POETIC BLOOMINGS

POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.

CONTEMPLATING WAVES OF EXPERIENCE: A Short Memoir in Poetry by Claudette J. Young

ClaudetteCB

Table of Contents

I Am……………………………………………………………………….2

Down on a Farm……………………………………………………….3

Mrs. Runyan…………………………………………………………..4

Claudie Identity……………………………………………………..5

Recipe for Self ………………………………………………………..6

Days on Needles and Pins. ………………………………………..7

Enigma…………………………………………………………………. 8

Bill………………………………………………………………………..9

A Ton of Hats………………………………………………………..10

Decompressing………………………………………………………11

Observance and Charity…………………………………………12

Lessons………………………………………………………………….13

Life’s Little Lessons………………………………………………..14

Making Life Happen……………………………………………….15

My Friend……………………………………………………………..16

-1-

_________________________________________________________________________________

I Am

 

Focused concentration
Within minefields of steps,
Mental or physical outlay
Pushing my independent way
Toward day’s task’s completion.
Sun’s rays do bath me with
Happiness, pointing to my next
Movement’s direction along paths
Of life’s many lessons;
Seldom pausing for breath.

-2-

_________________________________________________________________________________

Down on a Farm

 

A farmhouse,
Two stories tall,
Each with tales to tell
Of late naps or Howdy,
Doody with Buffalo Bob
And strings that made fantasy real,
Until Mom’s shepard’s stove drew us toward
Her kitchen’s delights for both nose and tongue,
Claimed my life throughout year’s four seasons.
Eight foot cedars touched nine foot ceilings
Before Santa’s bells sounded late
On snow-packed holiday nights,
And oyster stew simmered
To tempt all gifters,
Loosing laughter
Held in check
Too long.
Ha!

-3-

_________________________________________________________________________________

Mrs. Runyan

She came as part
And parcel of fourth grade,
A sturdy woman with
Hair of snow, cheeks red,
Eyes bright with mischief.

She read to us
To broaden our view
Of time and history
Within distances
Comprehensible.

Fridays existed only
For our performances
Before our peers
The better to learn
Self-confidence.

Justice trumped fairness;
Always with gentle care,
Always for learning’s sake,
Forever to teach honesty
Of goals and purpose.

She cared, this padded
Woman wearing her
Topknot and pearls;
She earned her respect
By doling out the same.

-4-

_________________________________________________________________________________

Claudie Identity

 

How do I speak
Of the names that
Defined me so long ago?

Claudie belonged to
Family in two states,
As if none other would do.

Sissy was reserved
For baby bro
To call me in need.

Sissy outgrew it
By age ten, then
Only Claudie remained.

So it was true
Forever within family,
One friend included.

Toward maturity’s days
Came Clauds and Claudsy
To many’s confusion.

Could it be
That my proper name
Cannot stick to me?

Or is it simply
That my given name
Has no hold on my

Identity, as it touches
Little of the self
That resides within?

-5-

_________________________________________________________________________________

Recipe for Self

Grind emerald into moss
Taken from the little people,
Add leaves from tartan greens,
Mix with “Saxon via Hastings”
For the perfect blend of flavors;
On the side take Native civilization
With a thing for alphabets and toss;
Add dressing with sea’s tang
For the journey to the table,
And enjoy the resulting dish.

-6-

_______________________________________________________________

Days on Needles and Pins

Breakfast! Eggs, toast, sausage—
Don’t forget Daddy’s lunch fixin’s!
Get brother ready for visiting.
Ah, where are we going to stay today,
And is it on the calendar?
Which neighbor do I get to help?
Will it be running bloated sheep,
Or laundry and lawn or
Maybe only canning or garden harvest?
Get clothes ready to wash tomorrow,
And don’t forget to straighten the house.

Please God, bring Mom home soon.
Make her well and let us have her back.

-7-

___________________________________________________________________________________

Enigma

Those who knew her knew
Little of her heart or spirit.
She lived between our lives.
Afternoon naps, regardless of season,
Taught conservation of energy.
Woods lore taught nature’s
Need for man’s conservation.

Mother was many people.
Her art began with kitchen duties
Where dough could feast a king
And candies could grace a shop.
Her fingers and heart could heal
Children as easily as abandoned
Wildlife, all within her kitchen.

Tinsnips and aluminum cans
Declared a purpose for recycling
With tiny furniture vignettes she gifted.
Watching her paint brush flow across
Her china and color the evening,
And seeing how her fingers shaped clay
Into figures, taught the meaning of art.

Stern when necessary, smiling else,
Mom saw beauty in other’s trash,
Purpose in nature’s offerings,
And value in things from the past.
Quiet of spirit and long seeing,
She tutored by example, whether
With needle, herb, act, or word.

-8-

 _______________________________________________________________________

Bill

Better known as Tiny,
Provided by forest and field,
Factory and barter to
Tend his family with due
Care and Southern need.

He taught by example,
Hands-on old school learning,
Expecting our best, accepting
No less from our efforts,
As we strived to comply.

Pride in us carried to the ears of
Others who beamed at our
Accomplishments and our deeds,
While we waited to hear private
Praise that came with a head pat.

Love comes where nourished,
Taking aspects of all moments
To distill into an essence of
Continual relationship,
Relegating time to the sidelines.

-9-

___________________________________________________________________________________

A Ton of Hats

I was the black hat
To his Lone Ranger,
The puller of wagons
To his rider in style,
The runner to rescue
To his needing of rescue,
The one in need of a loan
To his full piggy bank,
The barefoot place kicker
To his running quarterback,
The hats shifted from
Time to time without
Thought of who wore what.
Our closets abound with brims,
Never far from our hands,
Having been broken in
At various stages of life,
Though never worn out,
Saved back for next time.

–10-

___________________________________________________________________________________

Decompressing

Twelve hour work day,
Six hours late dancing,
Begin again.

Friends said, “Come here,”
And we went to see,
Only to stay.

Better food than most,
Twenty-four hour breakfasts,
Conversation.

Soon, all regulars
Squeezed into booths
To laugh, learn, chill.

We became known to all,
Musketeers, booth hopping,
Breakfast swapping.

Their faces come unasked
Onto mind’s theater screen,
Waiting review.

All young, all playing with life
Until adulthood required more,
Always with me.

-11-

____________________________________________________________________________________

Observance and Charity

Thanksgiving, with its feast
And festivities, families and fun,
Instructed all passing through
Granny’s kitchen that no feast
Prepared itself, no magic was used
Except planning and hard work.
True lessons commenced when packed
Parcels of heavy meals came into young hands
For delivery to a neighboring household;
One whose holiday came from others
With enough to share on a cold day.
One plate for the old lady, bed-ridden;
One plate for the old man wheeling himself;
One plate for an addled oldster in back;
And another for the youngest brother;
The last went to the matriarch sleeping
With the living room’s finery completed
By a wood stove with fuel supply nearby.
Humility came with receipt of gratitude’s
Smiles and heartfelt thanks, never to be
Forgotten nor reduced in memory to petty.

 -12-

 _______________________________________________________________________

 Lessons

 Are you kidding?
School’s out already?
If I could have just one more
Week of lessons, you see,
Earth’s secrets could be
Revealed to me, I’m sure.

If I could have just some more
Time to learn these new knots,
I could fashion such a lovely
Piece of art for living room’s wall,
And add knot twists to gifts
To nestle under December’s tree.

I know I can relearn this tatting
Thing that Grandma taught me
So many years ago, with needle,
Or maybe shuttle, to make laces
For those who care for such things,
Bringing aging lips smiles of remembrance.

There must be something small to
Tuck inside mental files for later use
On today’s journey to tomorrow;
That day, which always eludes me
Upon waking to realize even more remains
Behind to snag on my mind’s trolling hook.

Who walked these trails before cars clogged
Lanes with choking fumes and roaring noise?
How did people lives here without our
Conveniences and opportunities for mobility?
Do you think that time machine will be finished
Soon enough for me to ride time’s currents back?

-13-

________________________________________________________________________

Life’s Little Lessons

New challenge met new life within old,
walking with another through days
overflowing with pitfalls,
trusting other’s good eyes
to pilot my life
through blurred mazes
night and day,
without
fear,
for
in that
deft guiding
presence I found
future’s filled cup held
strong in my shaking hands,
waiting for my consumption,
prepared to teach me of things new
for living beyond life’s hard challenge.
Vision’s image, it sharpness fractured,
leaving me adrift among waves
of shifting hues and movement
amid echoed sound shards
for higher learning’s
sake, a future’s
goal of self’s
pending]
life.

-14-

____________________________________________________________________________________

Making Life Happen

How odd that life
Has come so far
Without plan or
Long-term goals;
How odd that I
Sit here writing words
For purposes of
Looking for regrets,
When for so long
I worked to remove
Them from future life;
How odd that in
Looking back I can
See only forward to
The knowledge that
I am who I made
Myself to be within
A future I designed,
And to regret steps
Taken or missed mars
The one I am or could be.

-15-

____________________________________________________________________________________

My Friend

Time’s mist fuddles origins.
My catch phrase came from
Another poet… that I know.

One poet on a new site
Titled me as such long ago.
I liked the sound and purpose
Of those two simple words—

My friend–as in, you can be.
If I’m not wrong, that was Marie,
Who threw out that first lifeline
And drew me in to say hello
Onto the crowded forum stage.

It took time to form the habit
Of seeing others only as friends,
As yet unknown, to welcome
And bring home for a chat.

Hard habits to break, my friend
Gets referenced within comments
Ether-wide, not by name, but function.

-16-

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