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Behind Grandma`s Curtains

by tusker 

Posted: 26 May 2010
Word Count: 56
Summary: For Bill's challenge

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I saw him today, just a glimpse;
Curly brown hair turned grey
brought back long ago nights
behind Grandma’s green curtains
where moth ball cushions
fought small sparring shadows
as behind that lush brocade
sandwiches curled,
a voice demanded,
‘Eat your crusts!’
Frightened, they scurried away
like limp bendy sticks
to hide inside crumb filled pockets

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Comments by other Members

V`yonne at 17:14 on 26 May 2010
Oh wonderful stuff. I loved
where moth-ball cushions fought
small sparring shadows
behind that lush brocade

though as you see I made suggestions too - cheeky brat!

L9 I'd change to
as a voice commanded

Maybe put a line break before
Frightened, they scurried away

because what that does, it allows the reader a pause to reflect on that bit of humour and it paces the poem.

Becuase you start with I saw him today maybe you could call the poem - Cousin James or something to give him an identity.

It's a really good poem Jennifer.

TipAs a general rule it's best not to start a line of poetry with 'and' (or any other conjunction) unless it's essential to the rhythm )


where'd that :( come from? I never did an :( !!!


See? Now it won't do an :( when I want it to!!! Grrrrrh!

Nella at 18:21 on 26 May 2010
This is great, Jennifer! I love the way that little memory is conjured up by the glimpse of the now greying man.
Agree with Oonah that a line break might be good.
And though I know that
As a general rule it's best not to start a line of poetry with 'and'
, I like your lines with "and" and think they read well. All in all I think you have good rhythm and fun images.
Thanks for posting!

didau at 23:25 on 26 May 2010
I like this a lot - real verisimilitude. I can actually hear my grandmother...

tusker at 06:54 on 27 May 2010
Thanks David, glad it brought back a memory.


tusker at 06:55 on 27 May 2010
Thanks Oonah for your comment and suggestion.
I'll tinker with it.


tusker at 06:56 on 27 May 2010
Thanks Robin.

It's hard this poetry but challenging.


didau at 21:27 on 27 May 2010
I don't agree with the general rule that it's best not to start a line of poetry with 'and' (or any other conjunction). Like all rules, selectively breaking it is often very effective.

Here's a great example from the Egyptian poet Tatamkhalu Afrika. Look at the way the second stanza uses 'and' to build up the sense of anger and outrage:

Nothing's Changed

Small round hard stones click
under my heels,
seeding grasses thrust
bearded seeds
into trouser cuffs,
;trodden on,
;in tall,
amiable weeds.

District Six.
No board says it is:
but my feet know,
and my hands,
and the skin about my bones,
and the soft labouring of my lungs,
and the hot, white, inwards turning
anger of my eyes.

Brash with glass,
name flaring like a flag,
it squats
in the grass and weeds,
incipient Port Jackson trees:
new, up-market, haute cuisine,
guard at the gatepost,
whites only inn.

No sign says it is:
but we know where we belong.

I press my nose
to the clear panes, know,
before I see them, there will be
crushed ice white glass,
linen falls,
the single rose.

Down the road,
working man's cafe sells
bunny chows.
Take it with you, eat
it at a plastic table's top,
wipe your fingers on your jeans,
spit a little on the floor:
it's in the bone.

I back from the glass,
boy again,
leaving small mean O
of small, mean mouth.
Hands burn
for a stone, a bomb,
to shiver down the glass.
Nothing's changed.

tusker at 07:15 on 28 May 2010
Thanks David for that.

What a great poem. I wish...


Nella at 09:10 on 28 May 2010
Great example, David.

Stay with it, Jennifer!


V`yonne at 14:37 on 28 May 2010
A good example of how and can be used in an effective way. My only point is that quite often people who are used to writing prose think they still have to use articles and conjuctions even when they add nothing to the poem - it a difference between poetry and prose I thought I'd point out as Jennifer is eager to learn...

tusker at 15:43 on 28 May 2010
I've altered it a little.

Does that make a diffference?


didau at 17:56 on 28 May 2010
I still like it but can't remember the original... Can we see both versions?

FelixBenson at 18:28 on 29 May 2010
I like the way you have painted this scene Jennifer. It makes me think back to my gran, and I like the touches of humour. All done with admirable economy. If you are new to poetry, you certainly make it look easy. I look forward to reading more of you work.
Best, Kirsty

crowspark at 01:33 on 30 May 2010
Hi Jennifer

I loved this, particularly

behind Grandma’s green curtains
where moth ball cushions
fought small sparring shadows
as behind that lush brocade
sandwiches curled,

the secret lives of children.


tusker at 06:51 on 30 May 2010
Thanks Bill.


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