Hidden Treasures


My husband and I often drive without any particular destination in mind. Last weekend our excursion brought us to a very interesting spot off of Route 46 on Budd Lake. I took some photographs when I heard from a distance someone asking us if we were tourists. I found his comment amusing given the fact we live about 25 miles away. But I guess we did look like tourists as I was carrying my camera bag and holding my Nikon camera fitted with a telescopic lens.

The person was paddling a small canoe across the lake and another person looked like he was getting his gear ready for a beautiful sunny day of fishing. For all we know they could have been the owners or gatekeeper of the property. The castle is now Pax Amicus Theater. Frankly I never heard of it before but very happy we found it. The theater was founded in 1970 and according to Wikipedia “This community theater produces a full year-round season of Broadway and off-Broadway revivals, professional productions of works by Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe, a program devoted to children’s theater, and special events throughout the year.” The most curious find of all was the various statutes dedicated to different people. It seemed surreal to me that along Budd Lake there would be a castle. “The Castle was built in the 1940s as a cinderblock synagogue. Later, it was owned by the Knights of Columbus. In 1978, it was turned into a theatre through the addition of a small stage house, two cinderblock turrets out front, and a fake-gothic facade. It sits at the end of a winding road on the shores of Budd Lake, perhaps 30 miles from Pennsylvania, and is surely one of the damnedest things one will ever run across. A sign over the front door reads “Pax Amicus”-“Peace, Friend.” I would love to know more about the people mentioned on the plaques. As a child this kind of place fascinated me. I suppose it still does. I hope that someone recognizes this hidden treasure and could give us more information. And if you never knew about it, you need to check it out some time.

Statue in front of Amicus Castle

Statue at Memorial Park in BUDD lakeeither thinking or cryingGeorge Stults PlaquePax Amicus Theater 2Pax Amicus Theater

Look Inside Their Hearts


I watched in awe

sitting in the first row

of a small cafetorium

as forty children performed

their very much rehearsed musical show.

Each child so unique and special

watched in anticipation for the signals

of their beloved music teacher.

The tamborine players started the jamboree

The maraca players joined in at the count of three

Then the drummers followed faithfully.

The teacher’s face glowed with pride

and we all learned for just an instant

to look inside their hearts as she does everyday.

One can see the unconditional devotion

the audience filled with emotion

clapped and cheered as each child was introduced

I heard someone say:

“I will never underestimate

the power of a teacher.”

It is all about one’s expectation

and the magic music can bring.

When all was said and done

my heart was so happy and

wanted to sing.

* This poem is dedicated to good teachers and most of all to those who devote their career to children with special needs. Most of the children in the show were autistic. It was amazing.

DSC_0254

I had a dream that I had been a guest at 27 rue de Fleurus


I had a dream that I had been a guest at
27 rue de Fleurus

I had a dream
That I had been a guest at
27 rue de Fleurus

Picasso, William Carlos Williams,
Matisse and a few others happened
To drop by.

Oh my!
I felt like I was in heaven.
I asked Matisse to look at one of my portraiture paintings
The one I called exotic lady.
Not a resemblance of me. I think.
He stared at it and did not say a word.

But Picasso approached with caution
and I stepped back to let him
get a good view
and he smiled.

Oh wow!
I did not want to awake.
I wanted the dream to last
So I could speak to Carlos
And ask him about his epic Poem Paterson
This is the town where I taught for many years
I told him.

The place where “everyone has roots”
I believed that “every child is an artist”

I asked him what he thought about his Paterson today
He did not respond but my heart
knew the answer.

27 rue de Fleurus
was a beautiful place
I was in awe of the art
Overwhelmed with the culture
And the echoes of great thoughts

Oh my!
It’s time to get up
Or I’ll be late to work.

Melba Christie 2014

27 Rue de Fleurus

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A Time for Peace


peaceful

It is a time for peace

Let us make it our business

one at a time or in unison

to once and for all

rid the world of hatred

and violence erase.

 

Be still and listen to your heartbeat

for it is the same

in everyone’s chest.

 

We all need it inside of us

in order to exist.

 

So let this one

of many things

we share in common

drive the manifest

and put our hearts to the test

let each beat you hear

remind you of another soul like you

and let love insist

to keep its home

in each and every heart

which indeed is our own.

Melba Christie (c) 2013

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry Challenge – Write a Holiday Tanka Poem


I have participated in several challenges offered by WordPress bloggers. This week I decided to present a challenge. The challenge is to write a tanka Poem. What is a tanka?

According to Poets.org:

“The Japanese tanka is a thirty-one-syllable poem, traditionally written in a single unbroken line. A form of waka, Japanese song or verse, tanka translates as “short song,” and is better known in its five-line, 5/7/5/7/7 syllable count form.”. – See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5793#sthash.AXxXZdvi.dpuf

Please post your poem and write Tanka Challenge in the Title. Then, comment on my holiday tanka with your tanka’s  title and your web address so I can read your poems. I am looking forward to your participation. In the meantime, Happy Holidays to all my readers and followers.

Glimmering lights

Tis the Season

Glimmering lights

dance to celebrate

the holidays

and the joy of a new year

and everyone

is ready for all the cheer.

                                                                                                                    Melba Christie

Fall’s Last Call


Fall's Call

Mighty winds whisper out loud for everyone to hear

“it time for all of you to leave, my dears”

the earth prepares for the great gathering

and formed is a colorful mosaic

the crimson’s restlessly await their destination

Will it be bunched up in a brown paper bag?

Or will someone blow them back under their tree of origin?

Will it rain and the weight press down and make them stick to each other ?

Or will an early snow fall freeze them until the spring thaw?

One last ivy leaf was painted on a wall

to save Johnsy’s life one windy fall

Fall’s last call can be very sad

but the beauty of its bright colors

delight the site and make us glad.

Melba Christie

There is a Paradise of Words



Paradise of words

There is a paradise of words
brilliant, exceptional, enchanted
Some still unimaginable
Full of pleasures beyond feeling
to be owned by only a few of us
who understand their delight 
and the sensation words bring to the soul
words meant just for you or me
perhaps intentionally 
on purpose

I love all words 
I love when they decide to dwell inside 
my heart and mind
but most especially
I love the adjectives

I love words 
when they finally find each other
and mesmerize the poet
captivate the playwright
court the novelist
or muse the songwriter

I love the words that question
the impossible, the self, the irrational

I know I may never meet you all 
or feel your intensity and strength
or understand your significance
in my lifetime

But my vow today:
is to seek you
attract you to my poetry
and love songs
so that hopefully
I am remembered.

Another great find


In a few posts I have described the things I have found in my attic. Most times my finds bring me back to a time and place I had forgotten about. I love antiques. I started collecting antiques at an early age. My dad loved to go to antique shops; he’d take me with him on his scavenger hunts for “treasures of the past” as he coined them.

During a visit with my daughter we finally had the opportunity to go an antique store housed in an old barn. What a place. You really need a day to see all they have to offer. As I was browsing at all the stuff I came across a 1940’s Royal typewriter. It was just like the one my dad had at home. It was stolen right after he passed away. I was heart-broken because my dad so loved his Royal machine as my father called it. I actually learned to type on that machine. I couldn’t believe I was looking at the same model. It came with its original case.

I asked the store owner if I could test it. He warned me he was selling as is. I dug deep in my purse and found a shopping receipt. I placed it on the typewriter and typed “Dad”. It worked! The ink was RED. I almost cried. I was so excited.

I bought it right away and could not wait to get back home to put it on my antique desk. I cleaned the machine until I managed to get a shine. I cleaned each key meticulously and I put new ribbon in. I knew I would need to get used to the keys and started practicing. I typed “asdfg” with my left hand and then “hjkl;” with my right hand to exercise my fingers.  I had a flashback to my high school typing teacher. She was a drill master. She listened as we typed to make sure we were in unison like a band playing. The keys are harder to manipulate but the sound they make is like music to me to my ears. It took me a few days to get into the rhythm. After all it had been at least thirty years since I had used a manual typewriter. Word processors and computers was all I used.

 

practicing

I love my Royal machine. I will use it to write some posts. I write letters to my grandson on it. Most of the letters let him know about family and things I want him to know about me and his great grandparents.

I love the bell when it is time to hit return and start a new paragraph. Every time I hear it I am reminded that writing and poetry is about life. This machine makes me feel like a royal. I hope to write many letters to my grandson on it. I told him the machine will be his one day.

 

My first Royal post.

 

 

 

where letters lay                                                                                           Melba Christie (c) 2017

A poem using movie titles of the 70’s


We could not believe
Woodstock
was on the big screen
as it turns out, so was
The Go-Between
Some of us were
Lovers and Others Strangers
 
The Wild Child
never knew about the dangers
of having no
Bed and Board
There was little
we could afford
 
Three Sisters                                                                                                                           
made love
to all                                                                                                                                         
The Boys in the Band
 
A First Love
was hard to understand
 A true
Love Story
 who knew that
Ryan’s Daughter was                                                                           
A Virgin and a Gypsy
No doubt
A Catch 22
 
The People Next Door
The Aristocrats in town
some begged a smile
and all of them frowned
 
Joe, their neighbor, was
The Man Called Horse
He was also
The American Soldier
who spoke up that day
and yelled without remorse                                                                                                      
 Start the Revolution Without Me
 
And deep in the imagination
Beneath the Planet of the Apes
 there was no escaping
The Owl and The Pussycat
 
Imagine that
these movies all happened
the year of my graduation
when nothing was left to the imagination
 
yet we all wondered how the heck
Cotton Comes to Harlem
116th Street to be exact
Good Old Ben Franklin                                                                                                                                  
 
to be exact
 
And as the song says
On a Clear day You Can See Forever
the End of the Road
or the light in the tunnel
For the Great White Hope
That is a fact!
 

Melba Christie (c) 2013

Cover of "Start the Revolution Without Me...
Cover of Start the Revolution Without   Me
Cotton Comes to Harlem (novel)
Cotton Comes to Harlem (novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cover of "Beneath the Planet of the Apes ...
Cover via Amazon

Poets are Everywhere


 

Poets are Everywhere

 

 

 

                        Poetry is life and a poet can be found anywhere. It is so delightful when poets are appreciated and celebrated.  Poets interpret life for us on every level. In my earlier post I highlighted Michael Hoppe and his musical repertoire inspired by some of the best poets. I look for this inspiration everywhere I go and it does not fail; I manage to connect to that magical world each time. This place is such a place.

Melba Christie (C) 2013

See Poetry is Life by Melba Christie

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Poem to Celebrate


A sort of Self Portrait Melba Christie

(c) Melba Christie

A Poem to Celebrate 

Today and only today

for now anyway

I want to celebrate

my life.

I want to celebrate right now

who I have become

who I was

and who I am right this very minute.

Why?

because it is easy to forget these things.

because we forget that life is too short;

I want to celebrate my life right now.

This poem is to celebrate

the now

this very instant

the essence of this second

the miracles that happen within a minute’s time

like the birth of a child

or the reviving of a life.

I want to celebrate the number of breaths

that have been programmed just for me.

We are all given a only certain number

of breaths during our lifetime.

I want to celebrate the first and the last one now.

I cannot remember the first and do not know when the last will be.

I want to celebrate

my poems

the letters that gave life to my words

the thoughts that gave life to me

and the force

that made me think about

who I am now.

I want to celebrate

today and only today

for now anyway

my life

what I celebrate tomorrow

will depend on today.

“Find the narrow gate that leads to life.” It is called the now.Narrow your life down to this moment. (Tolle, 1999)

Source: The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

Happy Birthday Grandson


For Isaiah
For Isaiah

I cannot  believe you are six today

I am sorry we have missed being with you

so much along the way

but know that one thing will be forever true

Grandma and Grandpa will always love you

Since the day that you were born 

you changed our lives in many ways

we think about you everyday

and wish that you were near 

 

You are so very dear

to us and make us very proud

So Happy Birthday 

Dear Grandson

We hope you have a lot of fun today

with Mom and Dad 

and both your brothers.

We hope your Birthday is the best

and like no other 

and although we are far away 

our hearts are close to you

and there to stay. 

God Bless you.