Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Theme Thursday: Red

smoke tendrils rise
round her face
catching in creases
left by life.

plunk.

another butt rings
on the rusty coffee can
by the concrete stoop
where she sits.

plunk.

sounds from memory,
phone receiver bouncing
on mustard linoleum
dangling by the cord.

plunk.

beautiful once, now
staring through cars
careening through intersections
ignoring the signs.

plunk.

red neon vacancy
flickering overhead
pointing furiously
at her faith.

plunk.

no one notices
this forgotten valentine.

For more takes on the theme, go see my friends at Theme Thursday.

110 comments:

Brian Miller said...

sorry for the depressing ring to this one. i notice people and wonder about their stories. sometimes they are happy, sometimes they break my heart.

Ms Hen said...

......aww this is sad.. I always feel sad when I see people like this outside.. they might have had a mental illness; or alcoholism disease .. etc..

It seem we are such an inhuman society to allow others to suffer..

You are a very good pious man to notice.. these people.. it shows you have a heart.

Cabo said...

That was a bit of a downer... but you had me at butt rings. You had me at Butt Rings...

tori said...

I do that too when I see people. The link to theme thursday isn't working. I was thinking maybe I'd give it a try next time but can't get to the site.

secret agent woman said...

Very forlorn.

CatLadyLarew said...

Beautifully done, Brian, despite the sense of loss it evokes.

Wings said...

Sad...

She Writes said...

Sad one.

G-Man said...

Brian...

This was Great!

We can't be lovey-dovey 24/7!!

otin said...

Sad is a necessary part of life! If we did not see the sad, how would we know the joyous? I, for one, like it when you switch gears sometimes. I like seeing all sides of life!

Teri said...

Sad lonely girl.

I think we had some mustard linoleum in our house growing up!

jingle said...

bliss awaits
after sadness is in your seats...

tomorrow I shall see you smile,
superb post.

Monkey Man said...

Sad but we just can't make time stand still to remain in our youth. We also sometimes suffer by choice.

Susan said...

Brian, the first comment by you, I totally do that. Yes, sometimes theyt are happy but sometimes they tear our hearts a new one. I love the line about creases. Awesome as always.

Otin -Your comment is dead on.

Betsy said...

very true...

Jill said...

I envision her well worn by life ...the blinking neon sign...always a recipe for heart break.

willow said...

"...red neon vacancy
flickering overhead
pointing furiously
at her faith"

Wow, that's a powerful line. Love it, Brian.

Yikes, I'm starting to get some of those little creases left by life!

Rebecca said...

I kept thinking of Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire when I read this, and that tortured look on Vivien Leigh's face in the film. How tragic- once a beauty turned weathered, worn and abused alcoholic and tortured soul..

Great imagery here, as usual!

ShAKirA CHOONG said...

so sad and hopeless...
great observations!
hugs
shakira

Magpie said...

It is sad, but as someone said, that's a part of life. I do this also...wonder about someone's life and what brought them to the place they are now.
Very nicely written - compassion shows in all your writing.

Ronda Laveen said...

Looks to me like she's someone's valentine:-)

Everyday Goddess said...

there are so many lost people. at least you can tell of their sadness and that makes them memorable.

tattytiara said...

That created a really strong visual for me.

the b in subtle said...

i started to be sad, but then read Michael's post and giggled myself silly. but...it is a touching post, Brian. ;)

Bernie said...

We all grow older....:-) Hugs

Simpson/Lynch Studios said...

As one who was once homeless, this rang very true. Nice job, my friend!

California Girl said...

gosh this is sad. but we can't be slap happy all the time, can we? my post is educational; very literal, in fact. it's about the color red.

Pastor Sharon said...

I'm thinking this one broke your heart. Thank you for noticing someone who feels she has been long forgotten. She sounds very sad.

Maggie said...

Very sad.

Sometimes people show happiness but deep down they are dying inside.

Kathleen said...

No need for apologies, Brian. Powerful.

Chhaya said...

i might be totally wrong, but the picture i had in my mind was of a woman, once beautiful and happy, not gown old and perhaps homeless..

of time went away.. and the days of laughter..

painful and sad .. but brilliant..

Green-Eyed Momster said...

Life isn't always happy, is it?

Great post.

Smiles!

Eternally Distracted said...

Very sad but very true... You may have just made us all think twice this morning.

Dianne said...

frankly scarlett, I do give a damn.

keep em comin'

ArtSnark said...

strong piece. Well said

gbaugh said...

This is very sad, life can get that way. Great poem , poet!
Gerardine Baugh

Mmm said...

Yes, caught that bit, Brian. it is the other side of Valentines for sure.

You need to fix your link, btw.

TechnoBabe said...

This makes my heart hurt. Not your fault, well yes it is, but only because you do such a good job writing that I get emotionally into it. This is very good despite the oh so sad theme.

subby said...

Otin brings up a good point. Life isn't always a bowl of cherries! But oft we see too much of the down-side of it :(

Kitty said...

You notice her! I think it's beautiful.

Protege said...

Reality unfortunately holds moments of deep sadness. You are a great romantic, but this means you are also sensitive to the sadness that surrounds you. Still, you always manage to convey all your impressions with great eloquence.
Beautiful as always.
xo
Zuzana

nohaemile said...

Very sad.. but its life..
specially valentine's day is so soon!
I like it Brian..

Tom said...

Cold and damp; if any month is depressing, it is February. Some big images here.

Gillian said...

anything that stirs such a strong emotion is worth reading. Its awesome! Please write me something for Monday Male!

anthonynorth said...

Ah, to be forgotten. Terrible - but well expressed.

Monica said...

That's a great observational poem Brain.

JStar said...

This is really sad...Sounds like my VDays for the past decade...I understand her feeling...Like you are existing with the world moving around you...I relate so well with this.

Valerie said...

I wonder about people too, unfortunately I can't put what I see into a few words.

Barbara said...

So many of us are busy with our own lives and don't notice.
Sad.

blueviolet said...

No need to apologize for taking a sad note with this one. It sure makes me appreciate the life I've been lucky enough to lead, but it does break my heart to think of someone feeling that desolate.

Candie Bracci said...

This is really sad but you express it perfectly.

Rob said...

Brian, sorry I missed your call yesterday. We had an all day Easter planning meeting. It's 8.5 weeks away. That's crazy.

Daniel said...

The way you look at people and try to understand is an important part of who you are and your vision ... your empathy. I am still learning about this, but still have a long way to go.

slommler said...

Awww! Sad and forgotten. Sniff!
Hugs
SueAnn

Calli said...

Intense, and very sad. I love how you captured this scene, this woman's life. You have such a wonderful way of viewing people, creating a scene from observation, and writing moments.

On a more fun note. I had that mustard linoleum floor....
ugh! gasp! dread! Had to live with it for two years prior to renovations...now it's a lovely wood floor!

the walking man said...

But Brian you took notice, you wrote this and in so doing you sent her a valentine ergo she is forgotten no more.

Sam!! said...

Kinda depressing.. but well expressed... thanks Brian:))

Take care

Jessie said...

my first thought was, "wow, this is really sad," then i read your comment b4 posting mine. and all is revealed. i agree with Otin's comment too. i think you have a deep and beautiful soul.

a wonderful post.

Kim A. said...

Life is full of hills and valleys..you put the valleys into such beautiful words...

namaste

Devika said...

infact the "plunk" made me laugh! :))

Not that i don't understand others' feelings....but your poem made me laugh, Brian ....may be because i don't believe in valentines and cannot be sad/unhappy for long myself :)

Good additions since i've been here last :)

wishes,
devika

mouse (aka kimy) said...

heartbreaking

incredibly well executed!

happy theme thursday!!!

Travel & Dive Girl said...

Sad, but true - nicely done.

LadyCat said...

The forgotten...very poignant. You wonder if she is waiting & hoping to hear from someone who is dear to her. I hope she does.

Alix said...

At first I thought homeless then prostitute. Am I close?

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

this was heartbreaking and beautiful.

e said...

Sad indeed, but a part of the human condition we should not ignore, and you do have a great heart in sharing this.

Jen Chandler said...

Mmmm, very sad but poignant. I too notice people and wonder at their stories, what led them to where they are, good or bad.

Thanks so much for your comments! I haven't been 'round blogdom as I'd like this week. Know that your comments always brighten my day!

Happy Thursday,
Jen

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Brian:)

You have an acute sense of observation, a mind which thinks deeply and a pen which gives life to your thoughts.

Yes, there are so many destitutes who were ravishing beauties in their younger days. But somehow they did not use their youth,beauty and brain to make something of themselves. When they are old they look despondent, miserable and evoke people's sympathy.

I see so many of them in Kochi walking on the roads,sitting in busy market area,in parks, on the waterfront. We can only feel for their wasted youth and talents and shed some tears and pray to God to help them.

Lovely poem Brian. It touched my heart.

Have a nice day:)
Joseph

William Manson © 2010 said...

you are not depressing brian love your imagery in your posts and the freeflow way its done, good poem, Happy Thursday :) ps we cant always be light and flowers in our posts :)

Paul Benjamin said...

This makes me a little sad. I hope that I have enough loved ones in my life, so that this won't be me in my later years.
However, great writing once again.

AmyLK said...

Awww that poor valentine!

doubtfulpoet said...

Oo this is going to be me in a few years time...I can see it coming! Absolutely beautiful <3

Dreamhaven said...

So very sad, but too often true.
The homeless have been with us so long and in ever increasing numbers. They often seem to become invisible.

Stephanie said...

Wow Brian - you're right, it has a depressing note. Spot on.

jaymiethorne said...

Sad truths, some lives are lived in peril.

Kat said...

so sad... but beautiful at the same time. Your very talented. :)

jessie carty said...

i love writing around a theme. my favorite parts of this poem are the ones where you do not actually mention the color red but it is implied like the cigarette and traffic lights :)

Meeko Fabulous said...

As always, such beautiful imagery. You always paint a picture with your words. :)

Michele Spector said...

Brian,

I loved this! This poem could be posted underneath the sculptor Rodin's 'The Old Woman' piece.

As an artist he believed that what had character also had beauty because it had an essential truth, as did all natural things.

As an artist you cared enough to find the beauty in her character to memorialize her.

Nancy said...

No one notices, this forgotten valentine. Wow, Brian, soulful writing.

Nessa said...

Very well done. Cigarette butts as life's milestones. Excellent.

13 Characters from Rose and Prince Brendan

Eberle said...

I also wonder about people's stories I see - and think it's important not to edit out the sadness and suffering that is around us.

I love the phrase this forgotten valentine.

Captain Dumbass said...

I had a perfect image of her as I read it.

Ji said...

My Number is 83,
This is the 83rd comment,
wow, what an attraction,
I have FUN squeeze in and take another look at U, U R awesome...

I know U C Light Via Darkness,
Wake Up, It's morning, smile and be happy,

;)

jingle said...

Wow,

you are such a working horse,
I highly admire your honesty and kind comments to all those poets from my blogging list, they are not my friends, we are trying to smile at strangers, by the way, we always pick up one or two to join us, thus your diligence is worthy and

thumbs up, U, R Cool ;)

studioJudith said...

So many forgotten valentines ... .
perhaps we look away, because we
all know we're one step away
from being there.

Jjj

Life with Kaishon said...

That was stunning. Wow.

Grand Pooba said...

Well, valentine's day isn't a happy occassion for everyone is it?

Baino said...

Aww . .it was a bit depressing. Still, not all is good around us so it's not a bad thing to draw attention to those less fortunate, makes us feel a little better about our woes. I'm a chronic people watcher too but never have the courage to ask.

masterymistery said...

tells a deep story... moved me. Also, Good Onomatopoeia!

In very similar vein, a story about a street person I see every morning on my way to work: sins of the fathers

masterymistery at cosmic rapture

Yousei Hime said...

I'm always amazed at how many comments you have. Good story poem. Don't apologize for the tone. We must face all kinds of things in life. A well written poem is a nicer way of facing things than reality usually offers.

brian,
Thank you for the visit and comment. I thought it turned out pretty well. She’s some cat, that’s for sure.

Ariel said...

a very sad poem yet,I enjoyed reading it.the'creases left by life' very realistic.The images you've used to describe this lonely, forgotten valentine are beautiful.
Thank you for visiting 'mywritings-ariel'.

Lorenzo Lapis Lazuli said...

Nice touch, Brian, and happy TT.
Plunk.

critiqaltheory said...

What I love about this one is, despite the fact that she's filled the ashtray and has only a neon light for company, she still waits. Why not? We all have to wait for love sometimes.

Noni at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Wow. "sounds from memory, phone receiver bouncing on mustard linoleum dangling by the cord."

Someone noticed this forgotten valentine.

Well done. See it, smell it, feel it.

Janice said...

Creases left in her face by life...one of the many parts of this poem that hit me. I got tears in my eyes thinking about what must have happened to this very sad woman.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Piercing Brian. Too many, way too many stories like that. It is important to honour them.

Jaime said...

definitely a depressing one this time. but very well done, as always.

Sally said...

Very lovely! I've been in the mood for writings that have that "depressing ring" to them, & this really hit the spot, hehehe
And I'm very much a stories person too (in response to your first comment)
Lovely post! <3

Goofball said...

red neon at motels?....in Belgium that would be places you'd not want to be anyway.

C.M. Jackson said...

thank you for noticing and giving us an opportunity to see through your words--brilliant

Poetikat said...

I really like that image of the dangling phone, Brian. You have painted some really evocative pictures. It's rather like "LIFE" magazine in poetic form.

Kat

Hey! I just got an e-mail notice from you while typing this. Huh.

IK said...

Everyone has a story and we all get a brief glimpse if we pay attention. Thank you for sharing!

Corrie Howe said...

I thought I was the only one driving down the road and noticing people or homes and wonder about their stories.

Ben said...

How sad. More so knowing it isn't just a fiction, that many are forgotten every year during Valentines.

Who Is Tim Burton? said...

Hi! Brian,
Wow...What a very thought provoking piece...and how life sometimes turn a "blind eye"
on those who live among us as they age in this society.
Thanks, for sharing!

Happy Theme Thursday!
Now,I must go and visit other TT members too and read their post about the colour "red."


DeeDee ;-D

Who Is Tim Burton? said...

Brian-When I use the word life I mean...people.

Pat said...

Wow - this kind of stabs at the heart a little, doesn't it? Very nicely written, although you through me a little bit with the "butt" rings. I had to read it a couple of times. :)

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gargoylesroost said...

Very poignant. We've all seen her, but most of us ignore her. Thanks for reminding us that she has a story, too.