Thursday, January 31, 2008

Poetry Circle @ the Library

At the Variety Fair Five and Ten Cent Store, Houston

Here are Wobble Wedges (fix anything that wobbles)
Here are lampshades (yellowed)
and Fitz All percolator tops
Here are witches’ hats any time of the year

The floor is checkered linoleum
The aisles are skinny and
the counters are full to overflowing
stocked from floor to ceiling

Here are plastic rattlesnakes and Ronald Reagan rubber masks
Here are Mr. Potato Heads in boxes neatly tied with string
and Paint-By-Number sets
Here are Darling brand baby sandals so small and white

Here is a Brown Sock monkey, you know the kind,
made from brown and white socks with red heels
where one red heel becomes the monkey’s mouth
Monkey wears a sign that says I am not for sale (just show)

Here are Aunt Martha’s Hot Iron transfers
and Gem Blue Star super single-edge wrapped razors
Here are men’s leisure slippers, 100% knitted stretch nylon
Here are Dennison stickers of flowers and birds, lick to stick

Here I am buying a double circle key ring
and a tin duck that clicks when you press his tail
This is not an ad but let me tell you, please go there
to spend and see your share of the splendiferous variety

I wrote the poem above during the time we offered a Poetry Circle @ the Library. (The Five and Ten Cent store is still up and running in nearby Rice Village.) The library's Poetry Circle was attended by a loyal group of seniors who wrote poetry, both rhymed and unrhymed. They enjoyed being given assignments so we picked the dime store as a topic one time. We also did haiku, list poems, onomatopeia, etc. At some point, we held a poetry luncheon/reading at the Senior Services Building next door to the library. One of the poets had developed severe vision problems so she memorized her poems. She brought a young relative along to sit nearby and prompt her should she forget any words. She didn't. She was wonderful to behold, reciting her beautiful poems.

Just another extraordinary day in the life of a public librarian!