Tuesday, February 21, 2012

OpenLinkNight - in-NO-sense lost

my boys put ketchup on everything,
even mix it with ranch dressing,
mad scientist gleam in their eyes
as they stir it with green beans

& i have brushed my teeth a hundred times,
yet the taste still clings to my tongue
& that dangly thing in the back of the throat

char & ash

the air, my clothes, my boys hair
where i go for the solace
of innocence---

they say it started where the clothes drier
joins the wall, now scorched---
but awaking at 1:30 AM to a house full of smoke
it doesn't matter---

does anything?

my grandfather was a fireman,
and on Sundays after church,
we would go for dinner, his helmet,
coat and boots by the door,
just in case a call came,
smelling of the last family
he saved or---

we are safe, damage minor,
but i would give anything to sense
something else,

even ketchup
mixed with ranch dressing.

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - The wonderful Natasha Head is hosting this evening. So go write something poetic and join us. Doors open at 3 pm EST.

I will be a little slow getting around the next couple days. As you may have gathered from above, we had a small electrical fire in the middle of the night last night. All are well and we are in the clean up/fixing phase at this point. We do have heat back, so we are making progress.

116 comments:

JeannetteLS said...

Oh, how I was hoping this was fiction. Brian, I am so glad you are all safe. And I hope that the smoke damage to your belongings was not bad. Insurance covers many things, but sometimes there are reminders of beloved moments that nothing can recompense.

Anyway,I am sure there will be dozens of wishes for easy repairs, and absolute relief that you are all okay. With affection and a world of good wishes, Jetty

Birdie said...

omg!! so sorry to hear that Brian and very relieved that you all are safe!!!! good that you can heat up as well ... take your time, we all will be here ...

Josh Hoyt said...

Oh no Im so sorry to hear about this. Im glad to hear everyone is well and that things are getting a little better. Don't worry about the visits there are many things more important :)

Brandee Shafer said...

Brian, I am praising God for your safety and the safety of your family. He had lots of quarters just for you. Can you believe my husband knew the quarter expression? (I'm sure you can.) Ah, well.

Claudia said...

so glad no one got hurt.. sending you hugs and spaghetti scent from my dinner over here...smiles

Daniel said...

Wow dude, a harrowing experience it seems. Hopefully everything gets back to where it should be shortly, including those mad scientists of yours. Peace.

Kulio said...

SO glad your family is safe! Kinda curious to try that ranch/ketchup combo now..might taste a little like thousand island? maybe not.
I know, I'm focusing on the wrong things...lol

ayala said...

Thankfully no one got hurt...but what a scare..so sorry. Love how you added a touch of your legacy here with your grandfather. I wish you and your beautiful family the best.

Shockgrubz said...

Glad to hear that the fire didn't take more than it did. Good luck in the coming days.

Mary said...

Yikes, Brian. That sounds very scary. Glad you are all ok!

(Ketchup with green beans? Yukk!! But to each his own.

Tracie Skarbo said...

Glad to hear you and yours are ok. What a wake up call! Ketchup and green beans...I have to try this on my little lad! He is one for syrup on his hashbrowns and breakfast sausages!

Pat Hatt said...

Not a state I would wish
On even a fish
Glad all are well and safe
Even if your poor senses chafe
At least you got the heat back
Hopefully everything goes smoothly fixing it at your shack
I put ketchup on everything too
I even used to put it on apples..lol...I know eww

Mama Zen said...

Oh, man! I'm so glad that you all are safe, Brian!

laurie said...

wow, thank goodness for a happy ending, please take care, we will always be here like everyone said. Best wishes from Canada.

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

So glad that the fire wasn't as bad as it could have been and that you are safe... hopefully the rest of the repairs come swiftly.

Geraldine said...

I'm glad you are all ok but this must have been a fright! Ketchup and ranch...ummm...interesting.

Take care Brian.

If you need a giggle stop by:

www.veggiesyarnsandtails.wordpress.com

when you can to see the Chedster in a whole new "light" teehheee.

BFN, G

dulce ♥ said...

My dear Brian,
Hope is getting better after the incident or accident... well as long as you can get warm...

Yes, my son loves ketchup that much too...

Heaven said...

Happy to read that everyone is fine. We had a similar experience like this years ago and waking up to smoke and children crying was a nightmare ~

Don't worry about the visiting us ~

hedgewitch said...

You prove once again anything can be turned into poetry. You make the sense of smell a major player here in interpreting events--also liked the way you brought in the fireman's boots we all need in this life--for others as much or more than ourselves. Hope things settle down and smell better soon.

Heaven said...

I am thankful that everyone is fine. Don't worry about the visits ~

The Silver Fox said...

Very glad no one was harmed!

Steve E said...

Thank the Universe...thank God you are safe. You WILL let us know more? (maybe all in the writing, I'll go again!)

Hate to admit this--I love smell of smoke--in fact the smell of anything--everything--turns me o........

These two line I--with more talent and imagination--might have written:

"it doesn't matter---

does anything?"

That about says it for me, friend. And THAT'S not a bad thing!

She Writes Here Now said...

Boys and their ketchup mixed with ranch is tangible, savory, and something well worth writing down. But the scent of your child's hair against you face, nothing replaces that. Ever.

There is solace in such simple things in the wake of realizations of what might have been. The irony your grandfather was a fireman and now you have had a fire of your own doe not escape me. Life is circular in the strangest ways.

tera said...

Heavens, Brian! Glad you are all safe and that you can write a poem about it... but oh, my!

Timoteo said...

That's why I always hang 'em out on the clothesline dude. I use the dryer just to crawl inside and joyride sometimes on Saturday nights!

(Glad all are okay.)

Fred Rutherford said...

Damn. I could imagine, anything would have to smell better than that, especially as it ties in emotionally as well. Fires are one of the things I fear the most. My parents light candles all the time, and although I've never seen them forget to put them out before bed, I always would check them to make sure, and when on the road I would call them just to remind them to make sure they put them out. I can only imagine the turmoil there, but glad everything turned out as best it could.

Tara Miller said...

No sleep going on last night! It was overwhelming this morning to see what had actually happened and know that we were just upstairs and it could have been much worse. I'm so thankful that the Lord protected our family.

Laurie Kolp said...

Oh no... I'm so sorry to hear this, Brian... glad you're all okay. When I was student teaching our apartment building caught fire... it was horrible (4-alarm). My roommates and I only had smoke damage but some of the others lost everything. I know that taste.

Sue said...

So glad that all is well, Brian, or at least, everything important.

=)

lindakruschke said...

Brian, Real life makes for some great poetry. I'm so glad the fire wasn't worse and no one was hurt. I love how you started and ended with the ketchup and ranch mixing, keeping the focus on what is so important - family. Peace, Linda

happygirl said...

I'm so sorry about your fire. I know the violation one feels when one's sanctuary has been violated. Stay positive, as anyone who eats ranch dressing mixed with ketchup can. (isn't this the stuff they put on Big Macs?) I love that you can write verse in the midst of it.

Daydreamertoo said...

Oh my goodness. Thank goodness you are all safe and well. I do hope you have smoke alarms. Bloody hell Brian. Thank goodness you woke up and were able to get it together enough to get everyone out and made safe and that the house is okay too.
I was never expecting to read this. It makes yucky food mixes even sound palatable. :)
Thank heavens you are all okay.

stu mcp (hate & hope) said...

Holy shit- hope your all ok? It wasn't until i got to the lines about the dryer and the scorched wall that it started to sink in. What a document of this scary yet life affirming experience....when shit like this happens- it makes you realise what IS important...and it's nothing mundane or meaningless. It was amazing to share your words and genuine human emotions which you poured out in evey word. Loved this- don't love the fact you had a fire

turtlememoir said...

love the return to normal at the end (to the extent that ketchup
mixed with ranch dressing
can be considered normal ;) ), and I'm soooo glad you all are safe {shudders at what might have been}

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

Everything can be replaced but a life, so I'm just glad you all are safe.

Louise said...

Eeek...so good to hear you're all OK, crikey....so scary. Great to be able to express the emotions of it all through poetry...best wishes for a speedy clean up.

Ginny Brannan said...

Oh my, Brian, scary stuff. So glad you and your family are okay. And despite it all you still managed to write an amazing synopsis of this adventure and tie it all into the ordinary of ketchup and ranch dressing! Take care, & here's hoping you never need deal with something like this again!

Uneven Stephen said...

Great poem man. Glad you and your family are safe. Terrible things and near-tragedies always seem to inspire. I love how the ketchup & ranch threads the whole piece together.

Anthony Desmond said...

yikes! glad you + your family are okay... but gee, I still put ketchup on everything... ranch too... sometimes both go on the same plate. hahah

pandamoniumcat said...

Wow how lucky are you all... glad you're okay. Hope the clean up isn't to much. And after that I could guess I'd want to play mad scientist with the sauce bottles... or maybe not! Wish you all the best!

Elizabeth Young said...

This sounds like a very scary experience Brian, something which not only shook you to the core but also evoked memories of yesteryear. Aroma's stay with us for a lifetime sometimes it appears, ready to bring a world into being with a sniff. Hugs to you and yours!

mrs mediocrity said...

would that this was all metaphor...
you are all safe, and that is what matters most, i can only imagine how scary it must have been.
you pulled a fabulous poem out of the scare.
you all take care and give each other extra hugs just now. soon, there will be fresh scents in the air.
p.s. ketchup rules. :)

Captain Dumbass said...

Thank goodness you can still write poems about it.

Marbles in My Pocket said...

Wow! Glad you and yours are okay. I've never been through it, but I know it can't be good! I love how you were able to combine it with something fun in the poem. Hope everything is getting back to normal!
http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/i-go/

Heather said...

oh no!!!!!!!!!!
I am so glad you and your family are safe...sending hugs your way!
please keep us posted and let us know if you need anything!.

RD said...

geez...glad all is well....again you bring the real into our eyes in sublime lines...a touch of "look, you know this" added with a hint of "isn't this just how it goes"...never to miss a chance to find poetic discourse, you tell it like it is

Peace

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

Thank God all of your are safe... Never mind the ketchup... :-) be safe Sir!..

JJRod'z

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

Oh--I am so sorry Brian! But I am glad that you are all safe! I hope things get back to normal for you soon--

@AudreyHowitt

Wolfsrosebud said...

loved the transition in this piece... nice Brian

Friko said...

the ketchup and ranch dressing will return, never fear.

Watch those fires!

Pauline said...

glad to know you are all safe! proves what my poetry group was discussing last week - a poem can be made from anything!

Suz said...

glad you and your precious loved ones are safe....now on to the cleanup ....
and that mixture actually sounds good....

lori said...

Hmmm, I don't know about ketchup and ranch, lol. So glad you're all safe. A fire of any magnitude is scary. Really makes you think about how fleeting life can be. I know you'll be hugging your family extra tight tonight :)Hope the strong smell dissipates soon.

Beachanny said...

OMG I wish I had your facility to turn things like this into poetry. Your versatility always impresses me. Your creativity floors me and makes me wonder where you find such clever ways of expressing things in such novel ways. Glad things are no worse and you are all well. I had one of those once and the ironing board cover saved the house. I still have that ironing board. Perhaps I should write an ode to it. LOL!

Bar None Publishing Group said...

Glad to hear that you and yours are safe and sound. It's a testament to your talents that in this trying time you can create art. Well done Brian.

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Oh no! What a hassle but it could have been so much worse. Glad to hear everyone is okay.

Natasha Head said...

As small as it may have been, it was a threat against the Miller kingdom, and to get that sense of security and comfort back is going to be difficult. You may have been physically unscathed, but it's gonna stick thru for a few writes! Prayers and peace be with you and yours. (and I should probably mention the write was fantastic...here's to ketchup and ranch dressing!)

Betsy said...

Oh wow! Scary stuff. Glad you are ok!

Didn't I tell you to stop praying for patience??? :)

Charles Miller said...

Man, a close call indeed. I remeber the way I trembled with my daughter in my arms after a car accident and the cop was driving my whoke family home. Glad it all came to just a few smoke stains, though I know your dreams will be frayed for weeks. Of course, the kids in the innocence, will think none the worse cause Dad knows how to keep his cool under pressure, like granddad. Great piem, once again.

gardenlilie.com said...

Great poem and story! It moved fast and finished well. I love kids and their delights. First time I read one of yours!

Heaven said...

Brian, this is my 3rd attempt to comment here. I had earlier posted but it is not showing :-(

I am very happy to know that your whole family is fine. Don't worry about the visits ~

Leslie said...

oh, my! i'm so glad your family is safe, but what a scary thing. of course your poem, as usual, bears the rhythm and scent of that experience...

Buddah Moskowitz said...

An excellent write, though I hate the source material. May you and your family be blessed with safety and security from here on! My prayers for your normalcy to come back.

Steve King said...

Scary deal, this. But a great rendition of the experience and the aftermath. A tough way to get inspiration...

janaki nagaraj said...

Ketchup with green beans must be much better than a fire...glad that there is no major damage. Be well.

PattiKen said...

I'm so glad that you and your family are okay and that the damage was small. How scary that must have been!

RoryBore said...

what is it with the whole dipping thing? my kids will eat anything, as long as they can dip it in something. my youngest today: grilled cheese in ranch dressing. however, since it is the most trying thing I have endured today - say in comparison to smoke and fire (holy cow - glad you're all safe!), I will give my measure of thanks.

WinterWrites said...

all it takes to taste the greatness of ketchup mixed with ranch dressing is to summon that
little boy in you.
Glad your fire wasnt to bad & everyone is ok

Semaphore said...

Happy to hear the family is safe and you are getting life back together. And you still had time to put together this poem and make the rounds of the poetic bar. Amazing.

wurdz said...

Brian! Awww man!That's truly something that NOBODY wants to experience. Been there with my son...and as you so beautifully put, that's all that matters.The safety of your loved ones. Thank you for sharing even in the midst of personal loss. I'm here if you need, bruh.Great mental gymnastics as usual!

wurdz said...

Brian! Awww man!That's truly something that NOBODY wants to experience. Been there with my son...and as you so beautifully put, that's all that matters.The safety of your loved ones. Thank you for sharing even in the midst of personal loss. I'm here if you need, bruh.Great mental gymnastics as usual!

Magpie said...

Oh, my. I am so thankful you are all well. That is scary...especially at night. Blessings on you and yours.

tattytiara said...

You just made me grateful for something. My dog will not bark, not at all, useless as a guard dog, but he HATES fire and smoke and anything to go with it. That he'd come and tell me about. Glad you sniffed out your hot spot before it found you and yours too!

Something else I'm grateful for: I've never once tasted ketchup!

Susie Clevenger said...

So sorry about the fire, but so happy all are safe...We didn't have a fire in our home when I was young, but in a building my dad owned. I don't think I can forget the smell on him when he came home.

jackie dick said...

Aw, Brian...scary!!! Glad you are all safe and sound. That you can turn this experience into poetry...kudos to you! I would have been paralyzed for a long time. So when the repairs are done, write about that! Anything! Just keep going. Whew!

Celestial Dreamz said...

ohh God ... I am so glad you all are safe and fine. bless you.

Shadow said...

your sons and i both! love that mixture!

sorry to hear this happened. must've been scary!!! but i'm super glad that you're all safe and sound.

Caty said...

How scary! I'm glad you are all okay

Valerie said...

My history with fire is well known ... I thank the Lord you're family is okay. What's a little damage compared to life?

Dave King said...

I enjoyed reading this. Could relate to it easily - if only because one of our grandsons puts salad cream on everything. Haven't had the fire , though. delighted to hear no one was seriously hurt. Fine poem, as usual.

kez said...

Thank goodness your all safe : ) and hope your all doing well with the aftermath ...hope putting down your fab words helped you, thanks so much for taking the time to visit peoples blogs ...love to you and yours x

adan said...

from ketchup and kids to "smelling of the last family
he saved or---"

very strong brian, no wonder you wish you smelled something else, you smelled danger and the possibility of or---

very disturbing when it hits that close to our kids, nice job of expressing the flow of it, innocence to danger

thanks! and be safe!

sharmishtha said...

kids! we live our own childhood through them again and again. :)

sharmishtha said...

glad that you guys are safe and sound.

thank God!

the walking man said...

I would say that kind of sucks ass..but as long as no one is hurt and the worst of it is the smell and memory.

C Rose said...

the reward of the grateful that we experience when we have something like this occurs is the reward of the pain or discomfort it causes, you have captured it perfectly. glad everyone is okay! ~ Rose

Lady Nyo said...

A lovely, tender poem, but thank GOD you and yours are ok. This still is scary, and I would also want the taste of anything, the smell of anything....on my tongue.

Blessings on your heads, Brian, as you revel in the safety of your family. The cleanup of course is a bother, but so minor considering what could have happened.

Lady Nyo

AmyLK said...

So glad no one was hurt. The smell will go away eventually. Good luck with the adjuster today.

kaykuala said...

Brian,
So glad nothing untoward happened. No one got hurt and that's a relieve. It was a scare but it's ok now!

Hank

tony said...

'Sorry To Hear About Your Mess.I Hope Things Are Getting Back To Normal.Regards.

Robert Gibson said...

I'm glad you guys are safe - I was hoping it was all fictional as well... but, as usual, awesome verse ... could see everything ... and - ketchup and ranch dressing? On green beans? Don't tell MY boys!

^.^ said...

... ehem, I like your boys :) tell them, they should try French toast sans the syrup, but avec Bologna and KETCHUP ... yummy :) About the other news: So glad you are all safe :) Love, cat.

TALON said...

Thank heavens you are all okay, Brian! That's the important thing. Hope you get the heat back quickly.

beckykilsby said...

Brian.. brilliant to frame such drama with domestic detail. In fact pretty calm to be framing this one at all.. A very strong piece.. I feel the near-miss through the smell of your kids' hair. So well done.

rosaria said...

I skipped through the comments, hoping you had dismissed any connection to real facts. But you didn't!
And you went from your boys' antics to char and ash
and the fire
and the aftermath you can't brush out of your mouth, the back of the throat.

You were lucky, young man.
At 1:30 a.m. you woke up and got saved.

Your skills are amazing here.
You start with the picture of the boys and their habits, and work the fire as an afterthought that can't be washed away.

"they say it started..."
"it doesn't matter..."
"does anything?"

And you end end with a wish to taste something else, to rid yourself of what could have been, the fear, the panic, the sensations.

Yes, I say, we can't wash away what happened, or even what we came close to. Our memory is made of these moments.

darkangelwrites said...

Oh wow Brian, I'm glad you are all o.k. I'm assuming you alarm went off and woke you? Mine so sensitive I met all the cute guys in our fire department my first week in our new house. Next time I burn onions they will charge me for the false alarm though so...

Reena Walkling said...

I am so glad all of you are ok. That's the most important thing! Our house burned to the ground one afternoon when I was 8. No one was home and everything was lost except for a few photos. The smell lingered on them for years.

Mystic_Mom said...

Thankful that you are all safe, and also very happy that you let us know. What a great poem, and that fire fighter smell, I used to wear it on my gear too...great stuff!

Lisa Golden said...

Oh, terrifying. Fire. I am so relieved that all is well.

Shawna said...

Brian, I'm so sorry! Thank goodness you caught it in time and everyone is relatively okay. There is always solace in this:

"my boys hair
where i go for the solace
of innocence"

Such a beautiful place to rest.

~Shawna
rosemarymint.wordpress.com

Beth Winter said...

We had a house fire when I was a kid. The smell is distinct and is something never forgotten. Thank goodness you are all safe. Things can be fixed but you cannot be replaced.

I have a strange craving to dip my green beans in ketchup.

Hugs to you and yours. Keep smiling even if you don't want to. It does help.

joanna said...

glad to hear all are safe and relatively sound. sometimes the places from which we draw inspiration are not the ones we would choose...

Ed Pilolla said...

whew. what a frightening moment. glad you all are okay.

Stranger said...

Oh, so scary! Glad you and the family are ok. Be well, Brian. I'm sending positive wished and prayer your way.

junesanjuan said...

thank goodness you and your family are safe! hopefully there wasn't too much damage. take your time, and looking forward to when you're back in full force. :)

PoppySilverUK said...

Fantastically woven! Lovely to meet you Brian :)
This really brings into perspective how fragile life is and when we experience something like this...well, kind of puts things in their place!
Brilliant, work, enjoyed a lot!
Poppy :)

manicddaily said...

Terrible smell. Lovely ketchup. K.

Rachel Hoyt said...

OMG. What a fright! I'm glad to hear everyone is ok. I hope insurance handles everything swiftly. Your beautiful poem makes it seem like all of that is already just a memory.

william said...

could have been nasty!! and your boys are cool, me too puts ketchup on almost everything lol.

Janice @ Mommy's Lounge said...

Thought it was fiction til I read the end note! So glad to hear you are all okay!

Anne said...

You always do such a good job of bringing things back 'round to the opening stanza and closing the the thought. I'm sorry to hear that you and your family went through this, bu so glad you are all well.

poeticlicensee said...

...scary story with a lucky ending.

poeticlicensee said...

...scary story with a lucky ending.

Jebbi said...

Good to know everyone is ok....how scary..and the piece you wrote really emanates the emotion of what happened.

Syd said...

I'm sorry, Man. That is scary. Hope that all gets fixed, but mostly glad that you and your family are safe and not harmed.

Goofball said...

how scary! glad there's no major damage and that all of yoru family was safe. That's what counts right. did you panic when you woke up? Did the smoke alarm trigger your alert?


yes, always heard clothing dryers are the most dangerous. Yikes...will be less inclined to have it run at night now. :(