Walking around outside reminds me that it's not quite spring yet, but we are getting closer and closer! Since this semester has been a busy one, making this blog-zine a weekly event, I am going to post the work of three poets tonight.
The first is Canadian poet Toula Merkouris whose poem "Walking Amongst Time" received an honorable mention in our Thelma's Prize contest (Winter 2015/6). Since last year, Toula has written a children's book, Darla Dilly Don't Be Silly. This book should be out any day.
Pigtails, Pinafores, and Pumps
I can remember sitting in the auditorium listening to the MAN speak about life
the road less travelled
I can still feel humming in my chest
the vibrations of a train approaching the station
the wind caressing the loose tendrils of my hair
picking up speed, the sound thunders in my ears
whipping my hair in every direction until
my tightly woven plaits hang free
finally, the frenzy subsides and
I can see two ribbons lying at my feet.
I can remember thinking of the sound curtains make as they swish together over the stage
like an owl swooping through midnight's embrace
with a mouse's tail dangling from its tightly clenched talons
a veritable feast
Looking down I can still see one perfectly formed drop of blood
staining the front of my crisp white button-down shirt
dreams lying like collateral damage on the side of a highway
perfectly camouflageable by the ruffles of my pinafore
The weight of expectations worn
with a wink and a smile and a thank you ma'am
Let's talk about glass ceilings
and butterfly wings beating against Mason jars.
I can remember seeing multihued stars exploding like DISNEY fireworks from behind
rubbing the sleep out of the corner of my eye
using the palm of my hand, none too gently
the shock of midday sun on alabaster skin
I try to stand
like a colt with legs splayed out beneath it
in four different directions.
Numbness: its expiration date is long past.
I take a deep breath,
Thank you transplant surgeon
Did you know the Doctor blew up the lungs of the very lovely lady who signed her card in exactly the right place before
stapling them shut?
Now I can go on my way to the honey tree
with long legs striding along confidently
a barely perceptible shock of crimson seen from the underside of my brand new Louboutin shoes
The hot sun at my back
I look down
See how I tower over the shadow lying in front of me?
Do you see the barely perceptible yellow chalk outline around the contours of my distorted form?
I see it
it doesn't matter which way I turn
it doesn't matter how much it rains;
Like when my daughter thought it would be a good idea to use permanent marker to play connect the dots on my bedroom wall. Such a lovely pattern.
I jump and click my heels together
Looking for a way home.
Next is Carl "Papa" Palmer with "Mommy's Dance."
Watching her in the kitchen
as she does dishes at the sink
oldies playing loud on the radio
Kate Smith White Cliffs of Dover
Patti Page Tennessee Waltz
Doris Day Whatever Will Be Will Be
She sings smiles into her sponge microphone
How Much Is That Doggie In The Window
dressed in her bibbed apron evening gown
swaying with her dashing dishtowel partner
Sashaying the linoleum ballroom floor
to big band music Glenn Miller playing
back ground for At Last with Etta James
Twirls while opening drawers cabinet doors
wipes the cupboard counter crooning
Yes Sir That’s my Baby by Count Basie
Gives a deep curtsy to her damp string mop
soft shoes to Bye Bye Blackbird exits stage
right to that place in my heart for Mommy
Carl "Papa" Palmer of Old Mill Road in Ridgeway, VA now lives in University Place, WA. He is retired military, retired FAA and now just plain retired without wristwatch or alarm clock. Carl, president of The Tacoma Writers Club, is a Pushcart Prize and Micro Award nominee. MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever
I'll conclude with Karen O'Leary's poem enhanced by Angelee Deodhar's visual. This is the URL for the image https://in.pinterest.com
Tonight I'll play some of the songs that Carl "Papa" Palmer mentions.
Here is Etta James' version of "At Last": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-cbOl96RFM
Or you may prefer the Glenn Miller Orchestra's version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9LJUCPZojM
Do you know Patti Page's "Tennessee Waltz"?
She also sang "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?"
I'll finish with "Yes, Sir, That's My Baby" by Count Basie. Oscar Peterson is on piano.