Archives for posts with tag: antiques

by Alexandra Carr-Malcolm

There it sat, in all its hideous glory,
a bulbous, iridescent, purple pimple,
with burnished orange tongues licking,
lasciviously savouring the purpleness.

It was a product of the swinging sixties,
and T. Rex glam rock seventies.
An affront to pottery, a frivolous folly;
a vase of distinction, all in the worst possible taste.

Not Spode, Wedgewood or even Pearsons,
She bought it from the market,
proudly placed on top of the mdf bookcase
with glass sliding doors.

They laughed, teased, insulted
the garish, gaudy, clay monstrosity.
Moved from shelf to side, hidden,
it was always restored to centre stage.

Too overpowering to hold delicate blooms,
too selfish, not wanting to be outshone,
it beamed and blinked on the mantle,
in the flickering light of the TV.

House move to house move it survived,
always her pride — in the room left for best,
until she died,
then wrapped in yesterday’s old yellow news;
locked away, denied, a taboo.

One day — somehow, remembered fondly,
revived, the story of Grandma’s vase,
unlocked, unpacked, grieving done, decades gone,
it sees the light of day, and has its place in the sun.

Handed to me, a keepsake, a memory,
an heirloom from Chesterfield market,
it now sits comfortably –- retro;
proudly wearing its purple and orange coat,
a model of perfection — ahead of its time.

© Heirloom 06.10.2014 by Alexandra Carr-Malcolm

PHOTO: The author with the vase she inherited from her grandmother.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My maternal grandmother purchased this vase in the 1970s from Chesterfield market. Most of the family made fun of its gaudiness and used to hide it. I remember it always being on display in her house. When she died it was packed away and stored. Reminiscing with my aunt about my memories of my grandma and her house, the story of the vase came up. A few weeks later she had unpacked the vase and gifted it to me. It is one of my most treasured possessions and it always makes me smile.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alexandra Carr-Malcolm was born and raised in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. She now lives in Yorkshire and works as a freelance British Sign Language Interpreter within the Yorkshire region. She has been featured in many collaborative anthologies by Dagda Publishing, The Wait, and Three Drops from a Cauldron.Her first anthology Tipping Sheep (the right way) was released in 2013. Her second anthology, Counting Magpies, was released in October 2015. Her poems can be found on her blog

Grandmother’s Clock
by Ruth Bavetta

Come Daylight Savings Time
I can almost hear her.
Coffee grounds are good for ferns.
Never use black straight from the tube.
If you’re making chicken salad,
veal is cheaper than chicken.
Don’t use the knob to move the hands,
it mixes up the chimes.

Press the earth around the plant
to keep the air away from the roots.
Never go down to the main beach
and mix with the common people.
Dresden is the city for opera.
Glass looks best against the light.
Sometimes, in the middle
of the night I wake and hear her
alone in the dark.

PHOTO: The clock the author inherited from her grandmother in an honored spot at her home in California.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I remember this clock in my grandmother’s house when I was only eight. Every fifteen minutes? said my husband, after my grandmother died. How can we live with that? But we have, 43 years and counting. Now the clock sits on a bookcase here in our house by the beach. Still counting sunset to sunset.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ruth Bavetta  listens to the clock’s Westminster chimes in her studio overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Her poems have been published in Rhino, Rattle, Nimrod, Tar River Poetry, North American Review, Spillway, Poetry New Zealand, and many other places. Her work is included in four anthologies. She has published three books, Flour Water Salt (FutureCycle Press) Embers on the Stairs(Moontide Press) and Fugitive Pigments (FutureCycle Press.). She loves the light on November afternoons, the smell of the ocean, a warm back to curl against in bed. She hates pretense, fundamentalism, and sauerkraut.


On Tuesday, July 23, 2013, I was one of the lucky people with a ticket to an elegant and enlightening event — Raymond Chandler’s 125th birthday celebration. Hosted by Richard Schave and Kim Cooper — the brilliant minds behind the Los Angeles Visionaries Association (LAVA) — the party started out in the noir glamor of the “Invention” bar at the Los Angeles Athletic Club at 7th and Olive in downtown L.A.

The L.A. Athletic Club is where Chandler, who worked across the street at the Dabney Oil offices, came to exercise — his elbows, wrists, and hands — by drinking at the bar and playing bridge. Lucky for us, since this is where the master gained so much of his insight into Los Angeles and the movers and shakers who ran the town.

The festivities then moved to the club’s ballroom — outfitted with pillars to keep the swimming pool on the floor above from crashing through. (It may not be easy to dance around pillars, but it’s easier than dancing under water.) There was no dancing on this particular evening — though one of the speakers, Sybil Anne Davis, who knew Chandler as a child, informed us that “Ray,” as he liked to be called, was a wonderful dancer.


Davis’s mother Jean was Chandler’s last secretary — working for the author in La Jolla, California, during his final years . (Chandler passed away in 1959.) As a child and young teen, Davis and her brother spent a great deal of time with Chandler  (photo of Sybil and Ray at left) — and she offered many anecdotes about his humor, charm, kindness, generosity, and wit. From her mother, she inherited Chandler’s library — consisting of hundreds of books — and read us many of the inscriptions that Chandler had written to his wife Cissy as well as Cissy’s inscriptions to “Raymeo.”


Sybil also showed us a truly iconic piece of art — Raymond Chandler’s silver cigarette case, engraved with his initials: RTC. (See photo at right of similar case.) As all noir lovers know, the cigarette is emblematic of the genre — so I was truly awestruck to be in the same room with this remarkable item. Later, when I had the chance to speak with Sybil Davis, I asked her in a whisper: ” Do you think I could hold, even for a second, Chandler’s cigarette case?” Davis, an effervescent and affable woman — and an attorney by profession — agreed, but by then we were advised to head for the elevators because we were moving across the street for a tour of the Oviatt Building, which served as a setting for Chandler‘s novel The Lady in the Lake.

….to be continued.