Sealey Chapbk Challenge-28 plus 2 poems

Seasons-Monday Morning Writers

SIDEWALKS

arlene s bice

What reader can breeze past a shop with a table

full of books for sale sitting on the sidewalk  

or the paintings spread out on a tablecloth of an 

entrepreneur artist in Washington Square

see the man selling crisp apples at lunchtime in

Manhattan, he’s next to the guy playing the sax

bringing music to those too busy, dropping coins in

the open, blue velvet-lined case, a bit of appreciation

further down the walk is the fast-talker selling watches

sporting all kinds of fancy bands at really cheap prices

a bargain for the tourist looking up at the skyscrapers

in wonder, his feet firmly planted on the sidewalk

saunter along at an easy pace to the carefully crafted,

handmade jewelry of an artist paying her way through

school, her facial expression cries out to you “at least

buy just one thing,” encourage her to continue her talent 

listen as you move down the sidewalk to languages strange

to your ears, babble on, being understood by another

sidewalks are for living outside, for connecting to people

you’ve never seen before and probably will never see again

travel south to historical Moore Square with its annual

Raleigh Arts Festival, Artsplosure, Sidewalk Painting

Sand Castle Contests, Farmers’ Markets, all alive and well

where people meet and eat, from vendors on the sidewalk

sidewalks are city landscapes, the variety of fauna being

humans, wandering the terrain rather than forest denizens

allowing the concrete squares to lead them to new places

as animals use dirt pathways to make their way thru a wood

ABOUT CRYING OR NOT

A NONSENSE POEM

arlene s bice

For all the years I did not cry

showing the world my bye & bye

and then time passed me  a loaf of rye

and I began to cry—I had no mustard

so my rainy days with rivers high

I recognized the need for us to cry

not a whole river wide

as the Julie London song abides

but enough  to get the sigh

out of your system 

think about flying in the sky

dropping tears to water the crops on high

ground where they will flow and dry

in the meantime the plants will survive

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sealey Chapbk Challenge-27 Jyoti Wind

In This Moment-Jyoti Wind

Many of the poems in this book inspired poetry in me.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sealey Chapbk Challenge-26

After-Judith Prest

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

SSS-Bend

Bend in the Road-arlene s bice

She flew out of the house in the center of a whirlwind whipping around her making her stressed beyond belief. Her mind was twirling through a mass of unhappiness, anger and so many questions she asked that went unanswered. She had been traveling on the straight and narrow, under full control but it wasn’t working. What was her next move she asked her dearest and wisest friend. Tone yourself down, she advised, stay calm and have faith, your turn is coming and is on the way. And there it was, as soon as she opened her heart and her mind, the bend in the road was right in front of her.

12 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Sealey Chapbk Challenge-25 Devilish Writing Practices

IWWG JUDI K. BEACH

The perfect item to bring to my friendship circle of women is something I have no name for. I gather the ingredients first so they will be handy to me.

NO NAME RECIPE arlene s bice

peanut butter                          walnut halves                            dried dates                             sugar touched by cinnamon, in a shallow bowl

I place the items to the side of the old wooden table-top, cleared now of the crossword puzzle from last Sunday’s newspaper and the antique brass candle-holder containing a taper. I’m lucky enough to have stocked up on tapers when I could still buy them at wholesale prices. The holder was a gift from Mona, who in the winter invites me for dinner served in her simple colonial dining room, lit only by candlelight, as authentically colonial as the dinner served.

I’ve also moved the wooden bowl hollowed out and hand-painted on the outside, by the loving hands of a true craftsman. This too, was a gift, but from Norma who began as a customer in my shop and became a very generous friend.

These items are removed and the table scrubbed clean of cat fur wisps from my two girls, Mz Lizzie and Lady Jane. They give me the same great joy as the Bennet sisters in Pride and Prejudice for which they were named. They love to watch me cook and bake from the safe distance of a nearby wooden wine rack stand, a gift to my late husband still in use long after he has passed.

I cup a date in my left palm, holding the paring knife in my right. The sharp tip of the knife slits the date open like a pocket sewn closed in error. A small swipe of peanut butter fills the gaping hole easily before I reach for the walnut recently plucked from the ground under my neighbor’s huge, ancient walnut tree. It was necessary to scoot the squirrels away to get the walnuts. They don’t give them up easily even though the tree will give us thousands more this year.

As soon as I brought my little treasures home, I spread them out thinly on a cookie sheet, blackened with age and use, roasting the nuts on low heat for an hour or so.

The date and peanut butter embrace the newly received walnut half, not quite closing around it. Next I roll the piece into the cinnamon tinted sugar

waiting in the shallow bowl with the images of Toulouse Lautrec posters reminding me of another century. My friend Tom encouraged me to buy a whole set of them, knowing I would always treasure them as I do his pieces of artwork that I own.

The finished product is placed next to her sisters on the cut glass tray, a lovely platter salvaged from an unlovely time, an angry divorce, but now garnishing a shelf, patiently waiting for a lifetime of happy use.

P S: Cream cheese may be substituted for the peanut butter but nothing can substitute the friends that will share my creation.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sealey Chapbk Challenge-24 HER

HER – Hilda Ward IWWG

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sealey Chapbk Challenge-23 The Cleared Place of Tara

poems by Ted Malone

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sealey Chapbk Challenge-22 afternoon crowd Poetic narrative excerpt

Many people came into my life in the few years of the mid 70s when I worked at the American House Tavern and Restaurant as a bartender. Most of them were treasures, full of character. They were who they were.

Still, there are always a few phony people tucked into the masses. Mostly they can be spotted easily by a bartender as they walk in the door. It was fun watching them rattle through their spiel, trying to impress me. I often wondered why they bothered. What was the reason behind it? Were they bolstering themselves and why did they care what the bartender thinks of them? Some of the guys were trying to make a score. When that didn’t happen, they turned to try it on the next gal who came through the doors of this old, historic building. These guys were shallow, thankfully they were few.

Historic buildings were not what the average customer was thinking about. . . .

THE HORSEY SET-arlene s bice

they came with bruised, calloused hands

coarser than sandpaper

to lift a shot of whiskey chased by a

cold mug of beer,

a reward

for hard work done out in the elements,

thanks not given

except

what they gave themselves;

not a lot of time

to linger; even on

Christmas Day

horses had regular schedules

to keep

and these

workers were there

to keep ‘em

they came from all parts

of the country, from

Canada, and the

Caribbean, landed here

in the center of

New Jersey,

to work on

one particular horse farm

or another;

‘how did they find us’

I wondered

some from the west or mid-west;

wasn’t that a reversal

of history?

They came as

owners

foremen

trainers

drivers

jockeys

walkers

water boys

stable hands

more on the list

of guys & gals

hard working

no shifting duties

either you were good

carrying your own weight

or you were

out

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sealey Chapbk Challenge-21 plus 2 poems

Where I’m From-inspired by George Ella Lyon

arlene s bice

I’m from special dinners in the dining room

tea and toast for breakfast in the kitchen

a kitchen floor filled with piles of clothes

on Mondays, waiting for the wringer washer

I’m from home baked bread, lemon meringue pies

fried ripe tomatoes in summer with milk gravy

BBQ pork & fried chicken better than the South

junket when I was sick, all a mother’s pride

I’m from clothes frozen on the line before the pin is set,

coal chutes rattling noise, filling the bin, coal dust flying

church bells on Sunday morning, waking me up

listening to  the Phillies on the radio playing baseball

on a quiet summer afternoon, playing Monopoly

or Catch ‘5’ on the Zeltt’s front porch till somebody

loses too often & gets mad, Mrs. Zeltt bringing iced tea

I’m from relay races and outdoor movies hanging

on the school on a summer night when mosquitoes

were plentiful; Wednesday afternoons walking two

miles to the swimming pool and once swimming in

our neighbor’s wooden pool that he built himself

flowers picked from the cemetery for Mother’s Day

getting caught smoking in the tree with the boys

I’m from roasting potatoes on a stick on an open fire, till they were black, snuck out of the bin in the bottom of the fridge and frogs’ legs Mom cleaned and fried for us after we caught them in the creek, sneaking eggs out of the nest in our chicken coop that had a straw smell like no other; the turkey had his own place, strutting around the small back yard, fenced so they wouldn’t get out or was it to keep other animals from getting in

I’m from American Bandstand on TV, playing hookie from school to dance before Dick Clark arrived

school dances, roller skating, and football games, movies on Friday nights, wearing lipstick, giggling over boys, tomato pies from Papa’s on Chambers Street on a Saturday night while watching Midwestern Hayride with my big brother Bob, graduating to babysitting, to  flying in a DC 9 from Chicago & a Piper Cub at 15.

I’m from a main street dividing Trenton and Hamilton, where we counted the cars going by while waiting for Mom to get herself ready; we never reached 10; washing the porch with the hose in the summer and sometimes sleeping there when it was too hot in the house; sneakers and high heels, jeans and ball gowns, lots of picnics and plenty of pictures; I’m from a lusty passion for travel that stayed with me all my life.

Where I’m From-inspired by George Ella Lyon

arlene s bice

I’m from Liberty Street between the Methodist Church 

& Cristofaro’s Memorial tombstones

the street dividing Trenton from  Hamilton Township

on the township side

I’m from walking to school with friends,

kids who stood in my yard and ‘hello-ed’ the house

by calling my name, never knocking

on the back door

Piles of clothes lay on the kitchen floor

on Mondays when the wringer washer 

got pulled up to the sink

tea & toast was breakfast

where a pink rose bush covered the fence

so pale in color that when we took pictures

in summer, petals covering the groun

like a winter snow

jigsaw puzzles spread on the old dining table

with fat oak legs rubbed shiny for holidays

summer was Catch 5, monopoly & rummy

on the front porch

swimming in Mr. Ron’s wooden pool, one he built

having no children of his own, cutting flowers

for us so we would not raid the cemetery on      

Mother’s Day

Rosie’s old husband sat on a Bentwood chair

alongside the tomato pie place sidewalk

calling to all the young girls walking by

crossing the street

two blocks away was the best vegetable garden

with tomatoes ripe, red, & juicy, the old

Italian almost caught us with tomatoes

piled in our shirts

four blocks away was Pryor’s donuts

filling the air with hot greasy aromas

making us all hungry for a warm, plump,

cream-filled donut

sleeping on the porch on hot summer nights

playing in the attic on rainy days where I’d

find my father’s leg brace in a drawer, thinking     

someday I’d be just like him.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

TTOT

Daniels-Urbanski Tree
  1. Zoom writing/poetry workshops online, they make life easier while bringing people together who otherwise may not be able.
  2. Online writing connections through SSS and TTOT and Sealey Chapbook Challenge.
  3. Ditto
  4. Ditto
  5. Online reading poetry aloud, which enables me to meet other poets from far away places.
  6. Summer rainy, grey days feed my soul, allow me to go within, pull out the deep thoughts.
  7. Crockpots. I love my crockpot because I don’t have to interrupt my writing hours to make something to eat when I’m hungry. I only have to lift the lid and clean up later.
  8. Heartland on Netflix. I’m a relative newbie to Netflix thanks to a friend. I could watch this series for the scenic beauty of western Canada alone. Add the joy of watching horses run, work, play. Wow.  Add good writing scripts and good acting. Wow. I’m addicted.
  9. The relative ease of researching ancestors online compared  to the pre-internet days
  10. For my ancestors who have interesting histories and are still giving.

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized