The Old Address Book


The old leather bound address book

sits faithfully and patiently

on the desk he would sit at for hours.

 

He does not open it anymore;

the names inside,

phantoms of the past,

long distance area codes,

of the places he loved to visit with old friends.

attached are notes with extra large paper clips

remind him to call for one reason or another

but he cannot remember if he did .

 

Mother turns the pages

as she softly sings the alphabet song.

She stops at the letter “J”

hoping the name “Jo” jogs his memory.

 

She then turns to the letter “M”

and then like magic

he calls out “mama”

and asks for the phone

because he forgot to call her today

tears quickly rush down his face

he remembered

she is gone.

 

 

 

 

His Song: The Wanderer


He was the wanderer

described in the song sung by Dion

The song with the 12-bar blues.

 

No doubt our Willie broke many hearts too

there was not one girl he would cling on to

for he lived life without a care,

He’d take any bet and any dare;

and used his two fists to get respect.

There wasn’t much you could expect

from this wanderer.

 

His big brown eyes wooed the girls every single time

for no reason nor was there no rhyme

they’d never knew what hit them

when he’d decide to leave them

 

A song with lyrics not perhaps

all politically correct today

a macho kind of song

chauvinistic at best people would say

 

 

Willie lived only the present

no worries,

no commitment,

never in one place for too long

he was a wanderer; never took a rest.

 

I hear his song now and then

and think about what would have been

for my crazy wanderer friend

he lost his life on the go one lonely night

when he hopped into his brand new 1962 Chevy Impala

Not necessarily to go to any gala

but to roam around the world

as he shouted, “that’s right”

 

He was a wanderer

Happy as a Clown

Content to roam around the town

And I wish

he were still around.

 

chevy

The Wanderer By Dion

 

The Sunday Memories of A Baby Boomer


Sunday Morning

A day of rituals

started with church

at St. Luke’s

where forgiven sins

remained for the rest of the week.

 

Then a big breakfast:

pancakes, scrambled eggs,

sizzling bacon and home fries

we ate until we almost died.

 

Then off to some adventure

dad would plan it out as a surprise

no matter how he tried to disguised it

It was usually a day at the theater

or at Palisades Amusement Park

in the summer a trip on the D train to Coney Island Beach

 

But first we’d all sit and read

the New York Journal American

Ivan grabbed the funnies or comic strips

he loved Buz Sawyer and Flash Gordon

 

I had dibs on the magazine that featured

a celebrity on its cover

and every week I underlined

the million dollar movie titles I wanted to watch

mom would do the weekly puzzle

cut out a recipe or two

and peeped at the fashion sections

for tips and how to’s

Dad loved the broadway quips

boxing, sports and politics

 

Sunday night we could not miss

the Ed Sullivan Show.

I loved Topo Gigio,

and the first time he presented the Beatles.

The show introduced us to Carmen Miranda, Jerry Lewis

and almost Bob Dylan,

who walked off the set on day in 63′.

 

Reality was the best it could be

all of us together building memories.

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/music/fab-trivia-4-little-known-facts-about-beatles-ed-sullivan-n24886

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Empty Nest is Emptier Today


My empty nest is emptier today

after all of my children and grandchildren

all came home for a very brief stay

They spoiled me like a little kid

with gorgeous smiles,

spontaneous hugs

and kisses,

and comments

prefaced with

remember mom when this and that or this other

referencing the good times she had with her only brother

 

sometimes I wonder if their memories

are fiction or actually fact

They will never know how much

they are missed by their father and mother

 

I tour the house after they all leave

for fainted hints of their perfumes and colognes

and objects they have left behind

that constantly remind

me of the things they did and said

like: my son’s hearty chuckle

my daughter’s pumpkin bread

my grandson Nicholas and his

little dance to Elmo’s Alphabet Song,

and Isaiah’s curious questions about

nature and dinosaurs.

It soothes me to look at

all the pictures I have of them

all around the house.

 

All is so very quiet;

Not a single rouse,

My empty house is emptier

than it ever was before

But it is what it is

Can anyone ever blame me

for wanting to see them more.

 

I scan the empty spaces

as tears run down my face

my eyes are a little blurry

yet focus on something small

sitting on Grandma’s favorite chair

just one lonely small sock abandoned

my dear Nicholas is there.

I gently place it

by his perfect picture

hugging his favorite teddy bear

I pray the next time I see them

will be just a little quicker.

 

In the meantime my empty nest

is emptier than it ever was before

All I know is

as days go by

my love

for all my children grows

more and more and more.

 

Melba Christie (C) 2014

 

 

 

Remembering The Unforgettable


Once again for the 13th year

we remember the unforgettable

and the very dear

souls taken from us on 9/11

loved ones read their

names one by one

hoping they hear us in heaven

 

Bells are tolled at 8:46:30 AM

then again at 9:03:02 AM

and once more at 9:37:46 AM

all of us remember exactly

where we were

what we were doing

and most of all the mayhem.

 

But we know that life continues

and we try  to ease the pain

we rebuilt and archived  many memories

Ground Zero is not the same

 

Today was a  cloudy day

unlike the day we lived such horror

it seems more appropriate this way

although  it really does not matter

we will always remember the unforgettable.

 

 

Cloudy Day

September 11, 2001
September 11, 2001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Anniversary to Poemattic!


It has been two years since I joined WordPress and the fascinating world of blogging. The experience has been most gratifying and I have been inspired by so many of my followers and readers. I am proud to be among such profound thinkers, peacemakers, lovers of the arts, photographers, and all others who share their day-to-day experiences and the rigors of life.

I have cried with a few of you during hard times the loss of love ones. I have laughed out loud with some of you at the wittiest comments and posts. I have been mesmerized by the creative art work and photography that transports the soul and the imagination to other realms. Thanks to my community of bloggers and to all my followers for what will be very memorable memories.

My life has changed for the better. I follow some pretty interesting bloggers who not only offer a fresh perspective on things but also open new pathways to joy and fulfillment. The blogging experience has given me a quiet refuge to speak from my heart and opportunities to help me check and reevaluate my poetry, my purpose and what really matters.

I think I am ready to reach out for some bold goals. I have submitted several manuscripts for publication. I never had the confidence to do that before. I will accept rejection if I am turned down but I am also thinking I may self publish. Time will tell. I will be still and patient in the now waiting for the moment that will be.

My baby grandson is teaching me some valuable lessons about unconditional love, patience and the simple pleasures of life. He marvels at the simplest things. He relishes every moment with just himself. He listens in attention when the birds sing and the dog barks and delights with the caress of his tender chubby cheeks. The amazing world of new wonders and discovery is heart warming. These few months with him and my six-year-old grandson inspired me to write more poetry for children.

So thanks to all of you for your support and inspiration. Happy Blogging and may poetry always be a source of happiness. Celebrate with me today by sending my blog to someone you know, Making a comment and/or by clicking like. 🙂

Melba Christie

pen paper

Memory of a Sale


 

 

Memory of a Sale

 

 

 

by Melba Christie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a crisp and sunny day in October. Columbus Day to be exact and she had the day off because her boss was a native Italian from Genoa and he had made it a tradition to close the small men’s clothing factory where my mother worked for twenty years. I was off from school and mom wanted to get in on the Columbus Day sales at her favorite department stores Alexander’s and Hearn’s. This shopping spree of sorts had become a ritual and I looked forward to getting a new pleaded skirt and maybe a new pair of shoes. Barely a month shy from my birthday my mom would be able to afford an additional gift for me if the price was right.

 

 

 

We started out early in comfortable flats. We would arrive in time to actually stand in line for an hour along with a few hundred other shoppers ready to race into the store. Mom planned the trajectory for the stores we would visit and strategized for getting to the right store at the precise time. She scheduled the first store based upon how many bargains she could get in one stop. Factored into her plan was the original prices of items and how truly discounted they actually turned out to be. She was astute and knew that many times prices inflated a few days before the big sales day and then was suddenly reduced to 50 or 75 percent from the original price. Her shopping afforded no luxuries. The budget was slim and she was disciplined enough to buy only what was needed. Dad had passed away a year earlier so we needed to be careful not to go over. Mom always bragged about how she learned to be a great accountant without having stepped a foot into college. She had survived the Depression and knew that every penny counted. Widowed twice and left with very little resources taught her many lessons about managing her money and economics in general. I still cannot imagine how she ever survived those hard times. People complain about our economic woes today; well my mom could have been a consultant.

 

 

 

That one day though she had secretly planned to visit another store. I managed to talk her into getting me a new pocket book and I couldn’t wait to get home to stuff it with things. But as usual we stopped to eat at Nathan’s. She loved their fries. I loved their hot dogs. After lunch she detoured from our usual route and nonchalantly announced that she wanted to go into the furniture store and ask about the French provincial chair and sofa that was on display. As we walked into the fancy store I wanted to remind her that we could not afford any of the furniture. I thought she had lost her mind. But I remained quiet because I knew that once she had made up her mind about something there was no changing it.

 

 

 

She walked straight to the golden brocaded sofa. Her hand caressed the fabric and for the first time in many months I saw her smile again. A few minutes of silence ensued and she proceeded to sit on the edge of the sofa slowing sliding her body onto the back of the sofa. A soft sigh slipped out and she asked me if I liked the sofa. It really was not the type of thing I could fully appraise at the time. I was barely fourteen but I could tell she was in love with it. My brain did not realize that I had started talking and I heard myself saying, “I love it mom.” Another smile adorned her face and I say this because when my mom smiled (which was very rare) it seemed that the whole world was waiting for it.

 

 

 

The salesman walked over. I had caught him watching my mom’s every move from a few feet away. He was going for the kill. He knew that an affair had begun and that a sales pitch would not be required this time. My mom was smart. She had done her homework. She was determined to get the sofa and the chair for the lowest price possible. Little did the salesman realize he was up for a trading battle. I watched as she masterfully haggled down the manufacturer’s suggested retail price to two hundred dollars less. She filled out some forms and the next thing I know is that they were arranging the delivery date. It ended up being what would have been her wedding anniversary. The whole thing was bitter sweet. The day it arrived she did not sit on any of the pieces. She sat in my dad’s old raggedy arm chair and stared at it. Come to think of it she never sat on the sofa. However, she loved it when company sat comfortably on it. She sat on the green brocaded French provincial chair. She’d come home and sat on it like one of the women chosen queen on the daytime show. It was in that chair that my son was first introduced to famous children’s stories from her native Puerto Rico. I sat on it only a few times. Most times I just squeezed in beside her side during those very special mother daughter moments. I finally gave it away one day years after she died. It remains very vivid in my mind though. It was a chair most definitely fit for a queen.

 

 

 

 

 

Chair
This brocade pattern is very similar to the one on my mother’s French provincial chair.

 

 

 

 

 

A Find in the Attic


Letter Box

A FIND IN THE ATTIC

As I rummaged through boxes in my attic, as I do every spring, my goal each year is to clear out as much as possible. But somehow I end up keeping most of the things. It is always like a journey into my past and many of the things I keep there have sentimental value.

I came across a small cushioned wooden box. I was intrigued because I had forgotten what I had put inside the box. When I opened it I found my late nephew’s letters written to me so many years ago. I cried. I unfolded the first piece which did not have a date on it. I read; I cried and later on, I found the envelope folded away at the bottom of the box. The date stamped on it was March 19, 1974. I cried again. The letter was prophetic. As they say hind sight is always 20/20. I was pregnant with my first child at the time. So I must have been just as emotional when I read it the first time. I never would have imagined that the letters would be the last conversations we had with each other. Our letters were long conversations. It was too expensive to communicate by telephone and so we wrote to each other quite often. I miss letter writing. We talked about nature, music, politics, human suffering and the future. He was sensitive to what was happening around him as he was stationed in the army as a paramedic. He hated injustice and violence. He often wrote songs about it. He played the guitar without ever having taken a class in his life. He had a beautiful soul.

Although he was my nephew and logic dictates that I as his aunt would have been a lot older than he, I was just two years older. We were more like siblings. So, we shared many things and our favorite topic was poetry. He was very creative and loved to write poems too. In his letters he always included a short poem and in the closing of the letter he would write, ” I will keep writing them as long as you keep reading them.”  I hope he knows that I have never forgotten his poems.

I want to share a small snippet of what he wrote in this particular letter. Here it is:

“Your dreams are yours alone

and creative thoughts become

your energy and life are prolonged

through words spoken and unspoken

so dream on

and you will be eternal

in someone’s life.”

I will end this post with a Forrest Gumpism: “And that’s all I have to say about that.”

Daisy


*My dear sister Daisy passed away 14 years ago on the day after Christmas which was her favorite holiday. Although there are so many things that make me happy on this day, I cannot forget her spirit and deep love for her family. For me Christmas is really not the same anymore.

 

many memories of you visited me today

and in a dream I asked you to stay

 

Christmas was your favorite time of year

and your made sure to spread the cheer

 

on your watch no one was allowed to go without

love and giving to others was what you were about

 

and like the flower you were named after

you made our days all the brighter

 

Every time I see a Daisy

I see you smiling in my mind

 

there will be many daisies

but you my dear sister were only one of a kind.

 

Daisy on my front porch