More Rooms

For the last Open Link Night at dVerse I posted some poems about rooms I have known,.   I promised more, so here’s another instalment, as and I’m still mining the ideas that crowded in while writing them.

Beaulieu

Dadsdad’s asbestos bungalow
by the river, on stilts:
hideous on the outside
delicious on the inside –
the tiny pentagon sitting room
full of dark wood carved torture for chairs
and sideboards with secrets ─
Aunty had been a Paris milliner ─
a treasure trove of trimmings,
and piles of Saturday Evening Posts.
Wonder of wonders in nineteen forty-six
a walnut cabinet stood on the floor
looking nothing much ‘til you opened the door
then lo and behold a tiny screen
came to life in black and white –
well, more like misty grey if I’m truthful,
with fizzy scrolling lines
from side to side
or up and down.
You twiddled strangely-named knobs
to no avail, so you thumped it to a life
of variety shows
with jugglers and acrobats, magicians and  singers,
boring talkers with strangled posh accents,
wearing full evening dress.
We’d sit squashed side by side in the darkness
until Aunty would say in accented disapproval
“Marion, is this entertainment?”
and switch off.

 

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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39 Responses to More Rooms

  1. This reminds me of Uncle
    Ed’s dark spiral stair case..
    not an uncle really.. my Grandmother’s
    friend with the same old stale smelled
    car.. from years ago working at
    the train station.. anyway..
    a photo of a beautiful
    woman is his wife
    who died
    young
    and WiLL
    never age
    further from
    that photo.. in a dusty
    small bedroom spiraling up
    at the top of stares.. i suppose
    my first experience of melancholy
    at age 5.. or so.. through eYes
    of a man.. whose wife
    would never
    age with
    him longer..
    sadly enclosed
    in metal
    frame
    of yesternows
    alWays now..
    who would ever compete..
    no one.. could.. first and last Love…
    should’a.. would’ a.. could’ a.. Loved More..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a great room!

    I think fondly of my Nan’s living room in a Speke flat – I can still see it quite clearly, more than forty years later. And her kitchen with the overhead, pull down drying rack. And her milk bottles in a bucket of cold water on the balcony. And the long, cool hallway. And…I feel a poem coming on! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Vivienne, have I told you lately what a joy your poems are to me? Trust that they are! I appreciate this greatly!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bryan Ens says:

    The description of that TV is fantastic. I remember those days when a good solid ‘thump’ was the best cure for a blurry TV.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tialys says:

    Great memories. What is it about aunts? I had one who used to come round to visit in the evenings and, at a certain time, would say ‘isn’t it about time these children were in bed?’. Needless to say we used to hate it when she came round even though we were fascinated by her because she was the most glamorous of all our relatives and seemed very ‘posh’. Were you allowed to rummage through the Parisian millinery scraps?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Abhra says:

    Ah that is a fantastic ending – and I love the richness of your memories and the interesting contrasts you build in here –

    Have a good weekend.

    Like

  7. “torture for chairs
    and sideboards with secrets ─”
    Dining rooms are usually under appreciated by children.. Ah, but the tv … that is a great description and “is that entertainment” so classic. Nice job.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This teased out so many special memories for me. My grandparents house, knotty pine walls and, in 1948, the arrival of the 12 inch TV with nothing but “snow” after a certain time. Your Aunty had the right idea–TV’s were the first symptom in a decline of family togetherness but, growing up, I never remember it holding a very important part in our lives. Loved the details in this.

    Like

    • When I was growing up, there were only programmes for about 3 hours a daym, and it did tend to bring families together: we lived just down the road from Grandad’s bungalow, and would go round most Saturdays for the adults to play cards, and then for all of us to watch television when it came on.

      Like

  9. annell4 says:

    Yes, I remember.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Misky says:

    Ah, those early days of television when it was on for one or two hours a day. For the rest of the day, it was a test pattern. 😀 >

    Liked by 1 person

  11. kim881 says:

    I can’t believe it! A poem about an aunt! I’m currently writing ‘aunt’ poems to submit to The Emma Press. This is either one of those weird coincidences or you’re doing the same thing! Either way, I love it.

    Like

  12. MarinaSofia says:

    Evocative and funny! I had an aunt like that once – who kept commenting on those ‘long-haired singers, probably full of lice…’

    Liked by 1 person

  13. rosross says:

    What a wonderful journey through memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. kanzensakura says:

    I do so enjoy this “rooms” series…the last two lines of this made me smile hugely. Today I sit back and exclaim – Really? – or I think I can skip this. but those images were hypnotic and miraculous. I liked this so very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Bodhirose says:

    Well of course it was entertainment, Aunty! I used to love all those old variety shows. Good memories watching television as kids.

    Like

  16. cayn says:

    This is awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    This is lovely 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Grace says:

    You bring it all back to me Viv ~ Those were the days when everyone watches TV at the same time with those big knobs ~

    Liked by 1 person

  19. katechiconi says:

    Such vivid word painting. I can truly almost see it too….

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Your memory is so full of such detail. History comes alive!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Mary says:

    Ah, those old black and white televisions. A fond memory of mine as well. So glad that you continue to write ‘room’ poems, Viv. I think the subject has really triggered something in you.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I love this Viv, such a vivid recall of days past. I so remember those TVs….

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Love it… how those old TV-sets could captivate with that nothingness even when I was a kid… (especially in our country home)..

    Like

  24. What a wonderful memory of time spent in this room. 🙂 Peace, Linda

    Liked by 1 person

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