Sunday, 3 December 2017

Did you too...?





Did you by chance have a small-town childhood?
I had one too, before I lost it in
razor sharp city streets, dead straight yet confused.
Before I lost it in trapped spaces between
urban bird nests, in trees grown for their wood
and shade, colours of flowers, broken green,
calculated, landscaped lawns, quite unused
to being trodden on, pierced by litter bins.


Did you, by chance, have maps in your pocket
of distant dreams with more than one main street?
I did too, but went map-less where my feet
found themselves, nothing there to skyrocket
no prime real estate, no ornate concrete.
Just a lane. And a fierce gladness to walk it.




I posted a poem called Q&A some weeks back, and a commenter wrote 'love the way this made me feel.' Thank yous, that's some serious dopamine right there! And I wondered, if she too... this post is a response to her. Well, not exactly a response, a counter question. 


And no, I'm not being nosy. It's important to be able to frame the question. The answer? that's a blessing. If it comes, it's grace. If it doesn't, that's life. Can't be taken for granted either way.


19 comments:

  1. Hi Nila - loved those lanes of times gone by ... many memories enhanced by others of the areas ... of the new worlds I've been lucky to see ... and the greater experiences of the world to hand. I did too - cheers Hilary

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    1. New worlds and old, those lanes are to die for! :)

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  2. Serious dopamine - funny.
    We moved around a lot and most of the towns were medium sized to large.

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    1. Give me the medium sized over the large any day!

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  3. My dad is still in the house I grew up in - a suburban neighborhood with no fences. You can still walk and ride your bike around the blocks - unfettered. But once you leave that tree filled cocoon, there's a lot more concrete in the jungle.
    Lovely poem

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    1. That sounds perfectly divine! you are seriously lucky! It's sad that we, instead of creating more of those cocoons, are planting more and more concrete everywhere.

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  4. Hi Nilanjana,

    I have always been a follower of your blog and would like to nominate you to the Black & WHite Challenge. I really hope you would accept it

    http://mrsdashsayss.blogspot.in/2017/11/bwc-2-madly-in-verse.html

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, and also for the nomination! Flattered.

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  5. Terrific! :)

    This poem reminds me of a hauntingly beautiful song from my childhood (1966), "Tar and Cement," by one-hit wonder Verdelle Smith. It only reached #38 on the U.S. Top 40, but was a number one single in Australia. The song has quite a history, its original version being written in Italian, then translated to French, and finally to English. I've been meaning to write a post about it for years!

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    1. Check it out, if you're so inclined: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIDLdgeP9Bw

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    2. Thank you!! 'Hauntingly beautiful' is just the perfect description of that song. So amazing, and said what was in my mind exactly, except of course I never had lilacs and all, but that's just a difference of details.

      This is really the nicest Christmas gift :) thanks so much for the link!

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    3. So glad you enjoyed it.

      By the way, I'm online at the public library, but today I have headphones on, so I finally got to play your video andhear your voice

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    4. That's a sure shot anticlimax after that song! :D

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  6. Hi Nila! Lovely questions. I know we can get all nostalgic about our childhoods...mine was as country as you can possibly get...Queensland outback country...swimming in creeks, riding horses, climbing mountains, completely free and unencumbered. I still have that attitude no matter where I roam, no matter how crowded the streets. I'm still that country girl at heart. (No desire to go back and live in isolation, though!)

    Well, I'm back and look forward to not missing out on one installment from my favorite poet!

    Denise x

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    1. Hi Denise! and welcome back! Your childhood sounds amazing truly. I'm totally a small town gal at heart too. The only thing I'd miss about the cities are the libraries and nothing else, if I went back to live there again. But I'm sure my small towns are no longer small, they've all grown up to be big cities now.

      Going back always sounds more idyllic than it turns out - reality check! :D

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  7. Oh my. Those lines were so beautiful, took me back to my childhood for a while. Absolutely lovely, look forward to reading more!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. I did grow up in a small town, and lived in larger cities as an adult. I've been looking for that same small town ever since, don't think it exists anymore, if it ever did? Memories never match the reality of today. But love the reminders!
    Happy December, Nila, and may all your dreams come true in the New Year!

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    1. Thank you Yolanda! Memories never match the reality, and in a way I'm glad my situation does not allow me to go back to places I grew up in. They've changed beyond recognition and I'd be setting myself up for disappointment. Even the big cities of twenty years ago are no longer the same :)

      Wishing you a great December too, and a peaceful, joyful and fun New Year.

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