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Monday, March 16, 2015

Stoney Creek Memories

To help me grow in my writing,  I study the work of others and often find a line or a poem which resonates deep within me.  

The line "Only a picture from a blue tin box" and the poem it begins are such inspirations.  The poem is "Cape Enrage"  by Lynn Davies, from her first collection of poems, The Bridge that Carries the Road, published by Brick Books in 1999.

This photo of me and two of my younger sisters was taken during a stay at our grandparents' home in Stoney Creek in 1954.  They looked after us while our parents were moving our household to another city.  

Lynn's poem evoked this memory.  I appreciate Lynn Davies for the beauty, inspiration, education and challenge her work offers.  I learn much about how to write better, examining the way a poem is created by another person.  In this instance, her first line brings a memory and her poem gives me a guide, by which to write this prose remembrance. 

This is my memory-

Stoney Creek

"Only a picture from a blue tin box." The week we stayed while our parents moved to Belle River. My grandfather steadied a brownie camera, told us, "Hold still." The July sun warmed water in the steel tubs, heated the galvanized walls which held us. My little sisters splashed and jumped; drops flew to my grandfather's trousers, 'til he shook with laughter.

In the picture, I wear a red bathing suit, my grandmother found in the attic, a gaudy orange flower sewed to the strap. This tub held Peggy's drinking water when she was alive, whinnying, running the pastures. Grandfather told me she had been a handful. After a drink, she'd hold water in her mouth. When he turned, she'd dribble a shock of cold down his back.

In the slow afternoon, soaked in water and laughter, we worked wonders: raindrops on the stiff gladiolas behind us; magic liniment on bites from black flies; wet-ghost hand prints on grey cedar shingles. We were water sprites spitting water onto a gravel driveway, watching it dry, disappear, dreaming of that horse full of tricks, all mischief gone.

Words in coloured ink will take you to another site with additional information, if you click on them.  I continue to grow in my writing, am aware that I have much to learn, and am grateful to work which shines a light for me.


Jane Tims said...

Hi Carol. I also like Lynn's poetry. My favorite is one she wrote about flamingoes. I don't know if it is in the book you have. Your memories of the fun in those three buckets are priceless, already a poem. Jane

Carol Steel said...

Hi Jane. I like Lynn's poem "The Flamingo" as well. I love the line, "Ah, what fools we are for some colour in winter." She has written so many poems which are wonderful...she makes it look so easy to write great poetry, which of course, it is not.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Carol this is so lovely and visual... with a most dear photograph too. Beautiful of you to share it.

Crafty Green Poet said...

What a wonderful photo and a great piece of writing too

Carol Steel said...

Thank you, Gwen and Juliet. The photo is an old one and very dear to me. I do have good memories of childhood at my grandparents' home. It was fun to share one.