“Where Have All The Good Times Gone”

For those of you who haven’t yet met him, I’d like to introduce my wonderful, talented friend Ivor. This is his latest poem. I love it, and I think you will, too:

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A few days ago I had started writing a poem about Penny Farthing Bicycles, prompted by an article in the Geelong Advertiser newspaper, the arrival in Geelong of eight members of the Melbourne Bicycle Club in March 1880, as per featured picture above, courtesy of the Geelong Heritage Centre Collection. Then I was chatting with my friend Jane of Janebasilblog, she had just sent me the song and lyrics of the Mary Hopkin hit, “Those Were The Days”, from 1968, and I mentioned The Kinks were one of my fav’s from that era, and of course their song “Lola”. After our chat, I starting thinking [which is dangerous for me] about writing a crazy, combined, mixed up poem… The piece below is the result of those thoughts, and to my older readers, you’ll notice all the phrases written in Italic, are song titles taken from The Kinks album “The Kinks…

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Boulders and Daisies

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You hustled a one-way ticket to hell,
hopping heavily aboard the chugging train,
smutty snow dripping down shrinking lanes,
tripping its way into cellular recesses
sifting your sight and your senses like sand.

Love and ribboned opportunities
jumbled up with rusty maybe-memories,
stuttered on the hollow horizon.
Blinded by the back end of a telescope,
all you perceived were burning trees.

You regretted the leathery ticket to hell,
and bravely you leaped from the trickety train.
Bruised by boulders and freed from near-misses,
the broken pieces were soldered with kisses
and you bathed in the cleansing rain.

This video is visually poor, but I like the sound. Beatlemania was a weird phenomenon – the fans made so much noise that they drowned out what they had paid to hear…

©Jane Paterson Basil

Dropped Stitches

“It’s like knitting a scarf,” the woman said, plopping herself down with another G&T.

She appeared to be talking to me, so I glanced her way.

“Life, I mean. It’s like knitting a scarf. You choose the colours, and make it as long or short as you want. You can make an intricate pattern, or keep it simple. It can be dull or exciting.” As she looked up, I noticed a tidemark on her neck.

“I suppose so,” I said uncertainly, taking in her unkempt appearance.

“D’you want to see mine?” she asked, opening a large carrier bag and pulling out something woolly. She proudly held it up. The lower end of it trailed on the floor, soaking up a pool of questionable liquid.

The scarf’s erratic hues screamed painfully at each other. Shamelessly dropped stitches and ladders gaped.

The Daily Post’s word prompt for today is Knit. Yesterday I wrote a poem about knitting, so today I had to come up with something different…

©Jane Paterson Basil

Knitting a Life

 

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When your place in this world
becomes too complex to contemplate,
and the origin of the grit in your eye
can no longer be placed,
it is best to meditate
on the inch of fine thread
that will lead you to the next step.

Take it one stitch at a time,
and don’t worry about
the final shape
of the finished piece.


There is a time for forward planning; a time to set goals and work toward ambitious aspirations. There is also a time to focus only on the next small step, not trying to control or manipulate future events. Knitting has helped me to focus on the moment, and stop trying to force change. Right now, if I stay calm and trust the future to unfold gently, it is more likely to do so.


Inspired by a ball of wool and Reena’s Exploration Challenge.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Celebrate your Legs

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Some of us are weak kneed, knock kneed, knuckle kneed,
dreaming of much nicer knees, knees that are nobble-free,
knees that never creak, or no knees at all.
We’d not need knees if we were lacking legs,
but if our legs dropped off we’d be heading for a fall;
so we all want legs, and without our knees
our poor old legs would be stiff as pegs,
good for little more than standing tall.

The shape and the size and the state of our thighs
may be sore to the eyes, but a word to the wise –
some of us may agonise, may disguise or try to downsize,
thinking them too wide or too pied, but they help us to stride
down the roadside, hillside, wayside, on any side and every side,
waggling our backsides, or gliding like a bride.

Shins are pretty thin, their bones sit next to skin
sensitive to irritating scraping and scratching,
low furniture abusing them, banging them and bruising them,
at every opportunity, but they’re streamlined for sprinting.

Calves are often floppy, they may be thick or thin,
they often swell in places where you want them to go in.
If they get too flabby our jeans may be a squeeze,
while skirts can swing and rise up in a sudden gusty breeze,
revealing all our bulgy bits, and that is not much fun,
but the chub will turn to muscle if we regularly run.

Ankles are all angles, and at risk from hockey stick,
which with a careless swing, can deal a painful clip,
they’re delicate, and sensitive to every graze and bruise,
and when ambushed by a table leg, they usually lose.
But they’re worth all the pain and the occasional sprain,
as the moment they recover, they’re in action again,
helping you to balance and lifting up your feet,
while twisting round to steer you up and down the street.

Legs may be lanky, flabby, lean or even beautiful –
however they may look, they are usually dutiful,
taking you to places far too narrow for a car;
from bathroom into bedroom – then to ballroom or to bar.
They’re useful on a bicycle if you want the wheels to turn,
and if you didn’t have them it would cause you some concern.
You cannot do the can-can without a working pair,
and for roamin’ in the gloamin’ there’s nothing to compare
with your legs, whether hairy, freckled, ugly or glamorous —
and they prove to be an asset when yer man is getting amorous;
You can wrap ’em round or lay ’em flat or bend ’em at the knees,
or contort them in whatever way the two of you may please.

To celebrate your legs, play some music, have a dance,
jump and hop and wiggle while you still have got the chance.

I wrote this poem a few months ago for a friend, to include in a book she was writing about legs, which has just gone to print.

©Jane Paterson Basil

IOTD …. “🐘 Images of the Day, Special Edition …. #BeKindToElephants 🐘 …. “!!

I don’t have any words for how I feel about this. Please read the original post, and reblog if you feel moved to do so.

It Is What It Is

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~~Ellen Launches #BeKindToElephants Campaign~~

~~Published on Nov 16, 2017~~

Following the ‘so-called president’s’ decision to allow hunters to bring “trophy” elephants into the U.S., Ellen stood up for the majestic creatures and called on viewers to help her raise awareness for her cause using #BeKindtoElephants on social media.

For everyone who reposts or retweets her photo, we’ll make a donation to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

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Ask Me Why

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When we were families,
grandma’s house was a shared nest, and her attic
held history’s secrets beneath
dust that had caressed generations of kin.
Fingerprints revealed the smudged sheen
of an oaken music box, broken
by children’s rough love.
Though empty, it retained memories
of seamed silk stockings and a mother’s kiss.
Buried in a leather trunk an unworn
wedding dress told a musty story of domestic hope,
its promise stolen by the guns of war;
beneath the yellowed crepe-de-chine
lay mothy remnants
of a bridal bottom drawer.

When we were families,
most of us had somewhere
we could call our family home.
It may be humble, rough-and tumble,
with crumbling bathroom walls,
but it was many times better than no home at all.
When cold weather crept through our vests,
we’d pile into the kitchen through a welcoming door
and nestle next to a warming fire.

   * * *

Beyond my window, rain splashes passers by.
A billowing wind blows them forward, to where dry warmth beckons .

Half a mile away an encampment of flimsy tents
does little to protect our homeless friends.

At night they crawl inside their sleeping bags, fully dressed.
Curling up tight, they pretend to themselves that their nest is safe,
while council officials continue their plot
to rob the dispossessed of what little they’ve got.

©Jane Paterson Basil