Drinking Alcohol taught me how to fly
Then it took away the sky....

Monday, June 18, 2012

MAG 122 violin lesson or life lesson?

kids called us the 'holler folks'
not because we hollered so much
as what where we lived, our road.
always the mud, water-filled tracks
(“if yall fall...land on yer damn backs!”)

more slippery now than egg yolks
i stepped ever-so, umm...sprightly
on trip home from violin lesson and
seemed to walk even more lightly
than before.

i could tell, ya know, why walkin' heavy
an hour ago, lookin' at my shoe prints,
deeper than now--'cause goin' the other way
i was to face teacher's ass-in-nine hints
as if i hadn't practiced since nary a day.

today was special though, bein' i noticed
how a picture of the trees and sky seemed
framed, like through a old rotted wood barn.
entranced by this scene, like in a dream

i just set down my fiddle right square in the
right there's where I should
a'quit it all. Later I stood over
to take a razor-strap beatin.

each leathern slash made me wince.
That was seventy year ago
Been runnin' away ever since.


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  1. So you'all lived in a holler? We'uns did too. :) The photo does make the mud look like wood.

  2. Sounds like your 'pappy' and my father read the same book on childrearing. It would have been kinder to spare the rod, especially for the gentler souls like us who stopped to notice simple brilliance like a sky framed through 'rotted old barn wood'. I could just picture that, yes, as a child always late to school because she just had, of course, to stop and pet all the puddy cats along the way. :)

    1. YESSS!
      And in school, when time was up for a writing exercise,
      all I had to show was a drawing of a tree outside
      the classroom window!

      AND THAT WAS IN COLLEGE!!!--grin!
      (Still laughing!)

  3. dang man...you ratcheted up the intensity toward the end...been running ever since, sad but real...and glad the violin took with you...i know what holler folk are...smiles....

  4. " Framed like through an old rotted
    wood barn." There are lots more amazing things in this- really a
    gem ! -even though it didn't feel like it- Thanks!!

  5. You're a gifted poet, no doubt. The end made me sad...but at least you really DID love the violin since you stuck with it.


    1. A gifted poet?--beautiful words, Oct-O Nine. Thank you. A samples of my poetic genius:

      books are read,
      newspapers too.
      Your comment is sweet
      and so are YOU!


  6. Mine was a whippin' with a forsythia switch...maybe that's why I don't care so much for them now...charming write Steve...always nice to have you at Magpie...

    1. Tess, I thought a
      "foresooth" was a past participle
      of a dangling forsythia...

      Sorry, just felt crazy there for a second--grin!

      Hope I don't forget to come back next week--
      always loved this little niche of yours
      (and ours!) in the blog world.

  7. Being a forty-niner I know of comrades being punished this way by their parents. What could I do? I felt hurt and actually ashamed on their behalf. My Dad told us only cowards hit people smaller than themselves.
    Once, I was four, my little brother three, my mother decided that he needed whipping. (She had had her share when she grew up, and thought it was a right thing to do. After all, she loved her mother.)
    My Mom wasn't able to do this herself, my brother was to wait until my Dad came home from work.
    I heard low voices and then the kitchen door was locked.
    I went bananas and cried out their names, "Inga, Arne do not touch the boy!" Then I tried to kick the door open. My dad came out, and comforted me to stop my crying.
    this story was told over and over again in our family, but never was any corporally punished.
    I've been a rebel since then. I learned one can protest and say no. That has become my karma. Not an easy road that either. Fighting windmills.

  8. Yup, I lived in Skunk Hollow in a little town in BC. And had some of the same trauma. All the very best to you Steve.