Jam jars and tent pegs

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Perfectly imperfect
that’s my memory of childhood years
I know it wasn’t all sunshine
but there was that long hot summer of ’76
with the grass scorched brown and
ravenous for the slightest drop of rain
and the sugar-water filled jam jars
suspended from tree branches –
a Heath Robinson-esque tactic
designed to entice the wasps away from luscious wax-bloomed plums
dangling like piñatas, swaying in the sultry breeze.
We holidayed in Wales
our old blue canvas tent patched
and not a patch on the brown and orange and plastic windowed
modern varieties that were our field mates for a fortnight.
Our neighbours had a portable TV, car battery powered
the boys had a pogo stick and their dad a boat –
mackerel clothed in rainbows filled our bellies that night.
Then the gales hit and our tent alone stood up to the wrath of the heavens
thanks to sheer bloody-mindedness and incessant hammering-in of tent pegs in the darkling night.
Not for us a disappointing flight home to suburbia in the face of the wilds.
Perfectly imperfect –
I wouldn’t swap it for the world.


 

I’m in reminiscent mood, for no reason. Here’s a slice of my childhood for you – and I’m sort of revealing my middle-age by mentioning the British drought of 1976… 🙂

The dVerse hosts are taking a well-earned rest until 18th July, but I still feel the urge to write poetry, which is a good thing, I think. I hope you enjoy it!

Sukha Aloo – dVerse Poetics

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My growing-up world is a map of aromas –

as my little snub nose lifts like a sniffer dog’s

as my beady eyes interrogate the shelves

as my chubby fingers reach out to touch –

cumin, paprika, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander garam masala…

the list is never ending and exotic to my ears

my heart explodes and my mouth waters in anticipation

at the glories that will dance on my tongue – later

the kitchen will swell with steam and spatter

the pots will bubble, burping explosions of delight into the air

meat will sizzle, onions will sweat, my skin will prickle

and later, much later, so very, very much later

chapati and naan will wipe our plates clean

raita will soothe our burning tongues

and i will save my helping of sukha aloo to the very last

because they are my favourite thing of all


 

Tonight, Grace, our lovely host over at the dVerse pub, invites us to write about scents, aromas, and evoke emotions. For me, the choice was obvious – food!

Oh what a joyous write this was for me, a real step back in time to my childhood of 1970s Birmingham! We lived not too far from a wondrous street called Ladypool Road in Sparkbrook (in the midst of the Balti Triangle), which was an absolute delight to anyone who wanted – no, needed – to buy herbs, spices and other necessary foodstuffs to create real authentic cuisine from around the world (there were and still are brilliant restaurants there too). From my memory, we went there to buy food to make curries – my step-dad would take over the kitchen and create absolutely wonderful food (I hope you can tell I loved it!).

My mum and step-dad took me to an Indian restaurant when I was little (back in the days of the flock wallpaper) – the Indian waiters were all amazed to see a little white girl eat proper curry! I felt very proud of my apparent prowess! I loved being part of the multi-cultural city where I grew up. It was a fantastic education in its own right.

Please do join in dVerse Poetics before the two week summer break – or if you’re feeling shy, at least come and enjoy the wonderful selection of poetry I know you will find there!

 

 

 

 

The Night Sky Lullaby – A Dash of Sunny

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Our friend Mr Moon shines so brightly tonight

He bathes your bed in sweetest, soft light

He smiles gently upon you, the whole night long

As Mr Nightingale sings you his lullaby song.


Image source here

Here is my entry into A Dash of Sunny’s Prompt Night, where this week, we are asked to write about the moon.

I wrote this poem back in the early days of my blog, when I took part in the Trifecta Writing Challenge, a community that is sadly no more. In this particular instance, we were allowed to use 33 words to share a bedtime story routine.

Yes, it’s an old piece, but as soon as I saw the prompt this week was the moon, I thought of my little brother (he’s now 26!), when he used to point at the moon at night and we would call him ‘My friend the moon’. Such sweet memories, such love, such joy. So, I couldn’t help but re-share this little lullaby, I hope you don’t mind the ‘lazy’ route I have taken!

Please do head on over to A Dash of Sunny, enjoy the responses and go on… take part!