Monday, November 1, 2010

street corner rainbows

coffee cup in hand, steam rising from the lip, massaging the november chill from my face, i breathe deep a little girl on the concrete street corner.

little rainbow chalk dust fingers, draw in the grit, tongue poking out the corner of her mouth in concentration. a soiled paper cup drags by in the breeze, scraping, bop, popping a background beat, stealing a peek.

complete, she rises to her converse feet, wiping impressionist paintings on the legs of her jeans. eyes roam, finding an old mortar piece, fallen from between the bricks forming the urban jungle grown up long before she was ever conceived.

flipping the rock, she begins her journey, one, one, two, one, two...kneeling to retrieve and return, one, two, one, one, smile wide as an orange slice. some forgotten playground melody drifts from her lips across the asphalt to my ears, but she don't care who hears.

drained, my cup finds community among the refuse in the wire mesh trash can, bus' old bones squealing, stutter stopping to swallow me. kidnapping the girl in my memory, i carry her with me into the white sun day.

down the aisle of long faces, i find my seat,the soles of my shoes beat, one, one, two, one, two. a little rock i picked up along the way, bus belching sighs as we pull away.

103 comments:

Daniel said...

The rhythm of the street and of life. Nice. Great way to start my day.

Just Be Real said...

I knew when I was intense about something my tongue would be sticking out from the corner of my mouth as well. Great post Brian. Blessings.

JStar said...

Oh Brian...This rings rhythm to my heart and soul...

Bonnie said...

beautiful topic, superior composition!

Dave King said...

There are so many good things -they come thick and fast - it's difficult to know where to begin. I just wish that I'd written it. Beautiful.

Gaston Studio said...

Great you could take the image of her playing hopscotch with you on the bus... she was playing hopscotch, wasn't she?

Katherine said...

Oh I loved hopscotch when I was a little girl & I was pretty darn good at it too. I really love your descriptive writing Brian ... you really know how to firstly see & experience what's before your eyes, then dissect it and shape it into such beautiful & eloquent words... Your a talented man!

Lorraine said...

oh gosh and Daniel said it perfectly
"the rhythm of the streets and of life" wow

Scott said...

he he nice reflection of the every day... I really enjoyed this piece!

Jerry said...

Way to be attentive and share with us busy bloggers. I loved the innocence of this. I have girls that often sing to themselves lost to their surroundeings and it always brings a smile to my heart.

Mona said...

I Looooved to play hop scotch as a little girl!

Yea, rhythms of that kind stay on for long

Reminds me of Wordsworth's Solitary Reaper:

" The music in my heart I bore/ Long after it was heard no more"

Lori said...

How sweet is this...bringing back memories of playing hop scotch..I love when little kids stick out their tongues like that...:)

Happy Monday Brian!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

You carried me along the journey of a child's play.

CJ xx

mama-face said...

beautiful imagery. love the impressionist paintings on her pants. i have those all over my sidewalk. (paintings, not pants).

:)

izzy said...

Yup, love this ! tongue poking out- wiping hands on jeans- and the beat, the bus- gorgeous. Thanks !

Hope said...

I found this piece to be very interesting. Great style and rhythm

thank your

Vicki Lane said...

Really excellent series of images!

Syd said...

Sounds like a nice way to begin the day. I guess those cold mornings have come to your area.

adeeyoyo said...

Great descriptions brought the whole picture to life - beautiful, Brian!

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian...
Once again, what a very well-written post...very nice imagery of life in the city with a child at play...as October give way to November.

Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

AngelMay said...

My gosh. I haven't played hopscotch in leventy-seven years. :)

Kulio said...

urban hopscotch...love it :-)

Pseudo said...

What a mindful way to start your day Brian. Lovely.

I've been taking the bus to work some days and have lots of scribbles in a notepad.

Boom Boom Larew said...

Ah... the delight of children playing with chalk on the sidewalk!

Myrna R. said...

As I read your poem I was there, both as the little girl and the passenger on the bus. You brought back memoies of my urban youth.

This was lovely. Thank you Brian.

Travel & Dive Girl said...

I can picture this scene clearly in my mind - beautiful.

blueviolet said...

I actually still like playing hopscotch! I remember they were printed on the school blacktop in several designs and shapes!

Bossy Betty said...

Lovely depiction. I was there!

Nancy said...

That game was a favorite of mine - nice to know kids still play it.

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for the pleasant mental imagery on a blah Monday...

Hilary said...

You captured this scene with words far better than could be recorded on video. And it plays back so beautifully.

David Waters said...

hopscotch...life....rythm...brilliantly done...enjoyable read. You paint with words my friend

TALON said...

Hopscotch. Neat that kids still draw the squares and grab a stone and have some fun.

Nice, Brian. :)

Kathy's Klothesline said...

You are the word master......

Anonymous said...

you named it perfectly. children are patches of colour in our montonous world.

trisha
mydomainpvt.wordpress.com

ladyfi said...

Marvellous poetry - I can feel the beat and the magic of childhood!

Jinksy said...

Would you believe, I never understood how to play hopscotch? Living in the city, we were never let out on the street to play and mix with other kids, and it's not exactly a game grownups play! Anyone who feels like explaining the rules to me, please do! LOL :)

Caty said...

loved hopscotch...such a simple game with so many memories-captured wonderfully in your writing :)

Valerie said...

I took my hopscotch seriously, even down to the sticking out tongue. Loved this, Brian.

Carmi said...

I can't believe that publishers aren't clawing over each other for work like this.

I can close my eyes and almost feel every word.

AmyLK said...

I loved playing Hop Scotch! Wonder if I still can? Love the story.

drybottomgirl said...

I think you just described my daughter! Nice rythmn today! I had to warm my november chill away this morning, as it was cold with a heavy frost.....

Kay said...

your flow is always so enchanting... one, one, two, one...

I think I'll take that with me today :)

Cinner said...

Boy you took me right into city centre. I loved this. Have a great day. take care.

Tracy said...

The title of this post made me smile. (Not that the rest didn't. It was lovely, Brian!)

Claudia said...

oh brian - such a nice snapshot of such an everyday and at the same so special moment..and you not only captured the colors and the mood but also the rhythm..would love to jump alongside her..and..
loved the little rainbow chalk dust fingers..

Joanna Jenkins said...

Ah hopscotch, beautifully done Brian. I'll be tapping the one, one, two today as well.
Cheers, jj

Jill said...

STILL love to play Hopscotch...wonderful word picture of a darling little one caught up in play.

Becky said...

Nice!Pleasant and upbeat,loved it.

ModernMom said...

So sweet...I loved playing hopscotch as a little girl. Now it is almost one of the lost games...

Heather said...

cool beat here...hopscotch is still a constant here at my house...and in all where little girls are, i see! happy 1st day of november to you -

Dulce said...

I also played hopscotch, even on my own in the corridor at home!
Love the sound it makes, your writing, like a poem.

great memory and description you've brought us here

Thanks smiling Brian! :)

Pauline said...

my smile is as wide as an orange slice too!

A Dancing Mango said...

Nice to meet you Brian,
We write very similar..
I enjoyed your post, I will have to post one of my poetic mantra's online!! lol
This is wonderful.. thank you for sharing.. Blessings, Darlene

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Captain Dumbass said...

Loved the coffee cup, I could see it.

Titanium said...

I see that his royal pain-in-the-assness, Sir Krax-alot, has struck again. What on earth is it gonna take for this dude to buy a clue?

Sorry. The sheer gall of the spam-monsters just annoys me after a while.

Ahem. Your poem is magnificent. It almost seems to come alive and sway to its own rhythm, lightly bouncing through patterns of sunlight on this grey November day.

william said...

excellent story mate ;)

Sarah said...

I just imagined walking the streets of Portland while reading this.. Fantastic.

She Writes said...

LOVE the second to last paragraph!

Betsy said...

Hop Scotch? It was my fave. :)

Tina said...

I've been missing the time to visit my favorites. This was worth the wait.

Nicola said...

Lovely piece! I REALLY love 'After you leave', just beautiful and the sketch that you did along with it was perfect :0)

The Retired One said...

It is so marvelous that this girl, who probably thought she was insignificant..made such an impression on you (and now on US because of you)...isn't that exactly the message the Universe is trying to teach us?

Cloudia said...

I heard & smelt the bus;
and felt the little jerk into my seat!



Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral

><}}(°>

Me said...

This is what marks you as a story teller, and sets you apart. Some people don't even notice those little moments. Others might say "I saw this girl playing hopscotch this morning". And then there is you, and this. Excellent.
-C

Unknown Mami said...

I particularly like, "kidnapping the girl in my memory".

Maggie said...

Very nice. Kids down here don't know what hopscotch is, we don't have them in our playgrounds. :(

Maggie said...

BTW miss reading you so much!!

Jen said...

I used to love playing hopscotch!

Beedeebabee said...

That brought me right back to when I was little and in my own happy world of chalky hands and hopscotch. I read it twice and loved it! ;) Paulette

Stacy Uncorked said...

What an awesome visual you've painted! Brilliance again, Brian! :)

Pastor Sharon said...

the soft sound of innocence comes to us even in an urban jungle of clutter. . . over the sound of traffic, inviting us to keep that inner child alive.

What a beautiful piece!

Cheryl said...

Being a kid in the city ain't like being a kid in the country.

♥ Braja said...

You're deep. Every word is an essay.....rich.

Magpie said...

You're amazing...sure you already know that, but it's always good to hear it from others.

ds said...

Wonderful prose poem. The imagery, the beat, one two, one two...
Love this. Thank you.

emily wierenga said...

a soiled paper cup drags by in the breeze, scraping, bop, popping a background beat,


love the detail you embed into your posts. don't stop breathing life into these people.

G-Man said...

Son....
You sure can capture a moment perfectly.

OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said...

I used to play hopscotch all the time when I was little in Mexico (we called it "bebeleche" - something like milk-drinker..don't ask me why); took chalk from school to draw the grid and use wet balls of paper (napkins or kleenex were the best option) instead of a rock - for better traction and control ;) - lovely Brian!

Susan Deborah said...

Your images are kick-ass ones! Thoroughly enjoyed the read.

Have a great November.

Joy always,
Susan

Zuzana said...

Beautiful observation of the innocent and joyful, bringing sunshine to your mind.;) And then you convey it so eloquently with words.;))
Lovely as always dear Brian,
xoxo

the walking man said...

Very minimalist post modern piece Brian. Quite good in the ebb and flow of the imagery of moving through memory to life.

Barbara said...

Ah yes, I remember that. Chalk and sidewalk.

Mighty M said...

So vivid! Beautiful piece!!

TechnoBabe said...

Watching a little kid in her own world, enjoying her treasures and sharing her artwork with the world. Lovely visions throughout the writing and it has a certain beat throughout not one of stress but a regular steady beat.

Candie Bracci said...

It's true,this poem is really rythmic.Beautiful description as always :)

JennyMac said...

Beautiful read. As always.

Paul C said...

You bring to life the wonder within the grit of the urban landscape.

annell said...

Nice write...I could see it all, the picture you painted. Well done!

Jen Chandler said...

Thanks for this smile, Brian. I loved it. Reminds me of being a little girl and littering our driveway with chalk drawings :)

Nessa said...

The way you hit all of the senses so vividly in this piece is a joy.

secret agent woman said...

I love to see children working at play.

Sophia said...

Such amazing, detailed writing. I could close my eyes after reading and felt as if I were right there with you. This work also brought to the surface some memories for me that I had forgotten about...memories tucked away only for myself to remember on days like this. Thank you.

deb said...

how did you do that?

slommler said...

Love the rhythm of this piece! It is musical and tactile all at the same time. I could just make out her tune and I could smell the chalk in my nose and feel it on my fingers.
Congrats on your POTW!!!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Gaston Studio said...

Congrats on POTW Brian. Well deserved and thus far, one of my favs.

gaelikaa said...

Nice one Brian. Takes you there.

Congrats on POTW mention.

Lori said...

Had to come back and say congratulations on POTW mention! Great writing as always!

Tabor said...

Congrats on the POTW from Hillary.

Pat said...

I'll tell you. You can make a story out of hardly anything. It is amazing. Truly amazing. This was wonderful!

Cricket said...

Hey, I know her too. Are you sure you don't live near me?

Congratulations (belated) on your potw. Am just now catching up.

Marla said...

Love the rhythm of this one.