More Rooms I have Known

Gran’s kitchen with the copper
in the corner to boil the clothes;
mangle on the angle
to squeeze them half dry.
Built-in Dresser by the door
where Gran kept crayons in a drawer
Smelly gas cooker to provide
marvellous meals from scraps
and cakes from next to nothing;
chenille-covered table, mis-matched chairs
where Teddy Tail the grumpy cat sat.
Gran’s kitchen was a whole home.

*

Sunroom by the river
tacked onto the back
hot in summer, hotter in winter
because of the stove;
condensation streaming
down horrid metal windows.
Brown velvet-covered table
for homework,  meals, card games and jigsaws
laughter, flirting and family fun.

*

That grotty flat near Alexandra Palace
stank of gas and over-boiled cabbage.
All-purpose living-dining-sleeping space
with bunks in the corner for Mum and Dad
so they could stay up late;
we girls had the bedroom.
Triangular kitchen
carved out of the living room
so small, no-one could get in to help Mum.
Foul geyser in the bathroom ─
I was afraid to light it in case it exploded
so I didn’t have many baths,
but it was only for six months.
*
A typical bow-windowed semi soon led
to Edwardian velvet-swagged splendour
with sweeping staircase
and chilly nether regions,
followed by developer’s country kitsch.
Too many moves as Dad followed the job.

dVerse had a lovely prompt on Tuesday, but I didn’t have time to do it justice, so I wrote this for Open Link Night but the ‘Room’ prompt left me with too many ideas, so there may be more to come.  You have been warned!

About https://vivinfrance.wordpress.com

All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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23 Responses to More Rooms I have Known

  1. Bekkie says:

    This poem made me miss my grandmother, all the wonderful things she taught me and the love she gave me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nature’s rooms
    move too..
    Follows change..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. colonialist says:

    Glad you are going to find room for more rooms.

    Like

  4. I love your trips down memory lane.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bryan Ens says:

    There is something about that “room” prompt indeed! I wrote 2 for the prompt, and seriously debated another for OLN, so I completely understand how you feel! Your descriptions in this piece are so rich, I almost find myself in those rooms with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. restlessjo says:

    Oh, do I remember those chilly nether regions! 🙂 🙂 Wonderful memories of ‘family fun’, Viv!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bodhirose says:

    I agree with Linda, more, more! I love reading your true stories of your growing up years and the rooms that you did them in, Viv. I have to guess sometimes at what the words mean but I can get the essence and soul of what you’re sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think the best poetry comes from a release of what we know and what was…this is your story. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “Gran’s kitchen was a whole home.” First stanza absolutely my favorite – but enjoyed the whole poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh I really enjoyed this. I felt like I was holding your hand, as a young girl, and following you from place to place. And the line “Gran’s kitchen was a whole home” is just exquisite.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. whimsygizmo says:

    “grotty flat” is so poetic, in and of itself. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Grace says:

    Gran’s kitchen looks so homely but I would love to be in that sun room Viv ~ So much fun can be done in that room by the river ~

    Like

  13. ShirleyB says:

    Yes, loads of memories stirred here. Gran’s kitchen also my favourite. Really enjoyed these 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Victoria says:

    These were the wonder years when kitchen’s were as much about being together as aanything. I loved these memories:

    Brown velvet-covered table
    for homework, meals, card games and jigsaws
    laughter, flirting and family fun.

    *

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I think your warning is one none of us mind! Your vivid descriptions of these rooms are wonderful. I especially love the first one, grandma’s kitchen, especially these lines: “Smelly gas cooker to provide / marvellous meals from scraps / and cakes from next to nothing.” It’s amazing what grandmas could do with next to nothing. Peace, Linda

    Liked by 1 person

  16. To have to see the really best of rooms.. the warm and cozy and cold and dinghy.. still in all those contrasts we create our lives… I have to think that if you grow up in a castle you miss just as much as the one just seeing the four walls of a cabin.. Love it .

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    Such an inspiration your poem 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Misky says:

    That was a really fun read, all those different stages in your life remembered as rooms. >

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Mary says:

    Viv, I am glad you wrote some more ROOM reflections. I do think that prompt inspired some very fine poetry….and now this. I would say my favorite would be your gran’s kitchen because I really like to picture how it was in those days. And I can picture that copper in the corner and the mangle. And I definitely understand the idea that Gran’s kitchen was the whole home. So much importance in family life took place there!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. kim881 says:

    I love this poem! It reminds me of growing up in my Nan’s house in South London. I love the lines:
    Gran’s kitchen with the copper
    in the corner to boil the clothes;
    mangle on the angle
    to squeeze them half dry.

    I used to turn the mangle’s handle! Total nostalgia!

    Liked by 1 person

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