Surprise

For the Mid-week motif on Poets United – Literacy

Surprise
“Our high respect for a well read person is praise enough for literature.” – T. S. Eliot

I can’t remember a time when I did not read.
There must have been a time
but it is faded like a torn out
discarded page of a magazine.
My teachers wanted me tested.
I was six and they felt I was retarded.
I always looked up with a blank stare
when it was my turn to read from Dick and Jane.
Imagine.
The test revealed I had an
eighth grade reading level
and that I read ahead of my classmates.
So much for being the class dummy
as my fellow students called me.
When I was 11 I whined to my grandmother
as she cooked us dinner:
I am hot. I am bored. Amuse me.
She left me to watch the food on the stove
and went to our library.
When she returned she handed me
the complete works of T. S. Eliot.
Amuse yourself.
And I did.
on the bedside table is always piled
at least five books in various stages of being read.
Including the old copy of T. S. Eliot –
always there. Always in a state of being read.

Where I like to read

For Poets United Midweek Motif – Reading Fiction.

Where I like to read
Up in a tree, perched firmly in the nest
Formed by branches of the obliging tree.
Or in the midst of my garden shaded by
Tomatoes and running green beans.
Or in bed late at night while my husband sleeps,
The Kindle turned on lowlow light to not disturb him.
Walking every day, in snow or rain or heat,
Ear buds firmly in my ears as I listen to Audible.
Sitting at the table slurping soup –
The faster I read the faster I slurp,
Book propped in front of me
Salt and pepper shakers holding up my book.
Engineering, math, physics?  I used to.
The news? Nope
Politics? Nope nope
Disasters? Nope nope and nope.

Tuesday Poetics: Empire of Scent

Grace is our prompter today for dVerse Poetics. She asks us to write about scents from our childhood or, scents in general. I have chosen to write about the library in my childhood home and the scents of it and the house in general. I have written a lot of poems about scents, usually night scents. So this is a departure for me. Come join us over at dVerse and find a new favorite poet! We’re closing the Pub down for a couple of weeks after Thursday for a vacation. The doors will be open though so come visit and catch up on past posts!

The Library of Smells

Book sniffin’ is an art I learned in my childhood.
Macbeth smelled of old blood and Little Women
smelled of banana bread.
All of Zane Grey smelled of dust and purple sage
and the Justice League comics smelled of potato chips.
Charles Dickens’ shelf smelled of must and mold and
old wedding cake and gruel
while TS Eliot smelled of coal fires and fog.
Salinger smelled of bubble gum and Tom Collins
and Dickinson smelled of old roses and apples.
Batman smelled of gasoline and
The one Archie comic smelled of drive-in hamburgers,
and Wilde smelled of potpourri and cigars.
The Bible smelled of incense and wine
and Sophocles and Euripides
and all the Greek plays and philosophies –
well, they smelled like Mrs. Karenakis’ kitchen
during the holidays.
Whitman and Kerouac both surprisingly smelled
of cold wind and Snyder smelled of cherry blossoms.
The whole library smelled of beeswax and lemon oil
and the vase of roses or magnolias on the center table.
Fried chicken wafting from the kitchen –
hot biscuits and pound cake.
I miss these scents of my childhood.
Somehow, books don’t smell the same today.

public domain image, closest I could find to my childhood home libary

public domain image, closest I could find to my childhood home libary

 

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