Two Poems

Elbows and Knees

I cried at the sight
Of you frail
Unaware of
My presence-
Chose to remember
Different images
On that day-
Tall and lanky
Uncanny ability
To sit comfortably
On your haunches
Elbows perched
On knees
Backside inches
From the ground-
My college senior
Piano recital
Me in my black dress
You in your blue
Cotton shirt and pants
Both beaming-
Five years later
Christmastime
My newborn son
Sleeping in your arms-
After you were gone
I saw your reflection
As my son sat
On his haunches
Elbows perched
On knees
Backside inches
From the ground-
Pictures of you
Held dear,
Grandpa

Workshirt

The morning
Is dark blue
The kind of blue
That almost
Looks black
But once
The sun rises
Turns to cerulean-
As the day
Progresses
The sky shifts
Until night washes
Over the work
Of the day
Bringing rest
To the Earth-
And rest to you
Handsome you
Strong you
Wearing your
Favorite blue shirt
Faded with time
As the dirt
And sweat
From a lifetime
Of hard work
Was washed away

I wrote the first poem specifically about my Grandpa Crow. He was a sweet man. Hardworking and loved to fish. The second could describe many different people from my growing up years. Maybe you can relate. 😊❤️

Simply Sunday

Days

Enjoying
Art and
Nature
Exploring
Lessons
Offered
By history-
Our own
Others-
Reminiscing
Our combined
Years of living
In only seven
Of these
Precious
Allotments
Of time
Each holding
The same
Number
Of hours
Each passing
Too quickly

Adventures Old and New

Greetings from Massachusetts! My first visit to this beautiful state. Even though the weather was cloudy and rainy upon arrival, I quickly noticed the many shades of green. No matter where I looked, a different type of tree. Some familiar, others not.

This morning the sun is shining, and the sky is a perfect blue! I am excited to explore with my Aunt Martha and Uncle James. Such a treat! 💚

View from their lovely backyard in Lee, Massachusetts.

Chanel No. 5-Reblog from September, 2019

I don’t wear a lot of perfume. I’ve had a couple of favorites as an adult, but allergy sensitivities often keep me from enjoying them. Currently, I own one bottle of Chanel No. 5.

I’m not sure how long I’ve had this particular bottle. During our recent unpacking, it caught my eye. I could not remember the last time it was open. The design is so classic and pretty, I decided to leave it out.

One morning last week while getting ready for school, that bottle of Chanel caught my eye again. This time, I opened it and placed a small drop on my finger, then dabbed it on my neck and wrists. “It might be nice to wear a little perfume again,” I thought.

As the familiar scent filled the air, a flood of memories filled my mind.

When I was a little girl, visits to my Aunt Martha and Uncle James’s house were a treat. They, along with their children-Jim, Angela, and Brad-moved several times. I remember trips to Fayetteville, Memphis, and Louisiana. Typically, it was a week-long visit during summer vacation.

Some memories are as clear as a photograph. Dressing my cousin, Angela, up in her Raggedy Ann doll clothes. Riding the bus with my cousin, Jimmy, from Little Rock to Memphis and spilling an entire big bag of M&Ms. Kick boxing with Uncle James. Rolling a piano from room to room so I could play while Martha and James painted their house.

So, why did this sweet smell cause such reminiscing? Because Aunt Martha always had a bottle of Chanel No. 5. And when I visited, she would let me wear some of her perfume. Just a tiny drop on my finger, then dabbed on my neck and wrists. Such a treat for a little girl.

I continue to be amazed by the beautiful complexity of the heart and mind. The simple scent of perfume has the power to transport me back in time. It leads me to precious childhood memories. And it reminds me that the love I experienced then has only grown over the years.

I still live far away from Aunt Martha and Uncle James. I look forward to our visits, no matter how far apart. And I am thankful for time spent with them as a child.

Who would have thought a bottle of Chanel No. 5 could make such an impression on one little girl? 😉

Peaceful Resolution

My mind
Can hardly
Separate
The words
From melody
Notes rising
And falling…one
After the other
In seasons of distress and grief
Can you hear it?
I silently sing
The phrase
As I write-
Many times
It has entered
My thoughts
Unannounced…
Waiting for
A phone call
Sitting in a
Hospital room
Driving to
A funeral…
The music repeats
Easing tension
On the last note
The last word
Of the new phrase
My soul has often found relief
Listen closely
A peaceful
Resolution
Sweet hour of prayer

Sweet Hour of Prayer Kelley Morris, piano

Growing Up

My husband likes to tell people I was raised in a commune. I was not. I suppose, however, that a simple description could be misinterpreted. Let’s see.

Picture a two-lane country highway winding through small towns. Between two of those towns, turn onto a narrow paved road with thick trees lining both sides. Drive about a quarter of a mile until you see a clearing. My house was the first on the left.

Here is the unusual part. My grandparents’ house was in the center. And at any time over the last fifty-plus years, between four and six of their nine children lived nearby. Not a typical neighborhood with straight streets and cull de sacs. More like a valley. When standing in the middle, you could see almost everyone’s home.

Of course, we were free to come and go as we pleased. 😉 And though I left at the wise-old age of seventeen, there is no other place I would have wished to grow up.

Growing up there meant family. It meant security. And no, it was not a peaceful utopia. There were disagreements. But none that could not be solved over a cup of coffee or a few days of staying home.

My mom also grew up there, though, during her childhood, there were more forests for exploring. And with nine children, they needed the space to roam. The original house was small, with only two bedrooms and an outhouse.

I have heard stories of sleeping sideways on the bed, lots of giggling and being scared to go outside at night. Mom remembers as a small child when men came to dig a hole for their first electricity pole.

As you can imagine, they were hard workers. Whether planting in the field or washing clothes on a scrub board, there were always chores to be done. But there was also always fun to be had.

Some days, her dad would come home with a pocket full of penny candy. Enough for everyone. On Fridays, they would have chili dogs and ice cream. Can you imagine dividing a carton of ice cream for nine children? They would open the entire carton and cut it into equal squares.

My mom is now in her seventies. Four of the siblings (including my mom and dad), some grandkids, and great-grandkids live in the clearing today. Only one of her siblings, her oldest sister, Pearl, is no longer living.

Mom recently shared some thoughts that touched me. She described being overcome with emotion thinking of how hard her mom worked to make sure the kids had fun times. She was so young herself; it could not have been easy. Mom said the older she gets, the greater her appreciation for her mom grows. I think I am beginning to understand…

Morning Thoughts

Leaving for work
This morning
Car packed for
A weekend
Road trip
Thoughts already
At the end of today
Think I’ll send
A text to Mom
See you tonight!

Little cardinal
Crosses my path
His brightness
Could not
Be ignored
His fluffy
Red feathers
Taking off
From the ground
Made me smile
Slow down as
I drove out of
The neighborhood
Rachel says every time
She sees a cardinal
It reminds her
Of her Papa

Lost in Thought

I was a little grumpy when I got home yesterday. The reasons don’t matter. But any little thing seemed to grate on my nerves. As my frustration rose, I suddenly had a thought. Why don’t you go to the other room and play your piano?

I don’t know why this solution doesn’t appear faster in my brain.

Sitting down at the piano, I opened one of my favorites, Schumann’s Scenes from Childhood, a beautiful set of short pieces. The first few I played didn’t fit my mood. Then I landed on Reverie. Just what I needed.

After playing it several times, I became curious about the original German title-Träumerei. Reverie is the translation in my edition, and I wanted to make sure my ideas matched the original intent. One definition said, “pleasant reveries, daydreams.”

I got lost in my thoughts, listened to myself play, then wrote this poem. I felt much better. 🙂

Reverie

Staring out
The window
Dreaming of
Sunny days
Even though
Today is gray
Running free
Through a
Golden field
Of sunflowers
Rolling
Without
Reserve
Down a
Grassy hill
Walking
Innocently
Hand in hand
Along a dirt road
Daydreaming-
Time well spent
Lost in thoughts
Energy renewed
Before heading
Back to the now

Reverie from Scenes from Childhood by Schumann Kelley Morris, piano

Voices

One song
A song from
College days
Simple melody
Powerful message
Tempted to quote
You the lyrics or
Start singing
Even though
I haven’t heard
It in years-
Somehow it found
A hidden corner in
My memory banks
Locked itself away
Patiently waiting for
A chance at revival-
Today was the day!
Music rolled in
Like a wave-
One voice
Singing in the darkness
All it takes is one voice

Okay, okay
No more lyrics
Only these words-
My voice matters
And so does yours

Have a listen… 🙂

https://youtu.be/s7bv-Vn1_gw

https://music.apple.com/us/album/one-voice-digitally-remastered-1998/194640131?i=194640481

I wrote this poem during a recent poetry circle event with Ali Grimshaw. ❤ Learn more here: https://flashlightbatteries.blog/

Simply Sunday

Memories

Memories amaze me. They can be stored in our brains for years and suddenly find their way to the surface. Like when a song instantly transports me to another time or place. One I haven’t thought about in years! Then just as quickly, that memory fades, and a new one has filed right along beside it.

One would expect to hear the phrase, “Oh, that brings back memories,” from a grandparent. Or at least from someone who has lived long enough to experience certain milestones. But this week, I gained a new perspective on the subject.

During my First-Grade music class Friday, we sang Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. It was one of those sweet moments where students gathered around the piano, singing as I played. Of course, they immediately asked if they could sing for their teacher when she returned. So, we practiced and got everyone lined up and ready.

And then I heard it. A sweet little voice in the group said, “Wow! That song really brings back a lot of memories!” “Why, yes, it does!” I smiled. This friend has lived on this earth for only six years. But you know, a lot can happen in six years. And just because it occurs in the first six years of life does not mean the memories are any less powerful.

Cheers to making memories and remembering them! ❤ 😉

Getting Back Up

Pick up my pen
And wait…
Batteries seem to need
Recharging
But all the packages
Are empty
Not giving up
I’ll wait awhile
Look out the window
For inspiration
Re-read some old
Cards or letters
Dig up memories that
Make my soul happy
What if I paperclip
Those memories
Together with
My dreams
For the future?
So next time I fall down,
I’ll remember the strength
Found in getting back up

Today’s prompt was very interesting. Listen to a favorite song and take notes. Make a list of things found in your junk drawer. Write a poem combining the two. For more info and prompts visit https://www.napowrimo.net/.

My song was “Like Everyone She Knows” by James Taylor. I will let you guess what is in my junk drawer. 😉