Books by Phyllis Jean Green
Never quite coming to terms with
the terms. Two of us could not have
been more different. Worlds of words
apart, we pecked and hoped the spider-
thin thread held for the sake of your boy,
my man. Long at rest in what you saw
as a Better Place, I miss you more each day
that passes. Who does not have a dark side?
How did I not realize all you had to teach?
Jaundiced as I was -- spelled idiot -- I picked
up a few lessons you offered without charge.
Not that "men are nasty" or "men aren't
made to cook and clean," but that "flowers
aren't hard if you don't overwater and bring
them in at the first sign of frost." Always
seemed to know if one needed to be brought
in or left to nature. So much else. Like love
of outlandish discount yarn and an ability
to undo knots can get a body through a lot.
Like saying "earbobs" "dribs 'n' drabs,"
and proudly pronouncing your son "a
"ar-chiktek" are leaps and bounds above
the multisyllabic parrotings of snobs
educated beyond their capacity to understand.
You who taught me that raring back on
a sideporch snapping "budda" beans and
shelling sweet peas can help a drinker not
want. Snaps and plinks are the perfect
accompaniment to rockers' and ladderbacks'
creaks, the hoot of a barn owl, and the hum
of a sultry, lilac-drenched evenin'. Add fire-
flies, odd sneaked fart, and the tinkle
of fast-melting ice. Glass sooooo coooool.
As a child, you toted your shoes as mud
sucked at you and your sisses over a mile
to a road a school bus could get down.
Your father did unspeakable things, whispers
let slip. Hair once fell out. So you hung onto
money and "kep' shet." Pinched pennies see-
through, yet said to me, "Never feel bad about
spending on flowers." Glass case that faced
the front door of your and Pa's patched house
"Finally Dawns" - p.2/2
was stuffed with child-asked-for gewgaws and gim-
cracks. Most bought in the Ozarks as leaves
were turning. Carnival glass in the diningroom
yours. Christmas, birthday, you know. Apricot
your fave. Remember you sewing at that antiquated
Singer. Made your daughter so many dresses,
come time for your church's rummage sale,
couldn't stir 'em with a stick. Other lessons
profound. Work hard. Harder! Be loyal. Be
brave. Keep yourself clean and watch your
tongue. Sing America with pride. Sort laundry
by color and use Clorox on the whites. Use
elbow grease! Nothing smells better than a sheet
dried outside on a beautiful day. Family First.
Penny saved's a penny earned. Save paper, save
string, save water. Everyone sits at table to eat.
Bow your head. Whose turn is it to say the
blessing? Not any kind of cook, your never left
a mouth unfed. Ready on the dot. Kept a garden
ringed with marigolds because "bugs hate the smell."
Hmmm. Guess we read each other, after all.
Here. Here's a ball-jar of pansies, faces
to the sun. Purple, like you like.
Hope you see the heart.
(c) Phyllis Jean Green, October, 2009
All Rights Reserved
Want to review or comment on this
Click here to login!
Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!
|Reviewed by Elizabeth Price
|Like a fine wine: It shall not be served before its time. Time has a way of carving us, making us appreciate that which we missed the first time around and it comes ringing in on a memory, a growing respect, a diamond in the rough finally found. Brilliant and beautiful. Liz|
|Reviewed by Roger Ochs
|You capture the very essence of this Lady with potent imagery and brevity of word. This is what free verse is all about. Hurrah!|
|Reviewed by Sheila Roy
|So real and poignant. There were a few moments that reminded me of my mother's stories of growing up in New York (countryside). Then I found myself thinking of my own childhood - raiding the garden for cucumbers and eating sour grapes. This is excellent, Phyllis.
|Reviewed by George Carroll
|Golly this sure brings back fond memories of my childhood and I still continue to plant marigolds for their stink, ha, ha and beauty. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful look back in time.|
|Reviewed by Jerry Diamond
|I can feel the agonizing pain and torment in this verse but you have a very brave and courageous exterior that will carry you to the end of the road and reunion in God's Paradise.
I can relate Pea..:)
|Reviewed by La Belle Rouge Poetess Of The Heart
|What an absolutely amazing tribute, thank you for sharing your heart.|
|Reviewed by C. McGovern-Bowen
|What a wonderfully soulful tribute, Phyllis.
Beautiful, simply beautiful.
|Reviewed by Kate Burnside
|This is a real labour of love, Pea, and makes me think of the passion and tenacity that goes into a beautiful needlework sampler, bearing precious dates, initials and motifs. This is a heart-warming tribute and is beautifully crafted and wrought through seeming blood-sweat and tears (though, as John says, the writing is seamless and fluent). Rings so many bells with me, too... yes, those relationships closest to us that can be more difficult than we'd care to admit can ultimately be the ones that have the deepest impact, bringing an ultimate and unexpected joy and a retrospective communion of souls. xx|
|Reviewed by Carole Mathys
|A brilliant mosaic of life as some of us remember it to be, this is a keeper for sure...splendid writing, Pea.
|Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan
|Phillis-this is so very beautiful-the heart and soul of you shine as well as your beautiful talent for writing and written expression|
|Reviewed by Mr. Ed
|A truly heartfelt piece, Pea - enjoyed very much.|
|Reviewed by Georg Mateos
|Phyllis, to the last of us that still can remember, your posting take us back more to Steinbeck's "Grapes of wrath" than to "Of mice and men" when although in the middle of a world crumbling down, man has time for a positive reflection and looking back with kinder eyes at the family core. An yes, perhaps many did see the heart.
|Reviewed by Christine Alwin
|My goodness Pea this is a work of art..a novel wrapped within...great work!
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|Powerful writing, Pea; well done! BRAVA!
(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :(
|Reviewed by richard cederberg
|Like clear eyes seeing the details of a forest.
I agree with Lori - you are one of a kind sweet pea.
|Reviewed by John Flanagan
This is both patchwork and seamless, the fluency so impressive, the details marvellously articulated and feelings of wisdom and proper humility are the lining for the entire fabric. This is a poem I will treasure forever.
|Reviewed by Debby Rosenberg
|the details are exquisite, like a perfect piece of needlepoint tapestry every thread tucked into place...|
|Reviewed by JMS Bell
|AFTER YEARS OF BEING OVER LOOKED AND UNAPPRECIATED...THAT OLD PIECE OF 'GOLD' JEWELRY...IT FINALLY DAWNS ON YOU THAT IT IS...'PRICELESS'. WRITTEN SO VERY WELL AND APPRECIATED SO VERY MUCH. THANK YOU FOR SHARING, PEA AND GOD BLESS. JOYCE * HIS INSPIRATIONS|
|Reviewed by Marcia Miller-Twiford
|Thank you for the pleasure I received by reading this wonderful poem. I smile some, laughed a little, and shed some tears. I recommend that your readers read the poem more than once. They'll see things that don't have the same impact with the first read. You touched me Phylis
and that's the hallmark of a great poet. Now, please pass the Kleenex.
Blessings on Your Day,
|Reviewed by Lori Moore
|Your work is in a class all its own.|
|Reviewed by steve Chering
|it works. for a while there, i had my doubts, but it smoothed out well.|
|Reviewed by Liana Margiva
|VERY BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!! Liana Margiva|
|Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader)
|I can only say . . . Thank you, Phyllis.|
|Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
|I see the love in a lifetime of memories, taken away too soon - oh, Pea. This is heartwrenchingly beautiful - got lost in your wor(l)ds. Well done.
((((HUGS)))) love and prayer, Karla.