Friday, April 25, 2008

Flashback Friday
(& a few Poems to go along with it)


I've seen the idea of "Flashback Friday" on several other blogs lately; the idea being to post an old photograph and share your memories of that time earlier in your life.

As it turned out, the poetry "assignment" for yesterday in the Poem-a-Day challenge I'm doing throughout April was to write a poem based on a photograph. It could be any photo--one you took, a random one you found in a magazine or online, whatever. I immediately thought of a few of the photos that my Dad took when I was a child and soon found myself writing poems about several of these photos. And then I realized... how perfect would this work for a "Friday Flashback"? Perfectly, of course!

So...I share with you now four poems I wrote for the challenge yesterday and the photos that go along with them.

First of all, here is a shot of some of the photos that line my upstairs hall wall. It coincides well with the first poem I wrote.

"photos from Dad"

a photographer and small-town editor,
Dad took thousands of pictures
when I was a child.
mostly black and white,
with us
standing in front of old barns,
old churches,
anything that reeked of "architecture."

we'd play in the leaves,
then illustrate an article about
autumn in rural America.

we'd romp in the drive-in playground,
then appear in an essay about
the demise of the golden age of
movies and community.

but my favorites remain...
and now live on my hall walls..
the ones of

me and
my newborn brother
my doll
my dog
Mom
Pa
family

images that never made the newspaper,
but live even now in the frames of my
heart.

And then the other photos and what they inspired in me...

"Susie"


she holds tightly onto Susie,
the doll with the wild, blonde, 70s-toy-story hairstyle,
with a look of sadness in her eyes.

But she's me and I don't recall being sad.

perhaps I was frustrated at Dad for taking
another
picture.

or feeling ugly because I had that
perpetual
scrape
on my nose.

whatever I felt then I don't know,

but what I feel Now is
affection for that doll
(now in my daughter's toy box),
and
an abiding love
for my childhood.


(not the best quality...but it's of me and my little brother, Christopher, just home from the hospital. I decided to just take pics of them in their frames, and not scan them, so they're not the best.)


"Newborn Brother"

he came home,
tiny and wriggling and slippery and loud,
and she was fascinated with him,
loving him from the get-go


“the favorite"

This one would have to be
my favorite
of the thousands he took.

Partly because of the composition;
more because of the illumination in the lighting;
but most-of-all because of
the moment captured
(never to come again)

of a granddaughter with a wispy look, a sly smile;
a grandfather with a weathered look,
and a mouth that's half-opened
saying something.

saying something during this moment in the sun,
saying something that's forgotten all these years later,

but saying something that sounded something like,
"I love you."

My challenge to you is to do something similar today, this weekend, or soon--Find an old photograph or two, take it out and look at it, really try and connect with it, and then write down the memories it evokes. If you want to write it in poetry form, do that. But you could also just write down in paragraph form everything you remember about the picture, the people in it, or any specific memories with it. I know that looking back at these photos really meant a lot to me!

And then, just because I didn't share my other poems from the last few days, I thought I'd share one more with you today. The challenge was to write a poem about getting older and this one was just close-to-my heart.

The other day on the way to school, Delaney made the comment that school would be out in a month and she was so excited. I made some sort of half-hearted response like, "Yep, just another month." Delaney asked me what was wrong and I tried to explain it a little bit...of course, I LOVE summer and all the fun stuff that comes with it (sleeping late! going to the water park! going on vacation!), but as I get older it seems like the start of Summer means that another year has come and gone. And that's getting harder and harder for me to deal with.

So, I wrote this poem that day...

“a Truth”


This feeling must be something that
everyone,
since the dawn of time,
has found to be absolute
Truth.

That it really was just yesterday
that I skipped through the backyard barefoot,
that I threw that cap up into the air,
that I held my firstborn.

That time moves
at the speed of light,
at the speed of sound,
at the speed that I’m totally
uncomfortable with.

That life goes on
from morning to night,
from January to December,
from yesterday to today
from this second to, now,
this second.

Too quickly.

With that being said...I AM, however, looking forward to the weekend coming up! LOL Lots of fun stuff going on...another softball tournament on Saturday, church on Sunday, hopefully some scrapping, etc.

(And, yes, last night's "Lost" was extremely, awesomely amazing!!!!!!! It made me verrrry happy!)

Now... I hope you all have a BEAUTIFUL weekend. Stay safe, have fun, and see ya back here after it's over!

20 comments:

camport said...

wow! Those pics belong in a magazine! How lucky are you that you have so many awesome photos of your childhood?!?

Happy weekend!

:)

Adrienne said...

Oh wow! I LOVE those pics!!!

Jeff said...

What a great post! The pictures, the poems, fantastic. A great way to start Friday morning.

Have an excellent weekend!

Kelly said...

I love those old pictures--just how I remember you from Asbell.

Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

just so you know, i thought i did spell it correctly. in my mind thats what i typed. but alas, i didn't proof read my statement. the bad part is Gary knew what it was. Miss Drulman is screaming at me as we type.

Bob Bob

Patti said...

I love love love the pics and the poem. I'm always so inspired when I come here! Have a wonderful week-end Cheryl!

Linda said...

C - these are very inspirational and beautiful poems, love them all, the last one strikes a truth in me. I love it. thanks for a beautiful post, and the challenge. I will give that some thought.

Cheryl Wray said...

Chrissy--My Dad always took WONDERFUL photos and I'm so lucky to have them!

Adrienne--Thanks!

Jeff--You're too sweet.Have a great weekend too! Is it getting pretty in NYC?

Kelly-- :-)

Cheryl Wray said...

Bobby--LOL!!!!! You know that Gary is the WORST speller ever!!

Patti--Thanks!! i hope you have a wonderful weekend too sweetie!!

Linda--Thank you!! You are such a creative person, I know that this challenge would be something you could "get" into!

Heather said...

Your poems are BEAUTIFUL. I really identify with the last one. It's so very true. Your photos are awesome. I agree that you are very lucky to have those. I only have a few photos of my childhood.

Renee said...

I love your pictures, especially the one of you and your grandfather. The poetry is great too. Keep 'em coming.

Jeff said...

Yes! Spring is in full force here. The past couple of weeks have really been stunning with the sun out and reasonable temperatures in the mid-60s/low-70s (occassionally higher).

Sheila said...

Nostalgic, great pics and lovely poem.

Kimberly said...

Those were great...thanks for sharing! Have a rock'n weekend!

Cheryl Wray said...

Heather--Thanks!!! Time just goes by SO fast, doesn't it?

Renee--That one is my favorite photo!

Jeff-Hey again!! LOL That weather sounds SO nice!

Sheila--Thanks!

Kimberly--Hope your weekend's great too!!

Edleen said...

you have Beautiful pictures!!! those are really great Cheryl!

Cheryl said...

Those are great pictures! You were a very pretty girl. Love the hair! You always been blonde??? My favorite is the one with Dad also. Good Shot. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Good luck at the games!

Katrin said...

Great that you joined the flashback train! I know exactly what you are saying about summer - I sometimes have the same feeling. Oh man...

Gin said...

i agree. Lost was great!

And those photos and poems are really good.

Lynilu said...

I like the poetry, and I love the pictures! How wonderful! And thanks for sharing them all.

I'm almost ready to start scanning old family pictures, and I know I'm going to run across several that take me nostalgically back, and I'm betting there will be some poetry coming out of that!