Thursday, February 3, 2011


Once again, I am posting two poems.  The first poem is for the Few Miles prompt of 'Mother' for the February Haiku-a-thon.  The second poem is a Brisbane Sonnet, which was penned for both the Poetic Asides' Sonnet Forms Challenge and for Theme Thursday's photo prompt.

Illustration by J. C. Leyendecker

no words can describe
the wonders of a mother
but hugs do nicely


The Old Garage By My Grandfather’s House, Revisited

The old garage by my grandfather’s house
had been chained; locked up for years, since he died.
When I was young, I used to play in there.
My memories from then are of strains of Strauss
and his old blue Buick.  Also inside
were buckets of paint.  A thousand, I’d swear.
Each bucket represented a spectrum
of hues which complimented Strauss’ airs.
I’d bang on those paint-splashed lids with lead tools,
pretending they were made of electrum*.
My grandfather’d smile, as if answered prayers
were Buicks, noisy kids and paint cans jewels.
I turn the key, open the doors…and stare:
a thousand paint cans are still sitting there.
(*Electrum is an alloy of the precious metals gold and silver.)



  1. Really enjoyed your poem the paint cans becoming jewels...completing the alchemy of your grandfathers legacy....nice...bkm

  2. Excellent - I always dig an authentic poem.

  3. I would love to have wandered through that paint can-filled garage. It would likely resemble the steamer trunks of fabric and yarn my grandmother left behind. Lovely write!

  4. RJ, Love the haiku.
    Grandfather's garage is very authentic. The wonder of colours.
    Nicely done.

  5. oh cool, and it reminded me of my grandpa's garage........thanks!

  6. Enjoye the Haiku to the core.. Awsome Haiku for Mom..

    Someone is Special

  7. Old Ollie - thanks! It's a slightly embellished piece, but when I was little, my grandparents owned an old Victorian in Atlantic City. The garage was off to the side, and since they were always doing renovations and restoration work, there were always paint cans in the garage. Seeing the photograph brought back a lot of memories.

  8. Kim - thanks! That was exactly the feeling I was trying to recreate.

  9. Pamela - thanks! The picture of the paint cans brought back memories from when I was a little girl. It was really interesting to write that poem - and afterward, I called my mom to ask her if my memories were accurate, since it was so long ago - and she said for the most part, they were,

  10. Sherry Blue Sky - thanks! We have something in common, eh?

  11. I love the grandfather poem, his appreciation of color, like jewels!
    It was really beautiful~
    I love the imagery you provide...
    Well Done~

    Mother Haiku was lovely~

  12. Sometimes, it is indeed the very plain and everyday 'things' which can trigger a wonderful memory.
    I loved the array of paint cans!

    Eileen :)

  13. That is a really good paint prompt poem. Inspired a reflection on my papaw's old woodworking shop; the smell of sawdust, the hum and whine of the bandsaw...nice.

    Also like the haiku(me favorite poetry form, maybe...). Most excellent! Great illustration too, but I can't make out the signature. Know who it is?

  14. Aha! Quick Google Image search brought it up: J.C. Leyendecker! I thought it looked like a pro. ;-)

  15. A Decker - first, thanks for the nice words.

    Second, I had no idea the artwork was Leyendecker. I found it unattributed on someone's website or blog after a search for 'mother' under Google images. I assumed it was copyright-free, given the style (and the lack of attribution) which was a naive and foolish move on my part.

    I will give credit now, and I apologize for any indications to the contrary.

    However, thanks for the heads-up - I have another favorite 'new' illustrator to add to my ever-growing list.

  16. RJ, a unique take on the legacy prompt. I LOVE the image - all splashes of color remind me of jewels!

    Your grandpa sounds like the kind of guy you could sit down and have a beer with, watching the kids bang away with abandon. Loved this.


  17. Thanks, Amy! My 10 year old daughter asked me to send her the picture of the paint cans because she also liked the 'jewels.'

    As for my grandfather, he would have loved to sit and chat with you.

    However. I gather that even when he was 'older' he (and his friends) didn't drink much because he used to invite some senior buddies over to play poker. and he'd bring out a six pack. of which a couple of bottles still remained after card night ended.

    (He did love his dessert, 'though!)


  18. both are magical. hugs sure will do. :)

    the second one is so filled with nostalgia ...