Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mom & the tight wearing nut munchers

behind DSS, Lynchburg, VA

If ornaments on the Christmas tree
tell a story, you'd think we were
tight wearing nut munchers

what with all the superheroes,
nutcrackers & ballerinas
but that's us---

& in the center hangs a cross,
clay, black & outlined in earth toned dots,
from one of the kids in my hiStory
nearly twenty years younger & living

my earlier dreams, touring
the country, stage by stage, road miles
rising as he sleeps between an amp
& speaker stack, summers in a village
he's adopted in Africa or Haiti

digging wells, building homes, helping,
all the children there know his name
& the stories

he tells---van breaking down & finding
homeless teens, so it's meant to be

or playing soccer under a similar sun elsewhere,
dark skin kids crowding, not speaking
the same language but---he & i

celebrate Mother's day each year
together, a call or card---no matter where
we are---i am still here, a long way from

pick up games on the asphalt
behind a warehouse outside Baltimore
where we met, not quite saints but

i finger over
the cross hanging
in the center of my tree
& on the back read
M-O-M

& laugh to myself, another
form of prayer.

written for Poetry Jam.

70 comments:

Pat Hatt said...

#1
Hank and Mary are done!

farawayinthesunshine said...

Where is the photograph of your tree? It looks like a very interesting one :-)

Happy Wednesday to you too Brian

Pat Hatt said...

haha hmm quite the image there
With the spandex affair
Sounds like quite the life too
Going all over to each zoo
Good thing I was fast
My first would have turned into 1st last

DJan said...

What a lovely poem, brimming with images and emotions to make me smile and see your tree in my mind's eye.

kaykuala said...

It's amazing how those having the pioneering spirit are getting younger. But they accomplish just as much with community work programs. It augers well for the future! Nicely Brian!

Hank

Brian Miller said...

jeremy who i wrote this about was a kid i worked with about 10 years ago...a very cool kid he turned out to be

izzy said...

Great theme and threads! exactly how it works! Our tiny tree has goldfish bells , white flowers- thanks!
(By the by- I posted a late Erasure poem you might enjoy!)

ReBelle said...

Here, here.

Cinner said...

Great imagery Brian, my ornaments all seem to be from different phases of my life,...beautiful poem, you have so many untold stories I am sure.

Daniel said...

I love the memories tied to this one, woven in from start to finish.

Annmarie Pipa said...

a tree full of memories! we have homemade decorations on our tree...it is not fancy or even pretty and I keep wanting to change the decorations...but the kids like remembering and seeing what they made...at least this year it won't only be decorated on the bottom half whee they could reach...they are getting taller!!
have a great day.

Daydreamertoo said...

I agree, the boy sounds like he is a cool kid and, I would love to see a pic of the cross. We hang all sorts of different things in our tree too, some are cards Chloe made many years ago which we still have. It makes it seem much less commercial somehow.
Love your story telling Brian.

Valerie said...

Jeremy sounds like a true saviour to those kids.

We no longer have a tree at Christmas but the memories linger on. I spent some time today decorating the house, slowly, while the past took turns to flash through my mind.

Happy Wednesday, Brian.

Gloria said...

All the trees have memories I think:) The kids love garnish the tree, but this year I dont know they are working (really) and arrive home so late! I cant believe tyhey are working!
This is a beautiful poem Brian!

Myrna R. said...

Is it your brother you write about? Nice memories of a free and giving spirit. Your tree sounds very eclectic, fun and beautiful. Haven't put mine up yet.

Teri said...

Our trees remind us when we look at them, of all those memories we associate with certain ornaments. I know I can look at mine and tell a story for almost each one. Some of them were given to me by my Grandmother and then that takes me to thoughts of her (and on and on). It's nice that you have such wonderful memories about a young boy you helped at some point in your life. I'm sure he has a memory or two of you also. And the circle continues. Have a great week Brian.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Great poem, loved the continuity of the Christmas tree ornaments over the years, and how they trigger the memory. Well done, Santa!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

A tree full of memories and ornaments that tell stories...I love it.

Claudia said...

nice..love how the ornaments, collected over the years tell stories and so cool on the things he's doing now...even if you couldn't do it yourself, must be cool to see him grow into it...

Tracie Skarbo said...

"tight wearing nut munchers" Oh did I laugh! Wonderful line!

Casey Freeland said...

Very cool, as always Brian. I have to say though, I don't understand why you and this kid would connect for Mother's Day unless he was pseudo adopted by your mom?

Still wonderful poem. :)

Casey

Brian Miller said...

casey, it actually started over a joke he told at dinner to his mom...which was wildly inappropriate...thus we began to celebrate mothers day together...

Alice Audrey said...

Sounds to me like he turned out well, "Mom".

Susan said...

I like this memory poem and the image I have of your tree, its cross and your laughed prayer. I do not have Christmas ornaments, but almost every decorative thing in my home has its story. I think I live alone, but truly the myriad presences fill the space. I wonder when they learned to speak one at a time?

Kimolisa said...

Great poem, the imagery and emotions were interesting. They were expressed so well.

rosaria williams said...

Brian, you're packing a lifetime here, in each line, with each memory.

Hilary said...

I'm not sure I want to know about the nut munchers. ;)

Raven said...

"Tight wearing nut munchers?" These words will simply NOT stop rolling around on my tongue. They are very funny words! And oh: "& laugh to myself, another
form of prayer." Loving these words as I have been wondering lately about "what prayer is."

Nessa said...

Always a smile and a tear, when i visit.

Victoria said...

Love the title (and poem). One of the things I look forward to every year when we decorate the tree is all the memories that pour out of so many of the ornaments.

Laurie Kolp said...

Aww... I have special ornaments that bring back memories, too.

Cloudia said...

" pick up games on the asphalt
behind a warehouse outside Baltimore
where we met, not quite saints but



& laugh to myself, another
form of prayer. "

Understood, & appreciated, Bri!

Friendly Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

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Paige said...

brian, your poem is a gem. you have painted a childhood with words.

Mary said...

Wonderful to take a look at that cross on the tree and recollect this young man that you knew ten years ago, Brian. I have some old ornaments like that too...treasures. Nice that you keep in touch with him and also to know he is doing so much good. Makes a person feel good, I am sure when they look at that cross and realize he lives it!

Gail said...

Like a memory bracelet, each piece tells a story.

Wonderfully decorated words for the holiday.

Adura Ojo said...

Hey Brian,

People bring different meanings into our lives. Our memories help us keep those meanings. It's great when it all turns out well too.

Grace said...

I enjoyed the story behind the Christmas tree ornaments Brian ~ And how good it is that he turned out to be, helping others, from perhaps the good example of people like you. That you still stay connected is a treasure ~

Have a wonderful day/night ~

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

You know what sacre me during this time. it is the nut cracker ballet or the story . scary dancing rats and etc. to think it happens when we are a sleep. I thought we needed traps.. well done write and I tried to feature it in Creatives Daily, but I can't figure out how to work the feeds. but, your work is there. :) And thank you for all your encouragement:)

Tara Miller said...

Such a beautiful and heartfelt story my love. I enjoy walking in these memories with you and hope he reads this sometime....he would love it as well.

RMP said...

I think my favorite ornaments are the one that hold within them a memory. there's definitely more story behind that ornament.

She Writes said...

Isn't it amazing how the stories of some people stay with us for years!

Tina said...

I think he owes much of his turning out cool to having someone like you in his life.
This got me thinking of the kids we sponsor through Compassion International and the treasured letters they send. They brim with hope and joy and the love of Jesus. Having a cross on the tree from one of them (well, there have been several, I started in 1983. They do grow up...) would be awesome. But I have beautiful artwork from Indonesia and calligraphy from Kenya...

Loved this piece. And thanks for the kick in the ass I needed this morning. You're true, and it's appreciated.
Tina @ Life is Good
http://kmdlifeisgood.blogspot.com/

Serena said...

I like the way you put things... like back in my history 20 yrs... the title was great and I especially liked how laughter is another sort of prayer.

Wander said...

May have had something to do with some posative influences in his life:-)

Lisa said...

Reminds me of a story on Little House On The Prairie where the family could not afford the star to put at the top of the tree but in the end they got it, the father held up the youngest girl and she put the star on the tree.

JANU said...

Nice memories here....nice that the boy turned out to be great.

SueAnn Lommler said...

Christmas trees...always bring me fond memories...and all the ornaments tell stories...don't they!
Well said Brian
Hugs
SueAnn

Fred Rutherford said...

excellent story telling here. Very cool build up to a great ending. Great read Brian. Thanks

rallentanda said...

Your blood brother sounds like a very good person.Very cool as well. I hope he is well and happy.

Lorraine said...

make sure that you photocopy each of your entries, should your computer to kaput or explode like mine did, it would be a huge lost, my way of saying, I love this, but then again when do I not love it...

A Cuban In London said...

It's a very vivid and dizzying (in a good way) poem, man. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

ladyfi said...

Beautiful story of people past and present!

the walking man said...

It's a good story Brian.

Brandee Shafer said...

Christmas ornaments make great gifts. I hung one on my tree, this year, that made me remember a friend from 20 years ago. I looked him up on fb and sent a msg. May God continue to bless and keep you and this one you love. And Merry Christmas, Brian. I do feel like finding you in the blogosphere was a gift to me, this year.

Okelle said...

Glad to read this. I know the sensation of years slipping up against one another at the fault line of Christmas, the old you and the new you confronting one another.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I loved this so much - the wonderful friend, living a dream life, the ornaments, the M-O-M and the inner laugh......very moving and wonderful!

Helen said...

... kids do have a way of 'living our dreams' sometimes. Lovely poem, Brian.

lori mcclure said...

Your heart for others shines through every piece you do. You inspire us all. And with a title like that, who could turn away, lol
:)

ND Mitchell said...

Great recollections. Really enjoy your poems.

Peggy said...

Just the kind of saint I hoped to read about when I posted the prompt! Sounds like you were an inspiration to this kid! Blessings to you and him.

Geraldine said...

they all tell a story. so true.

I think you're getting in the holiday spirit Brian am I right?

Joanna Jenkins said...

I enjoy YOUR comments in the comments-- telling a little more of the story. Jeremy sounds pretty cool. And it's even cooler that your told the story so beautifully.
jj

Margaret said...

laughter - another form of prayer. The right kind does fill our hearts, doesn't it. I love my nostalgic ornaments and handmade "for mom" ones too. Cried last year when one my oldest made for me when he was four finally "hit the dust".

mywordwall said...

What an interesting combination of decoration - yet each one speak of a memory, each one precious. But for the singular memories that the Crucifix/Cross evoke, it is most precious indeed.

Lovely poem and story telling as usual, Brian. :-)

Stephanie said...

Fear inducing!!

ayala said...

Great storytelling and Jeremy sounds really cool :)

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

What history there must be in (on) everyone's Christmas trees. Lovely!

SaraV said...

Brian, thank you so much for the laugh and smile--so sweet, these memories, what a great connection--now is the time we remember special people, I still put my kids early ornaments on the tree--it's all about the memories :-)

Syd said...

Living those earlier dreams--I think about that and dream them still. Maybe I am actually getting to live those dreams now.

Sue said...

Love this one.

Our tree is filled with memories, too.
Wonderful ones.

=)