Thursday, October 27, 2011

For the Love of Books

Written for Bluebell Books Short Story Slam Week 13, inspired by their picture prompt provided below:

Blue Bell Books Short Story Slam Week 13

When you were small we had our nightly ritual:
After supper and before lights out
I would sit on the edge of your bed and
read you a story --‘Good-Night Moon,’
‘The Velveteen Rabbit,’ ‘The Adventures of Pooh’

Still hear your little voice echo “One more time, mommy…”

Soon enough you started school, learning to read
and reading to me.  But after homework lessons,
you would still ask me to read to you for a while.
We graduated to chapter books:
the ‘Happy Hollister’ mysteries from my childhood,
the wonderful poetry of Shel Silverstein.
We travelled to Middle Earth alongside Bilbo Baggins,
Frodo and Samwise.  No matter I couldn’t speak elvish--
I would change my voice for each character and make up
tunes for each song, and we would be on our way over the
Misty Mountains on our quest to destroy the ring.

In Middle School you met a young man named Harry Potter,
who paralleled you in age.  Yet another quest: protect friends
and loved ones and defeat the evil Voldermort.
We shared these stories too, though now you would
read first--devouring from cover to cover non-stop,
then passing along to me. I loved our discussions--
what we liked or didn’t, and where we thought
the next book in the series might take us.

In High School you discovered my old Stephen King
books  on the bookshelf, and read them all, then
added even more to the collection. And every so
often,  you would revisit Middle Earth again,
J.R.R. Tolkien a perennial favorite.

I count among my greatest achievements  
instilling the love of the written word in you.
No money is ever wasted that is spent on a book.

Our next great adventure lies in Winterfell,
as we share the series  “A Game of Thrones”

“One more time, mommy…”


©  Ginny Brannan October 2011

G.Brannan, personal collection, 1990

Photo of my son with winning artwork and gift certificate from Waldenbooks, with which he chose Charlie the Caterpillar!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Changeling (Haiku) Odd Lots/Brief Thoughts #3

shunning sheltered past
to howl freely at the moon
confidence instilled

©  Ginny Brannan October 2011

Sometimes one has to step out of one's shell, throw back their head and literally "howl" at the moon, to change from who they are to who they want to be. Confidence gained through encouragement, and even a brotherly "dare!" Thanks my 'brother!!'

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Someone Else’s Dime

I was always a hard-working man--
I had a family, I had a plan;
then economy crashed,
and I felt the backlash
life as I knew it got tossed in the can.

Now I feel like I’m living on borrowed time,
moment-to-moment, on someone else’s dime.
My family wants nothin’ to do with me,
praying the Lord will see this through for me.
All I want for them to see
is the man I know that I can be...
I may be down on my luck
but I’m not looking for a handout,
I’m just lookin’ for
a hand up.

Old “friends” relieved they'd been by-passed,
point and whisper that I was just an ass;
Out job huntin’ every day
till the good jobs seemed to go away--
finally hit rock bottom in the bottom of a glass.

With no one to believe in me, I let my life go down...
then stumbled on this building while wandering through town.
Now I work with other broken men
each one starting all over again.
They feed my body and soul,
give me hope; pull me out of that hole.
No longer feeling down on my luck...
They didn’t just give just a hand out,
they gave me
a hand up.

© Ginny Brannan October 2011

(A work-in-progress that I've been working on since last spring. I thought it fit the theme for "the other" so am posting to share at d'Verse. Not exactly in a true poetry format, but this is how the words came to me, so this is how I wrote it. This was inspired from volunteering at our local Rescue Mission, and working alongside some really wonderful guys who were trying to get their lives together.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Moon Shadows

Just for fun, in honor of Halloween 2011

Late night, moonlight casts shadows on the wall;
floor creaks, curiosity piques, I tiptoe down the hall.
Cat jumps, heart pumps faster with this scare--
another sound, I glance around, and whisper soft “Who’s there?”

The clock ticks out the minutes; no one says a word;
no other sound is heard.

Standing still, sheer force of will, seeking inner calm.
I confess, am quite distressed—feel the sweat-drenched palm.
Turn around, bedroom-bound, when movement catches eye--
deep breath, scared to death, something’s still awry…

Outside echoes, “whoo, WHOO?” of owl up in the tree.
Cannot help but wonder, “Who it is indeed?”

Wide-awake, cannot shake this feeling of forebode,
not insane, but can’t explain what has gotten hold.
Turn on lights, doors locked tight-- all is safe <or is it?>
Am I host to some old ghost on his midnight visit?

No one will believe it; they’ll say this allegation
is just another figment of my imagination.

©   Ginny Brannan October 2011

Images: Edward M. Gorey, artist

Sharing at d'Verse Poet's Pub Open Link Night Week 15 10/25/11

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bright Lights, Big City

Written and recalled for Magpie Tales:

Uptown, Midtown, Downtown, Chinatown...

Twenty-two years old, exploring alien world of concrete and skyscrapers, eyes drawn upward, jaw agape and dragging on the sidewalk.  I smell the exhaust of a thousand taxis, the acrid odor of burnt pretzels from the corner vendor, the sour steam rising through sidewalk grates from unseen subterranean passages. Getting the grand tour today from city-savvy friends--Penn Station, Broadway, top of the World, dinner in Chinatown. We take the subway to Canal Street, north lies Little Italy: south, we step into another country—bright little shops with neon signs boasting their wares in strokes and symbols. As we pass by one I pause and stare, amazed to see whole birds, plucked, smoked and ready for purchase, not neatly cut and packaged like in the supermarkets I am used to.
February 1978, New York City --"Toto, we're not in Vermont anymore!"

©  Ginny Brannan October 2011
 Photo courtesy Tess Kincaid for Magpie Tales            
Shared at Magpie Tales:

This photo reminded me of my first trip into NYC with some of my friends. I was assaulted with sights, sounds and smells the likes of which I had never witnessed before. To this day I remember the total amazement of it all!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Burning Memories

Its blackened shell still looms austere--
no comfort found in imprints past
just tacit bitterness amassed.

As conjured flashes scorch and seer,
burning abode engrapples hold
and crackles through this thin veneer.

Though dour life is now recast,
its blackened shell still looms, austere.

© Ginny Brannan October 2010

Sharing at d'Verse Poets Pub Open Link Night Week 12 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

On the Wind

Photo provided by Bluebell Books

I watch my young child flourish
in all that she sees--
each orb forms a whispered wish
sent out on the breeze:

"May friends always be near you,
may you grow up to be strong;
may joys be many, sorrows few;
and may your days be ever long."

© Ginny  Brannan  October 2011

Written as a 7/5 Trochee, Two quatrains, alternating syllable count seven/five, abab rhyme scheme

They provide the prompt, we provide the story!