Aunt Bettie’s Love Making Poem

6-23-15
This hand-written poem was found in my great aunt Bettie Rayburn Bryant’s scrap book. She was a WAC (this is what women who served in the military were called)- serving with the Air Force. She was a Staff Sergeant while serving in Germany in the Post World War II occupation and married her husband , Technical Sergeant Howard Bryant, while at Erding Air Depot near Munich, Germany. The both retired in the early 1960’s after more than 20 years in the service. I do not know if she wrote it or someone else did and she though it was funny. I will let you guess what the subject of the poem is!!

(Oh, ok, it is her favorite poem about Love Making)

From twenty to thirty, if a man lives right
It’s once in the morning and once a night.
From thirty to forty, if he still lives right,
He cuts out the mormng- or else the night).
From fourty to fifty, its now and then
From fifty to sixty, its God knows when.
From sixty to seventy, if he’s inclined,
Don’t let him kid you, its all in his mind.

With women, its different, it’s morning and night.
Regardless of whether they live wrong or right.
Age cuts no figure, they’re always inclined.
Nothing to get ready, not even their mind!
So after it all is said and done,
A man, at sixty, has had his fun.
While a woman at sixty (and figures don’t lie)
They can take the old root, till her time comes to die!

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A Flash of Light

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Just as lightning flashes across the western sky, followed quickly by rolls of thunder with a violent shaking of our sheltered home, summer pushes the joys of spring out so quickly that we must take a sharp, deep breath to lavish in its beauty before it is gone. As I clean out my fathers house, gently touching old drawings and clay creations from my youth, I remember how fast life has gone by. Yesterday, my children laughed and played as I taught them about nature. Today, I smile, and wipe a tear, as I see my children teaching their little ones these same lessons.

One day, it seems, the tiny green buds of spring leaves appear, the daffodills cover old pastures and fields, and snowball bushes explode in white and seem to wither before our eyes. I sat with my little ones at the bus stop, watching spring chasing winter away. We would see the progression of azalea blooms in yards, first the magenta, then the white. I remember the sping walks in the forest, where, with luck, the lovely flame azalea could be seen in a shade of orange that man could never quite tame for front lawns. Today, a grandchild brings me a boquet of flowers, reciting their names, just as I did with their mom.

Spring is but a flash of light between the ice of winter and the sweat of July. The dogwoods fade before we can embrace them, the walks in the forest when the leaves have just begun to bud and the ephermal wild flowers dash to grasp fleeting days of sun before the leaves of deciduous giants steal their sunlight and thus their season. As we grow old, we learn of natures ways, just as the plants seem to know when the season is right. We no longer allow ourselves to be fooled by a few weeks of warmth.

One day, we notice the tiny shoots of summer perennials as we await the endless “winters” of the mountain springs. “Don’t bother to plant your garden before the stealthy ‘winters’ have finally disappeared”, the old-timers warned us. “Won’t do no good-weather will kill them ever time”, our uncles and grandfathers would laugh as we, their youthful students rushed to plant seeds before it was time. Now, it is me, my generation, who issue the warnings to the young.

I remember, as I sit in my parents now silent home, how the disappointment of the cold spell in April that grandma called, “dogwood winter”,and the “told you so” nod from my father when “blackberry winter” made me sad. The cold that layed frost on the tips of plants in early May has now come and gone and left signs of age on me as well.

Each year, we plant new seeds, shelter the perrenials and watch as time flies by. Soon, the summers black-eyed susans and pumpkin colored butterfly weeds are covered with swallowtails and monachs as they dart about, hiding tiny eggs beneath the sheltering leaves. I notice how my garden has grown smaller each year, just as my grandchildren now see their parents toil away as I one did.

The sun we welcomed in spring has us seeking shade in summer. At last we are all in the same place, leaning against the old apple tree. I remember that soon fall will chase away summer, just as summer moved in on spring. I close my eyes and remember teaching my kids of the majesty of nature, so thankful, and perhaphs a bit surprised that in this modern age, my children still take time to marvel at natures magic with their own little ones.

As quickly as a flash of light, autumn will cast its shadow upon the land, just as it has cast its weathered skin on me. “Life is but a slide show of memories to me.” I whispered to my grandchild. “What’s a slide show?” she asked, as again, that flash of light appeared in the evening sky. “A series of pictures that tell a story.” I said with a smile. “Oh.” she giggled as she snatched a daisy and placed it behind her ear, twirling in the sun.

For a moment, I saw her mother there, before me, with a flower I had put in her hair, and then my mother placing a tiny rose amist my curls. Life really was likea slide show-a series of pictures-of memories, that tell us a story. In spite of technology, cell phones, and texting, the life cycles of plants and animals were still the same. Those special little moments, if we take the time, are still the same.

***Look for my blog on the life cycle of the Polyphemus moth coming soon-We can’t rush nature. How many children (or adults) have watched the entire life cycle of a butterfly. Moth, or praying mantis? Mine have, and my grandchildren have.Hopefully, their children will, as well.

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I am….I have….I will….

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I am strong, I look in the mirror and see myself young.

I dance with the music. I sing with the wind.

I laugh at those who take themselves too seriously.

They will not imprison me in their world.

I am worthy. I can still dream, hope, I still live.

I open my heart to those who will share with me-

the rememberance of youth,

I will find moments of joy and celebrate them.

I will find moments of pain and conquer them.

I will take the strengh given freely by friends and multiply it among others.

I give to you my hand, my heart-

to share as you will, to love as you wish,

to breathe in as a fresh blossom in spring.

I am…..I have….I will…….

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The Loss of Hope

beebeesworld:

Since my creative side seems to be on vacation, I decied to reblog an old poem-if you know of any PROMP site still active, please let me know, they really brought out the creativity in me, and I need that right now.

Originally posted on beebeesworld:

 

I dream of you-your face,your smile, how I cherished it

how it made my soul feel alive, even in the worst of times

and then I realize you are gone-never NEVER do I have

the slightest hope of seeing you, touching you again.

 

I wonder how many times I can die-drowning in this pain?

 

And I dream of those still here, yet so far away

wonder if I have any more chance of touching them, loving them

than I do those who lie among the flowers on the hill…

 

Hope-sometimes it dies because life has stolen it

and you don’t know why or how to fix it, even though it could be- somehow

and sometimes it dies when hearts stops beating.

There is no breath, no life, what wasis frozen in time,

all that is left is night, darkness, dreams…

 

I wonder, here, alone…

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Knockin on Heaven’s Door-Guns N Roses

It has been a rough spring, lonely, depressing, sad.  Remembering past days when I had youth, dreams, hope on my side, I have found solace in listening to some of my favorite songs from younger days. ” Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Guns N Roses, not only seems to express my disappointment, but also my will to go on…   Relax and remember when….Axl Rose and Slash tried to get along, The way Slash (Sean Hudson) had complete command of any guitar in his hand, Axl’s sexy moves and wonderfully exotic presence on stage, the way the band seemed to come together for the massive audiences (well, most of the time…)  before Slash found Miles Kennedy to sing with, probabaly a much better, smoother match, more soothing than the screams and shouts attributed to the Guns N Roses crowd.  Perhaps, before we learned “The story behind the scenes” of many of the bands during the late 1980’s  to the mid 1990’s. Go to “you tube” and spend a while “back in the day!.”


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Brownstone Blues

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Brownstone Blues

My newspaper opens to a “Questions for the Editor” column in Section C. The first question brought memories that I had tried to put behind me-for many reasons. Unwillingly, they crept back into my mind. They have not left all day.

A writer had asked “what the two little buildings were-one looking like it might have been a church”-in a run down part of town that has seen recent interests in renovation”.Right away, I realized that  I knew a lot more about it than the editor. It was a church in the 1970’s and 80’s, the little congregation  even had managed to raise the money to build the little cement block social hall next door before the church ran low on members and closed it’s doors for good. Closed, like so many little Evangical Churches did when the neighborhood were in decline or attendance waggered.

My ex’s family went to church there all of their lives.  My 1st wedding, 40 years ago was there, my shower in the “new” cement block building. I had seen the church and event hall there, empty maybe fifteen years later, after a short try by another church to lure members in-it failing as well. It was sad, but the reason it failed was much deeper, closer to my heart.

The “projects” were just down the street, and the houses around it were run down and filled with both older, long term residents and young people on the edge of povery and drug use, some still struggling to hold on to family land.

I knew these people, they were my friends.  After an abusive marrige ended, I was part of that world for a time as I began my struggle to find a new life.

The small, sad, church was a reminder than in THIS community,at that time,  their savior, their woman, their daily life was not God, but “brownstone” (heroin, dilaudids, whatever was handy) or a thin white line between misery and estacy. I realize that “regular people” don’t understand these things. They don’t talk about it, especially now, as the plague has moved to another neighborhood. Not disappeared, as folks want to believe, simply moved.

I am of an age when I look at the obituaries first  when I open the newspaper. It is sad to see the parents of friend listed there, just as I have seen my own, but what breaks my heart is seeing the friends, I knew, hung out with, were close to, long ago, listed there too. It has been a shock, not one that was unexpected, but disappointing, often scary when the “beloved” was someone I knew well. It was often hurtful-knowing it could have easily been me. I’ve looked over death certificates in the Court House to see the ’causes of death’ in my friends’ obituaries.  It is always a shock, some of them in their mid- fifties, others in their early sixties. Liver or pancreatic cancer, alcohohoc abuse, drug overdose were listed as the cause of death. Some were homeless, many had gotten their lives together, only to watch them fall apart again. As few, like me, had suffered and survived.

In my younger days, the friends I lost to a life of the brownstone blues, herion, dilaudids, cocaine, a long list of substitues for the hard fight life can become -would often be more violent. A friends’ brother was shot on the sidewalk of the projects during a drug deal, another friends’ brother, missing for days, discovered shot dead in the trunk of a car. Maybe I would read that someone close to me had been  arrested, or the weekly trips to court listed people I had known.  One night, I heard that a childhood girlfriend, had overdosed from cocaine at The age of 23. When I had teens of my own, a friends son, blew his head off after drugs did not cure his depression. The sad story goes on.

I remember, “back in the day”, listening to the hard rock songs I’ve always loved (and still do). They told the true stories of young men (and women) who made it big, only to find the pressure of musical careers and the ease of obtaining drugs ruining their lives. Some made it to tell their story, many did not.

There is a series on “You Tube” called “Behind the Music” that tells many of these tales. In the music world, when a group found success, they often found another world as well. The program allows members of the music groups to tell the story of how life became a series of drugs, highs and lows, ruined lives, wasted talent and too often wasted lives.

I know it didn’t start with Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, etc., but it was the first time I was old enough to hear of it. Living on the cusp of these times, then being reminded of them years later, simply made me realize how easy it can be to try to ease a pain that cannot be eased. We were numbing those unspeakable pains with habits so addictive that only the strongest survive-sometimes.

I don’t have an answer, I have lived through my own hell, I live through it every day, but somehow managed to recognize the stop sign when it appeared before me. I had heard too many times, the stories of people falling for someone on drugs or even alcohol, and the cynical laugh of their friends when they said, “Man, herion IS their woman, they “think” with that needle in their arm-or wherever they can find a spot where the veins have not collapsed. You, dear,  don’t have a chance.”

The list grows, the sorrows of life increased over time, but for those of us who made it, those who ended up in jail or dead and the lucky ones who managed to stay away from problems so deep that we felt there was no answer.

I’ve heard it called the “brownstone blues”. No one who hadn’t been there would know what it meant if it came up in random conversation. I think of the little church, and todays generation not even knowing that once God lived there, or tried to.

One day, I think I will drive by and force my mind to remember-both the days when church services struggled there, and the times, when the lights were out day and night. I wish to those trying to re-use the structures, the grace to remember what WAS and what CAN BE-not just in that neighborhood, but in YOURS.

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Duncan’s Ledger: Those Deadly Pies

Originally posted on Add Humor and Faith....mix well:

A poem my grandfather wrote down in his ledger while sitting around a campfire or a bunkhouse with other cowboys about 100 years ago, which gives us some humorous insight into the anonymous author’s experience with food preservation!

Those Deadly Pies

I loathe, abhor, detest, despise,

abominable dried apple pies.

I like good bread, I like good meat,

or anything that’s good to eat;

but of all poor grub beneath the skies,

the poorest is dried apple pies.

The farmer takes his gnarliest fruit,

’tis wormy, bitter and hard to boot.

They leave the hulls to make me cough,

and don’t take half the peelings off.

Then on a dirty cord ’tis strung,

and in a garret window hung.

And there it serves a rest for flies,

until it’s made up into pies.

Tread on my corns and tell me lies,

but don’t pass me dried apple pies!

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