I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

7 November 2016

Reminders

On the street down the hill, half-hearted fireworks 
pop and splutter like distant thunder or a gurgling fridge.
It's the fifth of November, Guy Fawkes night.
I remember huge bonfires, in Launceston in my childhood.

Pop and splutter – like distant thunder or a gurgling fridge –
briefly, then it's all done. Too soon, perhaps, after
the newer habit of Halloween? (Is Bonfire Night dying?)

It's the fifth of November, Guy Fawkes night –
'Remember, remember...' and I do remember
sparklers, Catherine wheels, rockets, penny bungers.

I remember huge bonfires in Launceston in my childhood,
smoke billowing in chill Spring air, our frosty breath, 
the neighbourhood dads in charge: all those certainties.

27 comments:

  1. We still have the "chill Spring air" Rosemary, but bonfire night does appear to be on its last legs here. How vividly I remember bonfire night growing up in England! Penny for the guy and all that.

    Thanks for another lovely poem :)

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  2. I like this. Always nice to reflect on those childhood memories...when certain things happened with 'certainty' every year!

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  3. "half-hearted fireworks
    pop and splutter like distant thunder or a gurgling fridge."
    Were they truly bigger once or seem so to a child? Maybe a little of both? Or maybe like our dreams after the USA election, the magic has died.

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    1. Where I now live, Spring gets quite hot. The fireworks are definitely half-hearted and brief, and bonfires don't happen at all. It's fire danger season already, so these activities would be illegal without permission – and permission is unlikely.

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  4. Oh I love the sound of that. What great memories. There have not been nearly enough bonfires in my life. I must remedy that.

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  5. there's note of sadness for a tradition dying out...

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  6. It was so interesting to visit those nights through this poem of yours

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  7. 'half-hearted fireworks pop and splutter like distant thunder or a gurgling fridge.' Sigh.. such deep and unspoken emotions lie hidden in your verse ❤️

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  8. I too remember November 5th from many years back where one's local street had a bonfire in the cool English autumn with each family with their own box of fireworks sharing the fun with bottle to place the rockets in.

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  9. Lovely words that brought back memories for me too. Dad in charge of the fireworks, mum in charge of the homemade feast, always toffee, parkin and also taties baked in the bonfire.

    I do think Halloween has come to the fore and bonfire night is fast becoming a damp squib. Sad that.

    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

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  10. I've never seen those fires, but from Childhood I do remember Easter and last of April fire...

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    Replies
    1. No, you wouldn't. It's an English tradition, carried on in the 'colonies' too.

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  11. Pop and splutter – like distant thunder or a gurgling fridge – perfect description!

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  12. remarkable reminiscence captured in your words - before the organised events when rockets fell to earth and "the neighbourhood dads in charge: all those certainties." Lovely!

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  13. Ah the magic - i used to love the smell of sparklers - did you grow up in Launceston Uk or Tasmania? - that makes us both South west women :-)

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    1. Tasmania – which is south-eastern Australia, while Launceston is north-eastern Tasmania. So sorry, not quite a match, but close. :)

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    2. Sparklers, as a child I would write my name in lights to see it sparkle in the night.

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  14. Childhood a wonderfu time, we could be frightened by the fire works, and yet we knew we were safe, unlike today....there is no assurance of safety... it is a scary time.

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  15. This is a wonderful, wonderful poem! So eloquent, subtle, and beautiful... so much memory!

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  16. One can never forget the best of times in childhood memories!

    Hank

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  17. The thunder and gurgling fridge thrown together gave me a giggle. Thanks for sharing your nostalgia

    Much love...

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  18. I can't help but hear Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof," crying out, "Tradition! Tradition!"

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  19. Our childhood memories are forever printed within. Let us hold them forever dear...bkm

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  20. i do heard of Guy Fawkes night, but it is not a tradition over here, though we were once a colony. We have our Hungry Ghost festival over here though, where we burn paper offerings (no fireworks though). it's sad to see some traditions slowly dying off...

    interesting form, btw, not that easy to write, i think. :)

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