Ticket to Philadelphia

For Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads. Welcome back Shay!

Ticket to Philadelphia
The ticket to Philadelphia cost
$43 in 1983 –
It was a one-way ticket.
My friends said I should be safe –
get a round trip ticket.
It was the midnight train
arriving at 6 a.m. in the morning.
You met me at the station
and thoughts of the round trip ticket
melted with colors of dawn
bounced off the cobblestones
finally came to a stop in the gutters.
I fell in love with Philadelphia.
I didn’t need the round trip ticket
So I cashed it in.
I cashed you in a month later.
I still love Philadelphia
But now I live somewhere else.

Haibun Monday: A Little Romance

Today I am the pubtender at dVerse Poets’ Pub and….it is Haibun Monday! I am giving the prompt today and I want us to write about romance – first love, puppy love, unrequited, forever love, engagement, marriage…We’ve seen the wonderful movies:  Say Anything, Sleepless in Seattle, Casablanca, Murphy’s Romance, Shakespeare in Love…the list goes on and on.  Sometimes our romance is like a movie and sometimes, it is delightfully ordinary.  People are writing about the loves in their lives.  Come and join us for a little romance!

One on One

After long years of being alone after a tragically failed relationship of years, I had finally put myself out there. Typically, I went straight to computer dating. I placed an ad on AOL Personals and had received over 60 responses. There were the typical just looking for sex, needy whiny types, aggressive in your face types and about three actual real humans. I emailed them and decided on one. A local guy who loved roller coasters, was financially and emotionally stable, no baggage, and…a sense of humor. We met and began dating. Slowly my heart began to heal but still it held back. We both discovered we loved ballroom dancing and frequently went and enjoyed. Summer came and he was invited to a cousin’s big splashy wedding. We went, both of us dressed to the nines and when we heard the band at the reception, we were ready to rock. A few songs went by to give us the courage to get up and dance. None of his relatives knew he could ballroom dance.

We were sitting when the band began to play Hall and Oates’ One on One. My heart shriveled in my chest and I wanted to run away. This was the song I had taught my absent partner to dance to, to rhumba. It became our favorite song and a secret message between the two of us. Brad said to me, let’s dance. I looked at him in horror. No, not to this one. He frowned and insisted, yes – to this one. I reluctantly followed him to the dance floor and we began to rhumba. Rhumba – the dance of love. I remained stiff while he smoothly danced around me. Without warning, he grabbed me and dipped me down, my hair brushing the floor. Moving with me, he put his lips to my ears and whispered, “That was then, this is now. That was him, this is me.” He pulled me up close to him and held me close. My heart melted and I fell deeply and unrestrainedly in love with him, just in that moment. The song ended and we went back to our table. The rest of the evening we danced and spent time looking into each other’s eyes. We were married a year later, on that same date. And I am still head over heels in love with this true hearted man with eyes the color of a clear summer sky.

summer skies – cloudless
and bright with warm sun grows a
rose in a frozen heart

 

dVerse Poets Pub: Quadrille 5

It is so good to be back after a long trip and visit to my ailing mother.  And today is World Poetry Day!  For today’s Quadrille, the prompt word is “melt”.  Submit your poem of exactly 44 words (not including title) and use the prompt word.  Come dance with us the Poetic Quadrille at:  http://dversepoets.com/2016/03/21/quadrille-5/

Melt into Spring
Melting into spring is
to melt into rosy flowers and
bright blue skies, drifting
along on clouds… –
To become one with the sound of
wind chimes, a hidden mocking bird
and the coo of doves.
To melt into spring is to melt
into love.

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

d’Verse Poetics – Dog Days!

Tuesday at d’Verse Poetics, I am the bartender!  I always enjoy this – not only posting an article and giving ideas for a poetic prompt, but the interaction with the other d’Team members and the friends who drop by to talk and/or submit one of their poems.

Today, I am writing about Dog Days – the hot days in which we are in the midst.  With heat indexes ranging from 103F to 108F, it has been hot!  How hot is it?  Trees are running around looking for shade – the lifespan of a popsicle is 10 seconds – so hot a fire hydrant was chasing dogs – you get my drift.

Come visit us at d’Verse today and read some cool poetry about a hot season.  Pop in and say hi or leave a poem behind.  I am submitting a haibun today and because it is a seasonal prompt, traditional haiku with seasonal words (kigo) are used rather than the 5-7-5 tercets or American sentences so-called haiku…Anyway – please come visit.  We’ve lots of ice cold lemonade and stuff on tap and great conversation!

  Haibun (俳文
Dog Days – days of harsh, merciless white sun and heat. Trees cast anemic shadows and birds hide deep within the foliage, seeking refuge from the heat. Other trees and plants seem listless in the heat – except for the thick tall crepe myrtle in my front yard. It is heavy with deep pink clusters of blooms – it seems to thrive in the torrid warmth. I have seen and heard several cicadas on and under the tree.

under the crepe myrtle
dried shells of cicadas lie –
emptied of songs.

In the dead of the hot summer night, the whir of cicadas fill my head with their droning sounds. It has come to this – we are silent, not daring to speak. I feel you staring down at me, waiting. Waiting for me to speak or make a move so you can respond. I put my hand lightly against your chest as if to push you away. You lean against my hand. I feel your heart beating. You feel warmer than the night against my hand.

August moon dissolves
Into clouds – fragmented light
dapples your skin.

I dare not look up at you, if I do, I will be lost. We’ve danced around this moment – carefully measured steps, always avoiding the embrace. Mirrored steps, forward and then back. But never the rocking in each other’s arms – a tango without satisfaction, a tango with no heat. Here in the night alone, you pull me close and stroke my cheek, lifting my face to look into your eyes.

the huge orange moon
hangs in the starry sky – it
sees all, tells nothing.

14th Anniversary – Halfway House

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August 5 was our 14th wedding anniversary.  We always like to do something special foodwise and also, historic.  Dining at the Halfway House was the perfect option.  Established in 1760 as a tavern, inn, and coaching house, the dining room was in the “basement”.  The walls are original brick, the floor, original brick and grooved by many feet.  Three fireplaces:  one at both ends of the dining room and one in the center.  Colonial décor circa 1760 was the look.  Warm brick and wood, simple wooden tables, brass candlesticks and chandeliers was a lovely backdrop to excellent food.

Some of their specials and regulars include a filet mignon topped with fresh Chesapeake Bay blue crab lump meat, a pasta topped with fresh Bay scallops and shrimp in a spicy Creole tomato sauce, crabcakes made from the same fresh crabmeat, and the night of our dinner – prime rib.  We ordered the prime rib.

When it arrived, our jaws dropped.  A gorgeous rib of probably a good pound weight covered the plate.  It was surrounded by flavorful aus jus and a ramekin of freshly grated horseradish.  Accompaniments included a twice baked potato (almost a whole baking potato!) stuffed with potato mashed with sour cream, sharp cheddar, fresh chives and parsley and butter and the other side were sautéed fresh tiny local green beans.  My husband had the appetizer of Onion Soup Gratinee’.  The broth was redolent of brandy, thyme, freshly ground black pepper and full of sweetly caramelized onion.  A homemade crouton topped it and was covered with bubbly Gruyere cheese.  I took several bites.  My appetizer was a salad made of local Manakin greens (a farm that caters to local restaurants with organic, fresh, unique veggies and salad greens.  The excellent housemade dressing was a Roquefort vinaigrette – refreshing and full of bits of tasty cheese.

And as if this were not enough, the bread basket consisted of hot yeast and cinnamon rolls, both made from a recipe originated in the late 1800’s.  Homemade butter from the Manakin farm was offered to slather all over the hot rolls.  I would have been happy with just the bread basket!  The prime rib was melting tender and full of flavor provided by a rub of a variety of peppercorns, fleur de sal, garlic, rosemary.

My husband toasted.  As we clicked champagne flutes he said:  To my beautiful bride and to our marriage.  I pray we will have 14 x 14 more years of happiness and love and that each day, our love grows deeper.

When it a

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Friday Fun…Spontaneous Acts of Grocery Aisle Dancing.

My husband and I love to dance. We are big on ballroom dancing and we really like it when we can indulge in spontaneous acts of dance.

Several years ago, we were both of us tired out from a mutually hard day at work and both of us had worked after hours. We stopped at a local grocery chain to pick up a few necessary items. The store was almost empty. We were moseying down an aisle just sort of in a tired trance. At one end of the aisle was a hugely pregnant woman looking at cereal. Her husband was at the opposite end of the aisle looking at protein bars. The muzak was ubiquitous as usual but then, out of the blue, Every Breath You Take, began drifting around us. The man came sashaying down the aisle as if we were invisible. Within a few feet of his wife, he held out his arms and began crooning, “Come to me, my melon belly baby”. She went to him and he enfolded her and they began to waltz slowly to the music.

My husband and I stood entranced. The couple was not even vaguely self-conscious. When the song ended, they continued with their shopping and went down the next aisle. My husband and I were delighted and no longer tired. When the muzak version of Shake Your Booty started up, we were in the cleaning products aisle, all by ourselves. We looked at each other and in a blink, we were quick stepping up and down the aisle.

This has become a regular thing with us now. The last act of aisle dancing was last month, in another grocery, at 9:00 am in the morning. A couple of people were in the aisle with us, but we had plenty of room to Mambo to “Love is in the Air” – a favorite and even on Muzak, a darned good dance number. After a moment, a woman and her little girl joined us – twirling and bouncing with much laughter.  We so love dancing and especially with each other.  Ballroom dancing is a vital part of our romance with each other.  Tango, Paso Doble, Mambo, Waltz….each dance an expression of love and joy in each other.  And the spontaneous dance – I wish more people did these spontaneous acts of love and fun.

“Love is in the Air” is one of our favorites and is on a regular rotation in our Kitchen/Ballroom.  We stopped worrying about people thinking we were crazy long ago.  Love is in the air, in the grocery aisle, in the hardware store, in Walmart, in the apothecary, in the parking lot…

Love is in the air everywhere I look around – Love is in the air every sight and every sound – And I don’t know if I’m being foolish – I don’t know if I’m being wise – But it’s something that I must believe in – And it’s there when I look in your eyes. . . . (songwriters, Pennington/Lemaire, Performed by Paul Young). The dance sequence is from one of our favorite movies, Strictly Ballroom.

So again I say to you, let’s dance!

 

Throwback Tuesday – a little more romance

Last night, my husband and I were listening to a radio station that plays hits of the 80’s and 90’s. I was ironing clothes and he was washing dishes. Nice, dull domesticity. Then, on the radio began yet another one of Rick Astley’s wonderful danceable songs. I started shaking my hips and I heard my guy drying his hands. In a breath, he grabbed and pulled me to him and we began to dance. He smiled down at me, “Remember the first time we danced to this?” I grinned and said, “oh my yes!”. And we danced ourselves into a sweat.

Years ago, at the wedding reception of one his numerous cousins, we were sitting at a table and watching the bride and groom gyrate and several guests twisting, jumping, clogging, whatever it was…this song came on, an oldie the DJ had thrown into the mix in an effort to get more people on the dance floor and a song with a definite beat that anyone could follow. It was Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”. Inside, I cringed. This song had had a lot of meaning to me when it came out in 1987 but now it just meant memories and heartache.

My husband and I had been dating several months and felt a definite connection along with our many similar interests: odd bits of Trivia, Star Trek, Civil War history, mathematics, good food, and dancing. It never ceased to amaze me, considering how clumsy he was at some things, how well he could dance and how good he was in martial arts. We enjoyed each other’s company but me holding back, afraid of another massive heartbreak. He sensed it but never pried.

So, that song came one and he took my hand and said, “let’s dance”. I shook my head. “It’s a good one. Let’s show these folks how it’s done”. Reluctantly I stood up and we stepped out on the small floor. In about a minute, we had people standing up, watching, clapping in time. At one point, he pulled me close and sang in my ear:
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you…

I gave him a little push and said, Don’t. Don’t sing, just dance. He looked down at me and before I knew it, he had dipped me down in a graceful  Latin tango dip. Close to my lips he whispered, “That was him. That was then. This is me. This is now”. I looked up into his sweet blue eyes and thought of another pair of eyes – brown, almond shaped, who had left a few years earlier. I closed my eyes and my love came closer and kissed me. This sweet man, 10 years younger and a private romantic had laid it out for me. He pulled me back up into his arms and we did one last swirl. The music ended. We stood looking at each other and his relatives all cheered and clapped. We then went back to our table to sit. Several cousins came by and said, We didn’t know he even knew how to dance! I thought, there is a lot you don’t know about this quiet, serious man. I thought, there is a lot I don’t know.

A couple of months later, he used another Rick Astley song to propose to me. And it is true, when he sang those words, he meant them. So…..If you haven’t had a dance with the love of your life lately, or sang them a love song, or grabbed them and kissed them as if it was your second date, then do it. And hey, let’s dance!

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