Recent Posts for the 'Poetry / Quotes / This ‘n That' Category

Tenderhearted (Raspberries): A Summer Poem

Thursday, July 13th, 2017
Note: My classmate and “virtual resident poet” sent me a perfect poem for summer berries. Since I will be traveling this week-end and have little access to the Internet, she saved the day! I hope to post one more recipe before I leave for New England. 

Fresh Raspberries

Red raspberries grew around my mother’s surround,
instead of barberry bushes like one neighbor,
fortified with stickers,
who conspired to keep children and pets from coming through
or another with a see-through fence
to view all our goings on, while
Mother’s impress was raspberries free for the picking,
not conflicted with anger or duress
but hanging from skyhooks instead.
   Black Raspberries
Black raspberries grow in a patch near our back door,
luscious but indifferent to our separate touch,
some years hard to find through drought and rain
much like our internal goings-on;
will scratch with dispatch, but leave a lasting impression
on our tongues.
        Blackberries
Blackberries, so appetizing to look at,
grow around our pond,
a curse to our clothing,
adverse to our picking
their barbs ripping across our fingers,
draw blood rather than release berries
for their safe keeping.
On our appointed trail,
we can’t rush by the wine berries,
lush and ripe that almost derail us,
only a finger touch
before they’re mush in our mouth.

Nearing Menopause, I Run into Elvis at Shoprite by Barabra Crooker

Monday, June 19th, 2017

A couple of weeks ago I attended my Douglas College alumnae luncheon and met a poet from a different graduating class. Per my request, she sent me this poem on menopause that I love from her book Radiance. Thanx, Barbara! (Posted both on my Home Page and in Poetry/Quotes/This’nThat.)

NEARING MENOPAUSE, I RUN INTO ELVIS AT SHOPRITE,

near the peanut butter. He calls me ma’am, like the sweet

southern mother’s boy he was. This is the young Elvis,

slim-hipped, dressed in leather, black hair swirled

like a duck’s backside. I’m in the middle of my life,

the start of the body’s cruel betrayals, the skin beginning

to break in lines and creases, the thickening midline.

I feel my temperature rising, as a hot flash washes over,

the thermostat broken down. The first time I heard Elvis

on the radio, I was poised between girlhood and what comes next.

My parents were appalled, in the Eisenhower fifties, by rock

and roll and all it stood for, let me only buy one record,

“Love Me Tender,” and I did.

I have on a tight orlon sweater, circle skirt,

eight layers of rolled-up net petticoats, all bound

together by a woven straw cinch belt. Now I’ve come

full circle, hate the music my daughter loves, Nine

Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, Crash Test Dummies.

Elvis looks embarrassed for me. His soft full lips

are like moon pies, his eyelids half-mast, pulled

down bedroom shades. He mumbles, “Treat me nice.”

Now, poised between menopause and what comes next, the last

dance, I find myself in tears by the toilet paper rolls,

hearing “Unchained Melody” on the sound system. “That’s all

right now, Mama,” Elvis says, “Anyway you do is fine.” The bass

line thumps and grinds, the honky tonk piano moves like an ivory

river, full of swampy delta blues. And Elvis’s voice wails above

it all, the purr and growl, the snarl and twang, above the chains

of flesh and time.

from Radiance (Word Press, 2005), available from Amazon 

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