Thursday, January 5, 2012

55 - Complacency is an elephant chained to a shallow peg


it was nothing much

an old, paint flecked rust, lawn mower deck
motor removed, wheels greased
& seat attached

atop
a hill,
one pushing, behind,
while the other stared
d
 o
  w
    n

the teeth of what came next---

death was never a thought,
but always present, in our beating

hearts, too busy
learning life to notice.

Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.


Over at dVerse today---at 3 pm EST we will be unveiling an opportunity for poets during a very special Meeting the Bar. See you there...

107 comments:

Mama Zen said...

It's a wonder any of us survived childhood! Great 55, Brian.

Okie said...

great post...sounds like good clean wholesome fun. :)

happygirl said...

LOVE this. Brought back memories of riding my bike down the toboggan slides at Swallow Cliffs forest preserve in IL in the springtime. :) Great 55

lori said...

"Hearts, too busy learning life to notice." Very nice.

Daniel said...

This sounds like something you would do. Me, I would be hiding in my basement with my fingers in my ears yelling loudly so I could not hear the screams.

Evalinn said...

Brian, I really love how you use visual effects in your writing!

Titanium said...

Ride, Sallie, Ride! Sounds like the sort of things kids do (and survive) that make parents shudder for decades.

Lightverse said...

What a great story - and what a superb telling! I loved the last lines - brilliant!

Heaven said...

Those were the fun days. I like the ending lines. Nice
55 ~

ds said...

Yikes! And so true--like sledding directly toward a barbed wire fence...

Anonymous said...

Awesome advice in your title.

beautiful insights in your 55 words,
excellent job!

Ed Pilolla said...

i thought of pine wood derby cars, only more leisurely-like. your title made me read it again.

JeannetteLS said...

My brother and I used to ride our bikes as close as we could to a gravel pit without falling into it. we would head full tilt the take a sharp turn, skidding and leaning away, scraping our knees and any other area as we'd smash to the grounc.

Yeah. I know.

Still have the scars from where we dug the pebbles out. But I beat him.

Well. Yet ANOther memory you sparked for me, Brian. Some of us write like surgeons. Others of us write as if we are on a prolonged vacation, without a plan.

izzy said...

Oh yeah; and you were up on the hood!

Pat Hatt said...

haha I was just talking about this the other day
It is amazing I survived at my bay
All the crap I did
Now though you touch a blade of grass with your toe and society flips their lid
Oh won't survive this, won't survive that
Yet still alive to rhyme at my mat

Enchanted Oak said...

I loved the teeth in this. One of your gifts is the ability to relive the child and loose it down the hill.

G-Man said...

We were ALL invincible when we were young.
Some people think they still are!
Excellent 55 Son
Thanks for surviving your reckless youth, and have a Kick Ass Week-End

Mary said...

So reminiscent of the kinds of things the neighborhood kids used to do! Makes for some good memories though, stories to tell the kids!

Daydreamertoo said...

LOL This takes me back to my youth! LOL Gosh we had some fun.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"one pushing, behind,
while the other stared
d
o
w
n"

Hello! Brian...
What a very nice use Of 55 words...55 [very] descriptive words...Of children at play and taking risk and a chance in this thing call...life!
Thanks, for sharing!
deedee ;-D

Claudia said...

nice... much wisdom in this..starts with the title and dang.. when did we stop being so busy with learning life that we just forgot everything else... i want that back..

Margie said...

I loved your ending!
*hearts, too busy
learning life to notice.

oh, the joys of childhood!
Those were the days!
This brought back some wonderful memories!

Happy day to you!

Teri said...

Oh, how I remember making go-carts and racing as fast as they would take us down the hill in front of out house. One time (and this was mid-50's mind you) we nailed boards onto roller skates and sat down, legs and feet up, and went down the same hill. I suppose that was an early skate board actually! It was all good until I fell off and scraped my face majorly. The saddest part was going to school the next day and being called to lead the pledge of allegiance. Didn't that teacher see that my face was scraped and covered with mercurochrome? Bright red and oh so embarrassing! That was first grade and I still remember the shame and humiliation of standing up in front of the class!

BragonDorn said...

I loved how you incorporated
d
o
w
n
into your writing. A true artist :)

Anyes said...

Memories of speeding downhill (three on a bike) come to mind. I almost had forgotten...Thank you Brian :-)

the walking man said...

Cool, the wonderful thing about childhood ignorance is the fearlessness, which is also the bad thing about childhood ignorance.

Fred said...

Fun piece. Love the projection as always and the description early on is great. Thanks

Laurie Kolp said...

Sounds like lots of fun. I don't think there's much complacency with little boys.

Li said...

Only you could take a mower and make something really beautiful from it :-)

farmlady said...

Wonderful poem. I can remember the feeling of doing something without thinking of the consequences. It was wonderful and I would guess that as long as no one was killed, it was the most exciting time of our lives.

Travel & Dive Girl said...

Very nicely done. Ahhh, to be young and fearless again.

Vodka Mom said...

wow.


it's all golden, my friend. Well, RED and golden

hedgewitch said...

Loving the title--and there are some elephants out there I'd like to chain to a very deep and permanent peg--in a foreign country--underwater. But I digress--I'm seeing if I can make my comment longer than your very cool and insightful poem, actually. Great 55, from a perenniel child, but hopefully, not a fool. ;_)

PattiKen said...

Childhood is a series of life lessons all wrapped up in luck, for most of us, anyway. My biggest (and most painful) lesson came when I learned I couldn't fly like Peter Pan.

Vicki Lane said...

It's a fine line for parents -- trying ti give kids the freedom to experience the things they need in order to learn.

Wonderful 55!

Cinner said...

Reminds me of my go cart days...too busy learning life to notice,,,there is such truth in those words. smiles

Maggie said...

That last statement really does hit you... nice!!

Me said...

Nice, love it! Every day is an experiment, and children are mad scientists...and never a doubt that it will work out right...

I second Mama Zen's comment! :)

Elaine said...

Oh this is nice Brian. I haven't done a 55 for ages. Will have to start again next week.
You always inspire me to write. Looking forward to more blogging this year.

Myrna R. said...

This wax si cute. No tractors on my memories, only roller skates I had trouble stopping.

Rachel said...

stunning.

i love the way you write your family,your life. your breathing into words. it's glorious.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

lost my stomach on the ride down!

Victoria said...

Oh this brings home memories. We used to slide down a hill that, when I visited as an adult, gave me vertigo. One of the boys in the neighborhood, the one who used to get me to join in, was killed a few years later riding on an oil well. He was crushed. Complacency. :0(

JANU said...

Innocence of childhood lost...nice.

Susan Deborah said...

Complacency is something I am guilty of. This was a kick on the rear.

Thanks.

Joy always,
Susan

Becca said...

I'm impressed! I am not such a creative storyteller. Kudos!

TALON said...

lol - Brian, this brought back some childhood memories. So true - death is nothing then and yet it was probably lurking close by during those reckless escapades.

Caty said...

yep...the best part of being a kid was feeling immortal and being a daredevil; although I haven't completely lost my daredevil just yet :)

Tifiny said...

Restless Childhood is vividly captured.

your words are more creative than your image, yet the image gives one strong impression of how things could go uncontrolled.

Great 55!

;)

Christine said...

I was the dork in the neighborhood who stood on the sidelines telling everyone "you'll get hurt". Yah that girl, still am. Trying to loosen up, before its too late. Love the freedom in this write.

tearlessnights said...

Reminds me of the blissful ignorance of childhood... Oh, and love the title!

emily wierenga said...

death, always present in our beating hearts... i love this... and yes, we carry it, a reminder of the eternal, that this life is but a shadow. i've missed you friend!

Leovi said...

Complacency is an elephant chained to a shallow peg, undoubtedly a wonderful phrase, full of certainty. I love the structure of the poem.

Margaret said...

The last line is splendid...as you've been told countless times. I had horses growing up and bought two just this past summer. I am much more careful now, let me tell you. Oh the stories I could tell of us kids galavanting about on our ponies and horses...

Alice Audrey said...

That was before it became illegal to take risks.

Hilary said...

I never know where you're going to take me but I always love where I end up. Another great one.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Oh, the things kids will get up to, if given a chance! I wasn't a very adventurous sort, but I knew plenty who were.

Bernie said...

I was right there with you, you have such a gift Brian, love what you do with words....:-)Hugs

anthonynorth said...

We're lucky to survive with the only wrecks the old machines.

MorningAJ said...

That reminds me of so many near misses I had as a kid. Maybe that's why I'm so nervous these days.

Wonderful 55.

Lorraine said...

it's true, but know we sure understand our moms' concerns lol

adeeyoyo said...

Aaah, those last four lines brought back all the memories of what we did on roller skates as children, tearing downhill on an almost perpendicular road - cars be damned! Brilliant write, Brian!

Anne said...

The title is great on this. Tell a story in 55 words. I don't know if I could do it. I'm too long winded. My comments are usually 55 words. I'm not in you guys league, but I'll try this over the weekend just to challenge myself. It's good to fail on a weekend!

Birdie said...

you always wake up those childhood memories that are in, not that i was playing with a lawnmower though ... :-) i was a good girl who just followed her wild cousin in all the adventures - lol

Birdie said...

and i meant to wish a happy w-e Brian :-)

Dave King said...

This will resonate with most, I think and remind us all of what was - to use that over-used word - iconic in our childhoods.
Superbly judged.

Valerie said...

I never had that kind of fun. Should I be envious or grateful?

♥ Braja said...

ahh, i can smell the dirt in the back yard...

kaykuala said...

Brian,
Some fun this! I remember a makeshift cart that came crashing down a slope and we tumbling all over. A few bruises a lot of scratches but lots of fun.

Hank

sharmishtha said...

children! they live life so fully :)

Tara Miller said...

pushing the boundaries and feeling the fear yet pushing through in childhood. too bad that doesn't always follow us into adulthood. It's too easy to get complacent and not even realize it....

yellowhousecafe said...

Dig the pic for this write. Begged my brother to teach me to drive old John Deere as a girl. Couldn't stop, mowed down the fence! Ha! Thanks for morning contemplation!

Akelamalu said...

Ah that was the time one could make anything out of nothing! :)

hope said...

Ah, we had the "Green beast" and many a times in childhood I'd wished for a hill...or cliff. :)

Nice one!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Oh! It was so much fun...racing through childhood with scabs forever on our knees. We weren't afraid, you have that right. Death? What's that when you're ten? That's what happened to the old lady down the road, so far removed from our everyday fun. Great 55....as always!

Teri M said...

I hope my kids never try any of that crazy stuff we did! I'd have a heart attack for sure. :)

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

I wonder how many of today's coddled youths would even dare to try that?

(Of course, it was that lack of adventure that led to "Jackass")

Heather said...

one thing i always think about when i look at my kids...is that they have so much hope for the future - no fear...only excitemen- as we get older the dark clouds come - I really love this one....so much meaning...

SueAnn said...

I agree with mama zen...that we survived is amazing!!
Great post Brian
Hugs
SueAnn

The PostMan said...

Love it...

Your words really can paint pictures in a persons mind.

Regards
The PostMan
http://postcardsinthewind.blogspot.com/

Nezzy said...

I'm sayin'!!!

This reminded me of Geek Son and the contraptions he would put on wheels. He'd tell his sis, Social Butterfly, that if she'd try his invention out someday she'd be famous.

To the top of the hill they'd trudge. My tiny little girl would take a seat and her bro would give her a push. If the invention fell apart son would go back to the drawin' board. If it held together he'd try it.

Wonderful memories ya stirred up here today.

God bless and have a fantastic weekend!!! :o)

RD said...

nice five fiver...what a ride

we're hangin' on, eh?

your words are steadily getting to me lately...thanks Brother

Peace

Sue said...

That's how it is with kids, right? Always so certain of their own immortality.

=)

Natasha Head said...

Love the title of this one...and the weave, as always, freaking fantastic! Poet...never grow up!

Lolamouse said...

This is the kind of thing that makes childhood memories. Do kids today get to do that kind of crazy stuff or are they too overscheduled with soccer practices and dance classes to mess around like that?

Ash said...

This is absolutely beautiful!

Cathy said...

resurrection is astonishing in any form, even a lawnmower!

Deb said...

I can remember being so excited when my father finally let me mow the lawn...all by myself !! My mother ran after me, telling me to be careful or I'd cut my foot off. Thanks for the memories !

Rebecca S. said...

The title of this is great...is it original?

Other Mary said...

Ah, the 'good old days'

Lydia said...

So fun!

In spite of it being about childhood, I thought of frogs. Why,(and do frogs have teeth)? Because we have these tiny green froggies in our big yard that blend in with the grass (which is why they survive in the first place). Thus, mowing is a slow-going and serious event for us.

ayala said...

Love this! a snapshot of childhood :)

Joanna Jenkins said...

Glad you lived to tell the story ;-)
jj

Cloudia said...

foolish youth!



Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

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♫♪♥PhilO♥♪♫ said...

Lovely narration! :)

myheartslovesongs said...

vivid imagery, brian. great 55!

Beth Winter said...

My turn to ride and you push :) Favorite toys made by Lawnboy.

Friko said...

Wheeeeeee and down we go!

Death? what's that, when you are eleven?

Doctor FTSE said...

Good, spare in the kind of situation where it's all too easy to overwrite. One of the great benefits of G-Man's 55'ers.

Pat said...

I got butterflies in my stomach just thinking about going down the hill! Great write!

Steve E said...

Huh? Wha'sup, Bro? I remember well that fight with----Wuz-'is-name?
He'p me out here Bro. Y'all 'member!

He beat the livin' crap outta me. (Can't recall 'is name!)

What day is tommorrah? I go to gym on Sat'days...or was that toosdays? Love ya, Bro....

Steve E said...

Hey, I just wrote the hundredth comment. Is there a reward? Not for me...for you, I mean--receiving more than 100 Peeps' thoughts! what is the record for your comment Brian?

Whatever it is--YOU deserve it, man!

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Excellent story and imagery!

Goofball said...

too bad you didn't film your adventures and posted them to youtube yet

did you scream loud?

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Syd said...

I never got run over by the lawn mower but it is a wonder. My mother told me stories about kids who lost a hand or a foot. I listened.

william said...

loved the imagery in this one Brian, and the title was superb ;0