Archives for posts with tag: memories

bathtub outside
What Shrinks, What Grows
by Ed Ruzicka

I should have left you
before you left me.

If I had boarded a train
that pulled out of a nameless depot

you would have grown smaller, shrunk:
lover, heron, bunny, quail, cricket, one iota.

Instead you have grown, swollen—
weather front that settles on top of a landscape.

Memories solidify, brood within, without.
You are still on the jetties in Racine at midnight.

The tumult of Lake Michigan bashes stone,
jets up white walls that crash back to rock.

You still giggle in candle light
in our clawfoot tub. While Billie Holiday

sings from the record player’s needle,
you slide a loofa over the limbs of desire.

In some part of me, the weather
has never changed, I am still waiting.

Silly though. If you came to me again
with softness, turmoil, delights, distress,

what would I do now, an old man
who has forgotten how to hope?

PHOTO: Windmill and bathtub (Polaroid) by Moominsean.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Once you have loved someone deeply, that feeling is always there, though largely locked away. I am completely happy as I am now and yet a certain undeniable truth and strong emotion emerged as I wrote this. I can’t figure the heart out. If you do, I’m on Facebook—let me know.

radio dec 20 Charlie and me (2)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ed Ruzicka has published widely. His most recent book, My Life in Cars, is a sort of tell-all-tale about the rocky relationship between freedom and the American highway. Ed began working in his father’s Rexall drugstore at age eight. He lit out from Illinois cornfields in 1970 and has traveled widely. He worked as a deck-hand, short order cook, oil-field roughneck, tree trimmer, welder’s assistant, barge cleaner, social worker, and more. Ed settled in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he practices Occupational Therapy. Ed and his wife, Renee, often sit out at sunset on a patio that backs up to the rest of the world.

heart if home by holly lay
How to Make Memories When the World Stops
by Shelly Blankman

Memory books line my shelves with pages of life
in pictures . . . moments in time that might otherwise
fade — photos, tickets, programs, awards.

But what happens when the world halts? When
pages of time have no record of trips, outings,
holidays, family gatherings. Nothing to capture

on film. This was my new challenge. Not the materials.
Special glues and pens, papers and stickers. I had
those. But how I do I fashion fond memories from dreary

days that blur, seasons that vanish like steam from windows,
quiet moments that fill our time where noise and color used
to be? Life as we knew it could only be pieced together like

the puzzle of a world that had fallen apart. Personal pictures
that could only be replaced now by snippets of time —
news clippings of Black lives that mattered and a new president

who would matter, too. Screenshots of Scattergories on Zoom
with our kids, now quarantined in Texas and New York, their
laughter echoing in our own living room. A screenshot of my

my husband, tallit on shoulders, yarmulke on head, cat by his side,
leading Shabbat services on Zoom with a congregation no longer
able to pray and sing side by side. And Zoom dinners with friends

and family, on-line toasts to a time when we could clink our glasses
to a future of a world of hugs and hope. A time when my scrapbook
can be filled with festive memories of travels and family gatherings.

New memories for a world reclaimed

PHOTO ART: Heart if home by Holly Lay (Polaroid emulsion on glass and mixed media).

Blankman photo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shelly Blankman lives in Columbia, Maryland. She and her husband are currently quarantined there from two sons: Richard of New York City, and Joshua of San Antonio, Texas. Richard and Joshua surprised her last year with her first book of poetry,  Pumpkinhea  (available on Amazon). Her work has also appeared in a number publications, including Literary Review-East, Ekphrastic Review, and Verse-Virtual. 

beautiful-world-1962(1).jpg!Large 1962
How to Be Invisible
by Lynne Kemen

Pretend to read a book,
but listen closely
as your parents forget
that you are close by
and can hear them
talk about the move
that they are
going to make
because your father
changed jobs and
is being transferred
to another state.
Where is Indiana?

When there is an argument,
stay very still and quiet.
Put on the invisibility cloak
while the drama swirls around.
Your parents are talking
about “avorce.”
What does that word mean?

Learn to feign sleep in the
the backseat of the car while
there is an interesting
conversation
about the checkbook
and who forgot
to write the last check
and what
will happen if the check bounces.
How can something flat bounce?

Part of learning to be invisible
Is to make sure that you don’t
let grownups know what you
have learned. Ever. If you do,
you lose the magic of being
invisible forever.

IMAGE: Beautiful World by René Magritte (1962).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: With “How to Be Invisible,” I revisited being a child and wanting to find out why the adults were having such emotionally loaded conversations.

kemen copy1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lynne Kemen lives in the Western Catskills of New York. Five of her poems were featured in Seeing Things: An Anthology of Poetry, Edited by Robert Bensen (Woodland Arts Editions, 2020), and her chapbook, More Than A Handful  was published in 2020 by Woodland Arts Editions. Her work has also appeared in La Presa. Lynne is a Board Member of Bright Hill Literary Press, as well as several other nonprofit organizations.

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AUTUMN 
by Taigu Ryōkan (1758-1831)

My beloved friend
You and I had a sweet talk,
Long ago, one autumn night.
Renewing itself
The year has rumbled along,
That night still in memory.

Illustration: “Early Autumn” by Qian Xuan (1235-1305)

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AUTUMN 

Zen Poem by Taigu Ryōkan (1758-1831)

My beloved friend

You and I had a sweet talk,

Long ago, one autumn night.

Renewing itself

The year has rumbled along,

That night still in memory.

Illustration: “Early Autumn” by Qian Xuan (1235-1305)