Pythian Games

put on your track shoes and write the miles

Posts Tagged ‘childhood


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musing on the myriad ways memories affect us and how elusive memories can be, i have started a number of poems to capture different memories and how memories change through time and space.

For Cyan

i always thought her pale face beautiful ethereal but
it marked her heart as it had been since birth
unable to keep up unable to match a girl much less an infant
and so the surgeries marred her
we never saw physical scars no
she was our fairy child
we saw the scars in her eyes and her writing and the pain reflected

her dark hair grew she dyed it varying colors hid behind it when
drugs smoothed the lines of her face and created a body that a 16
year old teenager could not have cared for
i created a costume to hide it all but in the end
her friends pulled her free
and she danced for the camera as they did

and then
she was gone
closeted in the hospital behind white doors waiting for a new heart
a panacea a perfect solution
we waited breath held
for one heart
first a bad heart—who sends a bad heart to a dying girl?
to be removed again from our fairy girl
and lo
another match a new heart the solution
we talked that night so optimistic in medical terms and emotional
as she lay struggling for breath

and so that next morning that the ethereal body that pale face
could not handle the trauma once more
the scars in her eyes were gone
her breathing stilled

she watches me sitting on stone walls with a solemn face or shy smile
and sometimes i catch sight of her dancing in the rain
she is freer now with her laughter and her eyes lighter in spirit
she feels no pain

in this place called his soul

in this place called his soul
her pain matched his for too long
her confusion followed his down the dark hallways’
twists and turns
her love tried to keep up
as his leapt and ran through tortured tunnels

she stands no longer in that place called his soul
she hears his voice faintly
but the pain is not hers
the hallways no longer hers to follow
the love belongs elsewhere

and although for a time they were lost in the tunnels
she will walk away
she has meadows to run in flowers to find
she has clarity of purpose and mind
and the pain is gone
the sunlight hers at last

a painting

a memory
a painting of great detail and minute accuracy
step closer
peer at the brushwork the intense color
what is this
small flakes of paint have begun to fall
the artist must have used inferior paint

this memory
of great detail and minute accuracy
goes like this
(the bits of paint that have fallen cannot be replaced
the girl has not been 6 for 40 years and the grandfather
is happily
a grandfather and his granddaughter sit on the couch
she 6 years of age in shorts of blue shirt of ……….
his pants ……. shirt plaid his cane leaned beside him
such a nice portrayal
he speaks to her, “…….. ,”
and she allows him to reach inside her shirt
and ……………….. then pulls his hand away
he reaches for the zipper of her shorts but fumbles
she begins to help but ………………………..
he says, “ ……… ,”
she leaves the living room and runs towards safety
her brothers’ room but they yell at her to leave
so she goes ……………… to hide until her mother returns

the grandfather?
we do not know
this is the girl’s memory
his memory died with him
or flaked away before him
so that he died with an empty canvas

not what i wish to give

even though you have exhausted all human constraints on what should and
should not be a trial on the spirit of any one person
i place my hand where your heart should be to still it from its frantic beat

even though you are a ghost
in the true sense of the word a spirit that wanders the world
though your corporeal self still remains (that is a mystery of course)
i smile at your ghost to encourage its return—you should not be without it

even though that ghost is malignant malign: baneful, malicious, misogynist
just the leftovers of your desperate work on a life full of flaws and human-ness

i read a paragraph and think that you would enjoy the play of words across the page
the interwoven message
i hear a word a story a message from the world and know that this is something you should know

the ghost hovers listening wanting
not what i am wishing to give
i wave a hand to send it on its way home
and hope that some of the warmth the calm are carried with it on the wind

Written by senua

July 18, 2009 at 5:07 am

Childhood to Youth – chocolate box

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Childhood to Youth

In response to a prompt from the Chocolate Box in the Soul Food network of creativity

What I see…

I look at these photos and see friends and a brother passed on, in accidents that I heard about in some cases second hand.

I see highschool friends some I still know and some I don’t. Some are mothers and some will be soon.

I see the promise of childhood in my daughter’s hand brushing the weeds, or are they flowers?

I see a pinecone that will be in my future. I see my daughter wearing the grass skirt I never did. It took that many years for my mother to come into her own with culture.

I see my parents full of anticipation for their children’s future, not realising time will pass so quickly, so quickly these photos will fall like still life memories of their lost son.

I see my childhood, my daughter’s childhood, my mother’s motherhood, and the anticipation that things can change- we can paint a new canvas.

That is what I see. This is what I hope. Do I really see? Do I really understand?

(C) June Perkins all rights reserved collage and words.

More of June’s Work can be found at World Citizen Dreaming

Written by June

February 19, 2009 at 8:06 am

Voulez Vous

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3 investigators

It was the last holiday I would take with my parents. The last time we would visit the caravan park in Rhyl. The penny arcades, the Rhyl Suncentre, the wave pool, the Dragon slide, the ice cream, the junior disco, the football matches England lads against Scots (no Welsh, they took their holidays elsewhere, I can’t imagine why).

I was 15 years old and had no cash so I decided a trip to the charity shop was in order. I dumped all my old rubbish into a box and jumped on a bus to Oxfam.

The quality of a particular Oxfam in 1987 was very much dependent on the affluence of the area. The Wigan store was mostly orange lamp shades and old men’s pants. A surly shopkeeper in his late twenties looked up as I entered. Very tall and then thin, big curly hair, clothes mostly brown he looked like a student from an old episode of Columbo. He glowered at me as I dropped the box onto the counter.

Picking up my Abba Voulez Vous album with two fingers like it was some unpleasant wet thing he’d found in the bushes he said, “Not much call for this stuff nowadays. Everyone wants CDs.”

“It’s in perfect condition”, I reasoned.

“I’ll give you 50p”, he said. His manner said more, it said “And that’s my final decision.”

Next up were the old toys. A complete set of Star Wars figures and a Mr T Van.

“Not got any Transformers stuff?” He asked hopefully.

“I’m 15. What do you think?”

He shrugged. “2 pounds for the lot.”

Things weren’t going well. He tossed my collection of “Look in” magazines from 1983 straight in the bin. The Top of the Pops Annual 1984 featuring Madness on the cover made me 30 pence. And an orange and white waterproof jacket which had always been useless in even the slightest drizzle brought me a pound.

The big items were at the bottom of the box though. Best of all was my hardback set of “Alfred Hitchcock’s Three Investigators” books. I’d loved these as a child and the covers still evoked strong memories of summers at the beach with my nose in a book. For most of my early teens I wore Hawaian shirts like Jupiter Jones. These books were important.

“2 quid,” said the hippy.

I stared at him in dum silence.

“And I’ll give you a fiver for the Commodore 64.”

I shuffled forlorn from the shop with a little over a tenner in my pocket leaving my childhood behind. 


The Cricket on the hearth


Written by Damian

April 17, 2008 at 3:54 pm