Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Well, since it's the season for shades and such...

***
Recalling a shade

Kicked a rusty paint can
while walking
through a shortcut:

it rolled
sideways
clattered

meandered

down to the grassy patch
to where our house
once stood; nothing

is left except for
a pile of wooden legs
from a broken chair,
a scattering of dull
emerald shards from
a window pane.

Apple white --
that's his favorite color;

it doesn't work for the walls --
the light shade of green apples,

the kind that makes
your teeth ache
with its citric juices.

I've forgotten why
my dad liked apples
(and apple-white)

so much. I kicked it again
and it broke, showering
little rusty bits, flakes
all over my shoe.

There will be a road going
through this place next year,
no one will remember
there was a house here.


(Idea for this piece from HVP's photo "Real Life Grunge")

***

Initially posted somewhere in June, I've made a few changes and offered it for dVerse Pub Open Link Night (no.15).  Friends, please join us there, there's a great crowd, and plenty of good reads.


(July 20, 2012) Linked to Meeting at the Bar: The Best of... (dVerse Pub 1st Anniversary celebrations.)

52 comments:

Fred said...

Very nice job here, you captured this consequence of urbanization extremely well. I had a friend growing up who lived on the corner of my street, well his parents were having trouble and wound up having to move. Today a dollar general stands in it's place. Memories though stay, yet the physical reminders don't always last as long

Heaven said...

A sad reflective write...remembering that a house stood there once with the onset of roads and new buildings...i can relate with this.

thanks for sharing this ~

hedgewitch said...

Change can make everything fall apart, but some things are never totally kicked away--love the description of that green 'that makes your teeth hurt..'and the sense of time turning everything to one kind of shade or another.

kcoliver said...

A melancholy snapshot. I really enjoyed this poem. Great job.

Brian Miller said...

whew....that kicking at the end of the wood...the road coming through as well...and no one will remember...evocative...

chromapoesy.com said...

What struck me most about your poem is that the speaker confronted by all this memory, sadness, and decay twice kicks at it, a powerless gesture of frustration. Yet, the action is a terribly human gesture. There's so much in life we have no control over and so much we do that equivocates to kicking the can or the rubble. A poem of substance and depth, another great write from you.

Ginny Brannan said...

A lot of melancholy memories in this story. The line
"...no one will remember
was a house here"
only partially true, because at least on person still does. Quite sad and reflective.

oceangirl said...

It makes me feel nostalgic.

Claudia said...

ugh...heavy emotions and pain in this..palpable...very nicely done..

Randy Behavior said...

I got a feeling of emotions held. Painted, but held. Nice.

Kamana said...

i can sense the sadness through your words.

Ravenblack said...

Fred, Heaven, KCOliver, Hedgewitch, Brian, Anna, Ginny, Claudia, Randy: thank you all for your comments and feedback. Really appreciate your visit and read.


Fred: that happens all the time in my city. I think most of the places of my childhood no longer exist. It's fine when you don't want to remember, it's sad when you are trying to retain even though memory remains.

Anna: yes, it's a bit of helplessness, and things that will be as they are.

Ginny: interesting observation, and you are right, I think. :)

Ravenblack said...

Kamana: thanks for your visit and comment. :)

Daydreamertoo said...

Awwww everything gives way to progress. This has a sad, inevitable feel.

Ravenblack said...

Yes, inevitable and sometimes sooner than one likes. Thanks for reading, Daydreamer. :)

Laurie Kolp said...

Mmm... I love this emotional, visual piece. I could taste that sour green apple.

annell said...

What others can't remember, you will never forget.

Steve E said...

...and nobody will recall that rusty bits and flakes of apple-white went showering all over your shoe.

But maybe one file bright and sunny day, a rider on a fast motor scooter (Bergman?--grin!) will spot a tiny shard of dull emerald in the pavement just beneath his shoe. And wondering...he just might wonder?

Victoria said...

This is just wonderful. The details that you wove into the musings on the past make it so vivid. This reminds me of something Ted Kooser or Jane Kenyon would have written.

manicddaily said...

Very well done, down to the feel of the sour apple between's one's teeth. Very evocative imagery really and flow. K.

johnallenrichter said...

I loved the slow cadence of what appeared to be a mellow afternoon..... Was it metaphoric? Soon the memories of those years will be gone? A truly lovely and perfectly described moment either way.....

Ravenblack said...

Laurie, Annell, Steve, Victoria, John, manicdaily: thanks for your feedback and comments. Glad you all enjoyed it.


Victoria: that's a big compliment. Thanks! I love Ted Kooser's work and how his poems are so accessible and relatable.


John: somewhat metaphoric I guess. I sometimes find it becomes a metaphor even when I wasn't writing with that in mind.

Beachanny said...

We leave a lot of ourselves in the places we live and when they disappear it really does shatter us a bit. The apartment I lived in with my husband as a new bride has been demolished; new condos in the same place. I was recently invited to a party and gallery showing. The after party was at a condo of a friend of a friend. It turned out to be the exact spot of land that our apartment had been. It gave me an eerie, nauseous feeling. I couldn't explain it and still can't, but that condo and how it looks now flashes back on me every few days and I have that same feeling again.

Good capture of the pain and wonder of facing that feeling.

Ed Pilolla said...

poignant, truly.

Ravenblack said...

Beachanny: thanks the visit and for sharing your experience.

Old places that used to be of significance do trigger off memories and feelings that used to be attached to them, I guess.


Ed: thanks for your comment.

Sheila Moore said...

visually clear observations - nice writing.

dsnake1 said...

hi, this is a very good post of urban change and decay. i like the little details you painted. land is so scarce here, the landscape is always changing. where my old house used to stand is now a container yard. :)

Ravenblack said...

Thanks Sheila for coming by. :)

Hey dsnake: few buildings of our youth are standing. The other thing that stings is playgrounds -- I always felt sorry the old ones have been replaced by the new safe ones. Don't even see swings anymore.

ayala said...

Sad and reflective !

Jannie Funster said...

You will know there was a house there.

But your home is with you where ever you are.

Wow! Didn't know I could be so deep. :)

And funny, the other day I had a fruit salad at Starbucks. The Granny Smith apple in it was so freaking sour, I made faces like a little kid, and actually downed the melon to sweeten up my mouth. (I usually find melon so boring.)

Apple white. Pure and refreshing.

xo

Ravenblack said...

Ayala: Thanks for the visit and comment.


Jannie: You made a insightful comment there. No kidding. :)

I never had green apples that didn't make me cringe. A matter of degree. And melons are boring on their own but with other more citric or sour fruits, they make good neutralizers.

The Old Raven said...

Another piece that is truly provocative!

Mary said...

Truly sad! How quickly people do forget....so many things.

Brian Miller said...

dang i remember this one...that close is like a punch...so heavy with emotions...i am happy to have you on this journey with us...smiles...

Heaven said...

Still a lovely read the second time...Great to see you ~

chromapoesy.com said...

I remembered this one and how much I loved it right away. A fantastic choice from you, thank you.

Claudia said...

again it's the emotions that really hit and you build it up well with all the little touches and images

manicddaily said...

I also remembered it immediately - glad to revisit. k .

Daydreamertoo said...

Some new things are not always good things anymore. When I think of all the land which is taken for us to build on, where does it ever end. This is so touching in its imagery. Poignant, vivid. Lovely.

Ravenblack said...

Thank you, friends. :)

Victoria said...

I can see why you chose this for best of...it's a delight to reread it. I'll add Jane Kenyon to my Ted Kooser reference. Very touching.

kaykuala said...

Ravenblack,
Many a time we reflect on what had been uprooted in the neighborhood. More at risk were the open spaces old, desolate and overgrown. Not any more. There are high rise buildings and office blocks in its place. In all instances the politicians and developers made money while ordinary folks lost out!

Hank

Laurie Kolp said...

The apple on my teeth still resonates with me.

poemsofhateandhope.com said...

Such a reflective sadness running through this...the thoughts and comments about your father made me think of my own...out of your images and without directly saying it, you created a melancholy clatter with that bucket....

Susan said...

Shades change in time, and this is a good place for the memorial of dad as his house and in his apples, and in the memory of the speaker. Can't help the tune entering my head:
"Lonely, lonely
Tin can at my feet
Think I'll kick it down the street
. . . ." I think it is Randy Newman.

chazinator said...

Those times when homes just disappear seem so sad, an event that you capture in all of its pathos. Such stories tell so much about our humanity, the mortality that awaits us. Your poem reflects this reality in all of its stark reality without overly dramatizing it, which makes it that much more effective. The paint can breaking is an interesting non-symbol, reflecting ultimate nothingness since it means nothing.

Ravenblack said...

Victoria, Hank, Laurie, Stu, Susan, Chaz: Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

Victoria: I shall check her poems out. Thanks for the mention.

Hank: I agree that the common folk never get the compensation they deserve.

Marbles in My Pocket said...

I like this. Love the disentegrating can. Lots of vivid and real stuff here.

flipside records said...

"apple white" ... What an interesting color description.

I completely misread "citric acid" as "critic acid" and thought that was such a cool play on words. :)

kolembo said...

Good stuff! The disintegrating can...very 'Stand by Me'...

Ravenblack said...

Flipside: critic acid. I think that would have worked! :)

Kolembo: thank you!

bodhirose said...

A melancholy feeling here with the memories of what once was and how a whole life (house) will never be remembered as "progress" makes its way.

I liked the rust flakes left on the shoes..