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Lives touching Lives, like a Pasted Picture Collage

 © 2012 Janice J. Robinson

*

*

I step back into the past

retracing paths chosen and those not taken.

                                          

Lives touching lives, never fully embracing.

Memories are free … As the years take their toll

All that’s left sometimes are these.

Fragments of time,

like a picture collage

pasted on our minds

Of people, friends, and family … now long gone

Frozen forever in a Kodak moment

We watch while weaving paths of curiosity …

like stone gates that open to nowhere.

Pleasant snippets of color …

like a little girl’s favorite dress …

the swing set out in the back yard

with a real metal slide

that branded you clean down the ride

on a hot day in July ….

You never forgot it.

Tall and lofty rafters in a sand stone garage

that my Grandpa built.

We used to jump off

those rafters and bounce with

glee on the old brass bed below.

Innocently ignorant of the impending impairment

if we had missed our target.

Playing house in the apartment side of our old garage

Sweeping up thirty years of dust and grime;

finding a once beautiful dark blue linoleum with faded bouquets

on the living room floor

The same place where Grandpa told us his brother died.

“Yep!” … Grandpa said …

“his brother tried to save a cat,” he said,

“that fell into the washing machine …

and so he jumped in after it and then he drowned.”

Grandpa said “that they buried him in the crawl space

of that Old garage … in a laundry basket …”

my gosh … we swallowed his tall tale whole.

But afterwards … we “knew” why the door had a lock with a skeleton key.

*

We wouldn’t go out there after dark. Uh, Uh … NO WAY!

*

We’d rather walk down the darkened cinder alley,

past Old Mikes house and clean round the block,

rather than come in

By the back gate and walk past that old garage.

A latent fear that De-De might rise from the dead somehow.

Birthday parties out back, cake and ice cream

Hot dogs on the grill

letting pebbles drop down

the old well just to

hear them splash …

hiding under the grape-vine while playing

Hide ‘n Go Seek

not cognizant that my feet were showing

walking around the Rose of Sharon bush… which we called the “Bee Tree”

                                                                                    Bee  Tree

Grandpa showing us how to make dolls from its Flowers and

draping corn silk wigs on them, almost crushing them.

Darkness falling and sparklers lighting up our yard

Like wayward lightning bugs

Hot summer nights, lying ever so still

so we could cool down

and go to sleep.

Eaves closets so long and dark … you could get lost in them.

A headless and armless monster

that I ran into

in one of those darkly lit closets.

Found out later after I stopped screaming,

it was only Mom’s sewing mannequin.

Thank God for brothers!

But it sure scared the creepers right out of my jeepers.

In the upstairs bedrooms

Which we wouldn’t be caught In

after dark

Playing the game of whiplash

until one time my brother flew through the wall

of the same eaves closet he rescued me from,

just like a cartoon character.

Hmmm … Grandpa never spoke a word,

but only brought over his plaster trough and fixed it up right.

Barefoot races down old cinder alleys

throwing rotten apples at old Mike’s house ….

running scared so he couldn’t catch us and club us with his cane.

The 1950′ s blue and white Dodge with push button shifting,

so long it wouldn’t fit into our garage.

Its wings taller than me.

                                                        

All that’s left sometimes are these…

Fragments of time,

like a picture collage

pasted on our minds

Of people, friends, and family…..

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April is all about poetry – Vol. 1, no. 26

April is the time for sweet reminiscence of days gone by and days that are yet to be in which we keep our memories, neatly tucked into the pockets and folders of our thoughts.  It is strange, but sometimes our physical minds betray us in that we have difficulty remembering what we ate for breakfast and yet we can remember with stunning clarity what we did twenty years ago.  We often can remember conversations with loved ones that we can recall with precision. The following piece is about Alzheimer’s disease and how it takes its toll on the people we love.

 

 

 

‘Agnes’

Just one flicker of recognition illumines her ancient eyes,

as she opens her door to let me inside.

   “You’re familiar.  Your mother’s name is Mary, isn’t it?”

I tell her once again,

      “No, Agnes, my mother is Helen.  Mary was my Grandmother.”

And so the conversation falls into the old rutted pattern

Like every visit before.

Once, a proud and stately woman.  Independent to her innermost soul.

Alive with ambitions and dreams.  Filled with

electrified energy that would burst at the seams.

   “Did you know my husband, Tony?”

      “No, I didn’t Agnes.  But I knew your mother.”

   “We’re related aren’t we?”

Days filled with game shows, movies and news,

Nutcracker Suites and Wheel of Fortune.

   “I wonder if they can see us?  Do they know we’re looking?”

      “No, Agnes, they can’t see us, but isn’t it nice

       that we can see them?”

The battery is low once again on the smoke alarm,

Beeping its routine rhythmical pace.

   “What is that noise?  It must be a cricket.”

I wander into her kitchen making my periodic forays,

First through her refrigerator and then her cupboards.

I try not to offend the woman who once possessed

   such a keen business acumen.

A mind that now swirls in a vortex of forgetfulness.

A half gallon of almost spoiled milk, the lone inhabitant in an

otherwise spotless realm of darkened cold.

Cookies that have been barely touched dominate

the barren counter top

So I make a mental note to bring her some groceries and a new

battery to silence that

‘darned old cricket.’

As we sit in her living room, she looks over at me

with eyes still clear, she pats my hand and smiles.

Silence fills the void for an infinitesimal moment

Between commericals for Dial Soap and Pepsi,

“Who are you, honey?”

By Janice J. Robinson  © 1995

If you are a Christian poet in the Chicago area, at least for the month of April, this writer would like to make available to other poets a place to exhibit some of your poems. Please only submit your own original poems, since you can give permission to publish your work. You can contact this writer at poetess755@gmail.com. Your poems must glorify the Lord God, or His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ or the Word of God. God Bless you in your endeavors

More at:  http://www.examiner.com/article/april-is-all-about-poetry-vol-1-no-26

 

April is all about poetry – Vol. 1, no. 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While April is not the month that we honor our Mothers, yet my Mother loved to garden and she looked forward to getting out of the house every Spring, around mid-April to begin tending her flower gardens.  She also left her earthly house on April 13th to be with her Lord Jesus, her Savior and sprung into her new life.  So this poem was written for her in 1995 as this writer honored her Mother in a public venue at the Poet’s & Writers Literary Forum in Springfield, Illinois as we performed our literary works at Barnes & Noble Bookstore.  There is a truism that is fitting at all times,

            “Don’t give me flowers when I am dead, but give them to me while I yet live.”

 

‘Calyx of My Soul’

 

Cool green protects me.

Soft silk nestles against

my cheek. Sweet perfume

assails my nostrils.  I

never thought of you as

a guardian of my heart,

but an obstacle to growth.

Holding me in, restraining

my freedom

to be me.  But reality

shocks one to inner awareness

and a gentle awakening of

the harsh world

you spared me from.  Too

soon, your calyx fell away

and I was free to experience life in every shadow of

turning, every delicate

nuance, every dissonant

crashing.  Like waves

upon rocks, steadily

wearing away with time.

To you Mother, the

Calyx of my Soul, and

I, in my turn will

form a cool, green protective

shield for my new grown

buds that will one day

bloom into their

sweet maturity.

To you Mother, for the

sweet perfume you

left behind.  To you,

the

Calyx of my Soul.

 

By Janice J. Robinson     © 1995

 

If you are a Christian poet in the Chicago area, at least for the month of April, this writer would like to make available to other poets a place to exhibit some of your poems. Please only submit your own original poems, since you can give permission to publish your work. You can contact this writer at poetess755@gmail.com. Your poems must glorify the Lord God, or His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ or the Word of God. God Bless you in your endeavors.