave me shaking my head.

      “grade school fingers
      straining for the clickety-clack that meant real
      words marched between one-inch margins
      pinkie fingers aching from pressing shift-keys
      that lifted the heavy platen for capital letters”

      With all the amazing lines and phrases and visuals and points I could choose from, it may seem odd that this is what made me smile, but it did. This wording took me back.

    • SO many familiar lines describing my own march through time. I also started with a manual…with the mind to become a typing teacher. By the time I finished my education and started my student teaching…that march through time landed me as the teacher of “keyboarding” on word processors.

      Lovely walk through my memories, your poem. It was a wistful feeling I had, reading the ending.

  21. A SNAP OF A CHAT

    Longing for the romance
    of a handwritten letter,
    she decided to take a chance.
    Longing for the romance
    of a give-and-give dance,
    she thought, nothing’s better!
    Longing for romance
    she sent a handwritten letter.

    She sent a handwritten letter!
    He knew those strokes and curves.
    Forget texting, he thought—this is better—
    she sent a handwritten letter!
    Carefully he penned his reply to her
    conveying all the love she so deserves.
    She sent a handwritten letter,
    he knew her strokes and curves.

  22. In a Better Time

    We had a very big vegetable garden
    A natural apple orchard down back
    And we picked wild strawberries in the spring
    Searched the stream banks for fiddleheads
    And fished the ponds, rivers and lakes

    A water pump stood outside the kitchen door
    An outhouse out back for our bodily functions
    And the bedroom pot for us to use at night
    That was until we moved into the big house
    Inside plumbing was a big upgrade

    Church every Sunday and Wednesday
    Had the hymnal just about memorized
    And still remember the words today

    Books and notebooks out to do homework
    Glad we had encyclopedias to look up stuff
    30 volume Britannica just a few years old
    We couldn’t afford new, but they will do

    Homework done now TV time with the family
    Which channel tonight? ABC, CBS of NBC
    Or that other channel broadcast from Canada
    That’s all we had but always something good on

    I was the designated television remote control
    Whenever anyone wanted the channel changed
    It was a very important job because
    If we missed a show, we missed a show
    And we sure didn’t want to miss a show

    We got the real news from a newspaper
    Or from the 5 o’clock evening news
    We actually got both sides of a story
    Or at least we thought that’s what we got

    On our party line the phone would ring
    One long ringy-dingy and two shorts
    That was our signal to answer it because
    It was for us and any other ring wasn’t

    I wore my older brother’s hand-me-downs
    Except for the new clothes we got for Christmas
    Or the ones we bought with our harvest money
    I loved the school break for potato harvest
    It taught us the importance of work

    Harvest time also meant the leaves were changing
    Nowhere in the world is it as beautiful as
    Northern Maine when the leaves turn bright
    Every color imaginable springs forth just before
    They fall to the ground in preparation for winter

    Winters were long and cold and very snowy
    We would snowshoe through the woods
    And make tunnels in the drifting snow banks
    I loved skating on frozen streams and ponds
    But was very happy when spring sprung warm

    Saturdays and summer days were the very best
    Out after breakfast and back before sunset
    Bike loaded with bat, ball, football and
    My basketball stuffed here and there
    No helmet or pads back then
    And no need to check in

    Times were so much better way back when
    One job alone could support the whole family
    Four TV channels were more than sufficient
    We knew our neighbors, even the ones miles away
    And everyone looked out for everyone else

    I thank God for growing up way back when
    I thank God for knowing poverty and family
    And what it meant to make do with very little
    It was a better time at least in my mind
    And it made me a better person
    For that, I thank God once again

  23. Scrap of Paper

    “There’s a little rosewood casket
    Resting on a marble stand”*

    On my coffee table rests a scrap of paper…
    It no longer serves a use.

    Except

    On the small yellow scrap of paper
    Is a list of three phone numbers
    Written in my mother’s hand…
    The numbers will no longer
    Connect to anyone I know…
    I should toss it.

    Yet

    It is her practical firm
    Writing that left notes
    Of sayings she loved,
    And recipes she made,
    And even once
    A coded love note,
    I cannot read
    Written by my father to her.
    I should throw it away.

    But

    There it is laying
    A bit of her essence,
    And I treasure it.
    I wonder what
    Will those today treasure
    When there are no notes
    To find of such
    Common information
    Like phone numbers
    Written by someone
    Loved and now gone…

    “With a packet of old love letters
    Written by my true love’s hand” *

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    August 16, 2021
    Traditional folk song “Rosewood Casket”*

    • I used to play a mountain Dulcimer… Rosewood casket is one of the songs I used to play… Ma sang a different version of it… but it is about loss of someone that the person loves.

    • You played a mountain dulcimer? Sooooooooooo not surprising! Love that!

      I can 100% relate to the sentiment in this poem. Whenever I come across my mom or dad’s or Aunt Peg’s handwriting, I know it immediately. Of late, it mists my eyes.

      My youngest daughter took handwritten “I love you” from my mom and dad, and had them tattood on her wrist. ❤

      • oh that is so cool… my niece Kelly had a dogwood- the symbol of Ma tattooed on her shoulder… I wanted a tattoo but due to my allergies… my friend the tattoo artist said don’t do it.

  24. OLD MOTHER NATURE

    Mother,
    used to be our best friend.
    A team of breezes a familiar feel.

    A caravan of peeking clouds
    sauntering along, witnessing
    the kidful play of youth.

    Bellows of sun
    bouncing about, dazzling
    on ray-baked skin.

    She gifted us
    with butterfly treats, caterpillars,
    the night-glow heat of lightening bugs.

    There’s nothing like
    unbridled, unconditional love
    of a mother.

    Tight hugs of evergreens,
    sweet kiss of deep valleys,
    steady, cool comfort of rains.

    Mother,
    used to be our kin,
    until we traded her for pixels of the present day.

    Benjamin Thomas

  25. The loss of storytellers

    I ain’t talkin’ bout
    Those people trained to be storytellers…
    They are more actors than real storytellers…

    I ‘member when I was small, and
    Johnny would say,
    “I have a story to tell about a man…”
    He would draw out the story
    Until you just couldn’t wait, and
    Someone would say,
    “Johnny, what happen to that man?”
    And he would give us a moral to remember.

    Then there was Emily Bell Boney Bell…
    A find Christian woman who played by ear, and
    Ma called it her bangin’ on the piano, but
    When she got to tellin’ a tale
    About a dress she made for a bride
    Who wouldn’t have had a pretty dress to wear
    If she hadn’t a took some of her time
    To make for that young woman to wear.
    She would walk up to you and say,
    “I gathered the cloth up and put a bit of lace,”
    And she would be movin’ her hands
    To show how she gathered and put that lace,
    And then she would say,
    “She was the prettier than a sunrise.”
    They all were pretty.
    When I lived with Emily Bell Boney Bell,
    I met one of those brides she dressed.
    She was but sixteen, but she was pretty
    Standing there looking like a princess.

    The there was the tall tales
    That Jeff Devers used to tell/
    He would come early on Saturday mornings
    To go fishin’ with Da.
    He would go get a cup of coffee from the pot,
    And sit down tell a tale of my stuffed bunny.
    “I can tell this ain’t an ordinary stuffed bunny.”
    He would shake his head and say,
    “No, Mary Elizabeth, this bunny has been places.”
    Jeff would proceed to tell me a tall tale
    Of that white stuff bunny of mine.
    Made me want to visit those places.

    I listened to the old ones
    Tell me tales of my family.
    I learned much from them.
    Once I was telling a story to a nephew,
    And he made a joke about all my stories.
    It wasn’t a kind joke.
    I was sad because we lost something
    When we stopped listening
    To those who lived longer than us.
    It was his loss that made me sad…
    Not the joke he made
    That made others laugh at me.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    August 17, 2021

  26. This has nothing to do with the prompt. I just felt like writing it.

    FORGED SWORD

    Their words,
    aimed—
    struck like hammer and anvil.

    Their words,
    maimed—
    me, made me.

    Who I am.

    A double-edged sword,
    forged—
    from heated steel.

    A forged blade,
    pounded—
    made by blows of hate.

    They did not
    know—
    what they would create.

    A weapon,
    glinting—
    illustrious in the light.

    They would see,
    their reflection—
    casting dark deeds.

    They would see me
    shine—
    freed, from ill-conceived affections.

    Benjamin Thomas

    • powerful and I love how you free yourself… Last December my rapist died…I wrote this the day of his funeral…

      I Am Free…

      I am free in a way
      Most of you will never understand.

      I am free from the darkness
      That huddled in my heart.

      I am free from the fear
      That lurked in my mind.

      I am free from the prison
      That kept me chained to darkness.

      I am free as the wind
      That blows through my forest.

      I am free as the stars
      That dance on clear nights.

      I am free to sing
      Those songs of joy I tucked away.

      I am free
      Unbound
      Unfettered
      Unchained
      And my life
      Is no longer owned
      By another.

      Mary Elizabeth Todd
      December 9, 2020

        • thanks and I do also because I believe that these words touch those who understand but cannot express, and those who are blind to those being abused, might just realize this is a true problem…

      • A brave and powerful expression here, Mary. They say you forgive not for the perpetrator’s sake but to free ourselves. Your poem seems to give yourself a sense of release. A great heart you have!

        • thank you, but that heart was forged in struggle… and it did… after his death some said to me he is in hell, and I said to them… that is between him and God… I have no part of that… his sister who is medically fragile and I have helped from time to time said that her brother was with Jesus on Easter, and I had a twinge,,, and had to revisit my forgiveness of him.. and if he is in heaven… that is between him and God, and if he is there… then I will trust God that he forgave him.

  27. My last contribution for the week, I promise.

    Ephemeral English

    Technology is a vocab thief; patois of purloined phrases
    Aged terms since civilly borrowed have not regained their places.

    Once birds did tweet, and cookies sweet, and troll ‘neath bridge did dwell,
    Streams were for water, bytes for fodder, and illnesses spread Viral.

    With Clouds in the sky and spam in the can, our catfish swam in rivers.
    A friend was close, we booted for snow, and restaurants had servers.

    A bug with no legs, nor tree verdant leaves, and the superhighway runs on busses? What?
    Virtual is unreal, and intelligence artificial, and while logging now, no buzzsaw buzzes.

    We text with our thumbs and tag with a mouse, and swipe a page here to elsewhere;
    we pin without pricking, and browse while reclining, and “my Word” is now just software.

    Via on-ramps we’re on-line as we download the low-down, so ‘cross continents Christian can mingle
    our beloved OED grows more portly each day as tech-savvyness makes us bilingual

    • i will have to ponder this… but initial thoughts was dull for most our language skills have become…we no longer write in many letters.

        • MET
          Yes, I see your point. Thanks for the feedback. I sincerely appreciate it.

          Side note: The poem is trying to point out how technology has “borrowed” many common terms and has failed to return them; like borrowed tools found months or years later hanging in your neighbor’s garage.

          Most of the pilfered terms mentioned in the poem are now more commonly used in their new technological sense and less often heard used in their original meaning. i.e. Some younger folks have only heard certain technology terms in their modern usage, and never associate them with their original meaning. i.e. kids still “dial” a number on their cell phones even though no “dial” exists. They speak of someone being on “the other line” even though no actual “lines” are connected to their phone. And when finished with a call they “hang-up” never envisioning replacing the phones corded handset onto a hook which is part of a phone hung on a wall.

          Poetic Blooming’s “Comment Box” allows for very limited formatting, which for the way I often write makes sharing my work a little more difficult. This poem in the original highlights the purloined words I am putting forth as examples, so there is a visual effect that helps underwrite the point. The following terms, if they could be, should be highlighted:
          Tweet, Cookies, Troll, Stream, Byte, Viral, Cloud, Spam, Catfish, Friend, Boot, Server, Bug, Tree, Superhighway, Bus, Virtual, Artificial Intelligence, Log, text, tag, swipe, pin, browse, Word, on-ramp, on-line, download,

          Thanx again
          KP

        • WordPress’ (Poetic Blooming) “Comment Box” allows for very limited formatting, which for the way I often write makes sharing my work a little more difficult. This poem in the original highlights the purloined words I am putting forth as examples, so there is a visual effect that helps underwrite the point.

          The following terms, if they could be, should be highlighted:
          Tweet, Cookies, Troll, Stream, Byte, Viral, Cloud, Spam, Catfish, Friend, Boot, Server, Bug, Tree, Superhighway, Bus, Virtual, Artificial Intelligence, Log, text, tag, swipe, pin, browse, Word, on-ramp, on-line, download,

          Thanx again
          KP

          • Hi Kevin! I tried pasting in some instructions Walt had shared with me for bold and italics, but ended up not working. So I deleted it, and Facebook personal messaged the Word document to you. Hope it is helpful!

            Your forever sis, Marie

        • Poetry is subject to taste … just like music, visual art, food, architecture, etc. Not everyone can relate to or enjoy every style.

          I understand what Mary is saying, but I don’t “relate” to it. We are all different. That’s part of what I love about this site. Personally, I find Kevin’s poems to be brilliantly entertaining and skillfully written. Ridiculously so, even. 😀

    • This poem packed and pressed like brown sugar, so LOADED with wordplay, comparison, analogy, observation, and pun … WOW WOW WOW!!! What a fun read, Kevin!

      May I ask how long it takes you to compose poems like the ones you have shared with us? Because if you can pump these out in a “flash,”, I might have to “drive” over there and “byte” you! 😀

  28. This is a test, this is only a test….

    OK, Let’s see if the WordPress Comment box will take HTML commands:
    The following terms, if they could be, should be highlighted:
    Tweet, Cookies, Troll, Stream, Byte, Viral, Cloud, Spam, Catfish, Friend, Boot, Server, Bug, Tree, Superhighway, Bus, Virtual, Artificial Intelligence, Log, text, tag, swipe, pin, browse, Word, on-ramp, on-line, download

    If this had been an actual emergency, you would have been instructed to tune to one of the broadcast stations in your area. This concludes our test

    • Amazing, I never would have thought of it.
      Here’s the poem as it should look then:

      Ephemeral English

      Technology is a vocab thief;
      a patois of purloined phrases
      Aged terms since civilly borrowed
      have not regained their places.

      Once birds did tweet, cookies were sweet,
      and troll ‘neath bridge did dwell,
      Streams were for water, bytes for fodder,
      and illnesses spread Viral.

      With clouds in the sky and spam in the can,
      our catfish swam in rivers.
      A friend was close by, we booted for snow,
      and restaurants had servers.

      A bug with no legs, nor tree verdant leaves,
      and the superhighway runs on busses? What?
      Virtual is unreal, and intelligence artificial,
      and while logging now, no buzzsaw buzzes.

      We text with our thumbs and tag with a mouse,
      and swipe a page here to elsewhere;
      we pin without pricking, and browse while reclining,
      and “my Word” is now just software.

      Via on-ramps we’re on-line as we download the low-down,
      so ‘cross continents Christians can mingle
      our beloved OED grows more portly each day
      as tech-savvyness makes us bilingual.
      —————————————————————————————————————————————-

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