Thursday, August 11, 2005

That Old Gang of Mine

The aging hippie couple
at the end of my block
stack sofa, chairs, bookcases
and one table on their lawn;
set a bonfire. Their way
of making a statement
about ownership, they claim,
when the cops rush up.

They grow weed among their
flowering bottlebrush shrubs,
carry brownies packed with
their wares to the sad old lady
across the street.

She dances until midnight
in a red beaded dress, skirt swirling-
a redbird in flight. The neighborhood
dogs howl under her windowsill,
her four-legged choir of fresh lovers.
The other ones lie six feet under
in long ago graves, for now, forgotten.

Pris Campbell

(I've written the below artist for permission to use her artwork on my website with this poem. If she declines, it'll be removed here, as well. In the meantime, enjoy the work of a gifted artist)

Autumn by Laura DiNello.

Her website is HERE


tammy said...

I love this poem, Pris. I can see her dancing now, to the tune of "Sugar Magnolia" by the Grateful Dead.

Erica said...

I like your poetry but I think you are a romantic. You make everything look beautiful and with a meaning above the average. The old lady dancing...She could easily be somebody humongously selfish... But aren't we all?
Your choice of movie stars though destroys for me the idea in your poem. All the one mentioned are missing true glamour and "what makes you want to be them". But Julia Roberts and Richard Gere? It is like you writing a poem telling little girls: "go ahead, choose a career in whoring and the reward will be a white knight, rich, sexy and totaly in love with you!"
That movie, so acclaimed, has a disgusting message.

Pris said...

Hi Tammy
Thanks..and hey, maybe even an old Benny Goodman LP?? :-)

Sure, I'm a romantic. I blatantly confess, but I do recognize that a movie isn't reality and that selfish poeple inhabit the planet, too. I've even written about some. If you like, I'll post 'selfish people' poems for a while. I'm not condoning whoredom for little girsl by referring to Pretty Woman actors (honest) and I never collected barbie dolls, either :-) As an aside, I'm still not pleased with the beginning of that other poem you're referring to, yet. Who knows what'll or who will get chucked??

Michael Parker said...

As if Pris' poem comes across that it is okay for little girls to go out and be whores! Absolutely absurd!

If I recall, one of the most famous females of the New TEstament, Mary Magdalene, was accused of being a whore. Jesus forgave her. Does that teach girls that it is alright to run out and become whores because they will be forgiven in the end? No. Equally absurd.

Erica, go crawl back under your rock!

Michael Parker said...

And Pris, this is an excellent poem. I imagined an old lady (who struggles with pain) suddenly set free, like a bird from its cage, to dance without her body limiting her. People probably haven't lived long enough (or who haven't lived with pain to any consistant degree) to understand or appreciate what is happening here. Good write.

Pris said...

Hi Micheal
You're right on with what I intended with this poem. Older people have always had a special place in my heart. They've lived long enough to have lost so much (people in their lives and use of their bodies). It takes a lot of courage at times to keep going.