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Passions in Poetry

Small town......life

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Balladeer
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since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


0 posted 03-11-2001 01:08 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I grew up in a small town that could be called second-rate,
A tiny pimple on the hiney of the Show-Me state..
Had just two streets that formed a crossroads - that was our Main Square
No busses stopped....no matter...no one going anywhere.

Funeral parlor on the corner and Ike Friedman's general store,
John Deere tractor dealership....and that completes the tour
Except for Nita's Tavern on the corner of the square
And I could talk for years about the things that I saw there!

Old farmers sat and sipped their Buds and traded memories
Recalling storms or twisters or some brutal winter freeze.
They never talked to strangers who, by chance, would happen by.
(You had to live there twenty years before you got a "hi")

I learned to play the pin-ball just as soon as I was able,
Learned to handle pool cues soon as I could reach the table.
I played Bid Whist and Gin and Hearts before the age of ten
And sat quite proudly at the bar with all the older men.

On Saturdays, Hornbuckle's Band would bring a rowdy crowd.
They lacked a bit in talent but they sure were good at Loud!
It really was amazing how they butchered up a song...
They made the cows in pastures so riled up they sang along!!!

Behind the tavern wa a park with one huge movie screen.
On Thursday nights they showed the oldest movies ever seen
But they were free so benches filled with everyone in town
While some spread blankets on the gravel where they settled down.

On Friday mornings I'd get dressed while it was still quite dark
And, by the time the sun came up, I'd be down at the park.
I'd get down on my hands and knees and then I'd spend my time
Sifting through the gravel for some nickels and some dimes.

Some coins would always fall out as the people watched the show.
Amid the noise and darkness, there was no way they could know!
With candy just a nickel over at the general store
I'd find enough to keep me going for a week or more!

So that sums up my childhood - finished school and moved away...
A perfect town for growing up but not where one could stay..
Took midwest love of country and gave it to Uncle Sam
Then wound up dodging bullets in a place called Viet Nam.

When I got back I took some jobs....too many to recall
From management to office clerk...I must have tried them all.
I made a decent living, thanks to some ability
But never seemed to conquer my "small town" mentality.

I married twice but failed and I know it was my fault..
Not used to showing feelings, I just lost them by default.
I couldn't seem to be the man they wanted me to be
And never had the will to lose the small town boy in me.

So here I am - the end is near - the lights are getting low.
The curtain slowly falls down on the end of this man's show.
The many years have come and gone to take their toll somehow,
Not even strength to sit up straight and take a final bow.

Friends stop by to sit and talk to me once in a while
And never seem to understand the reasons why I smile.
They cannot know, inside my mind, I'm living happy times
By sifting through that gravel for some nickels and some dimes....

[This message has been edited by Balladeer (08-10-2011 06:01 PM).]

© Copyright 2001 Michael Mack - All Rights Reserved
Joyce Johnson
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since 03-10-2001
Posts 10059
Washington State


1 posted 03-11-2001 01:16 AM       View Profile for Joyce Johnson   Email Joyce Johnson   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Joyce Johnson

Oh, I like this. My son could have written it. (He was a writer.) He had all of the same experiences. The war, the divorces. Just didn't pick the right ones. We lived in a small town when he was young and he vowed never to leave it. But I know he always had those wonderful memories.
Paula Finn
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since 06-17-2000
Posts 5525
missouri


2 posted 03-11-2001 01:16 AM       View Profile for Paula Finn   Email Paula Finn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Paula Finn

Oh my...you have left me speechless...what a nostalgic walk you have taken me on...but please sir...you are ok?
Balladeer
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Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


3 posted 03-11-2001 01:19 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Joyce,,,thank you for reading. Yes, there are many that could write this one...

Paula...you sweet lady! Thank you for caring. I am fine and fit as the proverbial fiddle...just some fact and fantasy intermingled
doreen peri
Member Rara Avis
since 05-25-99
Posts 8028
Virginia


4 posted 03-11-2001 03:58 AM       View Profile for doreen peri   Email doreen peri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for doreen peri

"By sifting through that gravel for some nickels and some dimes...."

a perfect poem, my 'deer Poet....with a perfectly awesome last line...... i love the way you write.......

your lines will live on...... and on...... no doubt in my mind

oh... and do you really play bid whist??? very very very cool..... geez... haven't played that for years... love it

[This message has been edited by doreen peri (edited 03-11-2001).]
Mysteria
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since 03-07-2001
Posts 19652
British Columbia, Canada


5 posted 03-11-2001 04:36 AM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

I sat here the whole time with the biggest smile on my face. That is when you know you are "older" when you can relate to the cost of the items mentioned in your story, and relate to the importance of the tales of the "tavern". I really enjoyed this so very much, and appreciate the effort and fun you must have had putting this together, not only for yourself, but the reader. Just fantastic, thanks.

~*~A poet is someone who reads more than they write ~*~
Poet deVine
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Hurricane Alley


6 posted 03-11-2001 05:23 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

An amazing tale, as only you can write. Wonderful read.
Sunshine
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since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


7 posted 03-11-2001 07:32 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

You've kicked up some South Dakota dust here in my eyes...listening to my uncles and aunts talking through the afternoon sunlight...having the big noon meal...pulling out the marble board for a marathon "I'll beat you" championship where, by midnight, everyone was changing rules to put an edge to the game....

I guess SEA finally yelled loud enough for you to come play with us....

excellent....
nakdthoughts
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since 10-29-2000
Posts 19275
Between the Lines


8 posted 03-11-2001 07:42 AM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

this is just too good..and whether fact or fantasy..it's all too real in many lives...wondering which is real or not...wondering how much the VietNam war played it's part in the destruction of many lives today...unknown to those who have incurred the delayed reaction..just some thoughts that tend to interrupt my life...

I did love your poem, and the small town living...as I have lived that life for my last 25 years...and it is still there in all it's glory...and it's why I wish to remain here for it's simplistic lifestyle.

~Wynter/Maureen (sorry am in a wordy mood this morning)


"The worst prison would be a closed heart".
...Pope John Paul II


Kit McCallum
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since 04-30-2000
Posts 16920
Ontario, Canada


9 posted 03-11-2001 07:46 AM       View Profile for Kit McCallum   Email Kit McCallum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kit McCallum

"So that sums up my childhood - finished school and moved away...
A perfect town for growing up but not where one could stay.."

I loved this!

No one weaves a tale so vividly as you Michael. I swear that by the time I finished reading this, that I "was there". You enrich your ballads with such reality and substance, that some day I fear as an old woman, when I start reminiscing, I'll be recollecting all your ballads, and thinking that I actually lived them, LOL.

Best wishes,
/Kit



[This message has been edited by Kit McCallum (edited 03-11-2001).]
Irish Rose
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since 04-06-2000
Posts 10553


10 posted 03-11-2001 07:57 AM       View Profile for Irish Rose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Irish Rose

This is wonderful. Inspiring. I'm going to write a spinoff around Race Day here in Indianapolis of how it was to grow up 2 blocks from the Indy 500. Maybe.
I enjoyed.....midwest is still hoping though

Kathleen Blake

"When red-haired girls scamper like roses over the rain-green grass,
and the sun drips honey."
Laurie Lee

Janet Marie
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since 01-22-2000
Posts 18986


11 posted 03-11-2001 10:00 AM       View Profile for Janet Marie   Email Janet Marie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Janet Marie

From one show me state poet to another ...
Trust me when I tell ya...
you have indeed gotten past your small town mentality

THIS is a perfect example of why we both need and miss your words of wisdom so...
awesome write sweet Deer ...
youre so cool
me
Just A Woman
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since 03-10-2001
Posts 508


12 posted 03-11-2001 10:15 AM       View Profile for Just A Woman   Email Just A Woman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Just A Woman

This is a treasure. Brought smiles and tears and such emotion to me. You are quite gifted. I've often reflected upon small towns and had to smile at your descriptions. I shall place this in my library to read many times over. I thank you, for sharing this. Am so glad I read it.
Toerag
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since 07-29-99
Posts 5839
Ala bam a


13 posted 03-11-2001 10:20 AM       View Profile for Toerag   Email Toerag   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toerag

Good grief! Did your neighbor write this?...This is one of your best pal...I hate to compliment without one smart a** remark, but this one really doesn't justify anything but praise....
WhtDove
Member Rara Avis
since 07-22-99
Posts 9561
Illinois


14 posted 03-11-2001 10:22 AM       View Profile for WhtDove   Email WhtDove   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit WhtDove's Home Page   View IP for WhtDove

You're such a great story teller. Able to intermix things and bring it across like you do.

Enjoyed this one
VAS
Member Rara Avis
since 11-16-2000
Posts 7440
Oregon


15 posted 03-11-2001 11:08 AM       View Profile for VAS   Email VAS   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for VAS

This is an absolutely delightful piece, especially after setting our minds at ease with your response to Paula. I just must take a copy of this. It could be about some towns around here. I didn't grow up in my small town, but I love the peace of it and the fact that it's only a 2 mile walk to and from the edges of it, well pretty much.

May I take a copy? If so, could you e-mail me your answer? Please.
Marge Tindal
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Florida's Foreverly Shores


16 posted 03-11-2001 11:25 AM       View Profile for Marge Tindal   Email Marge Tindal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marge Tindal's Home Page   View IP for Marge Tindal

Balladeer~
Your poetic skills are just wonderful !
How you weave with seemingly great ease.

I would imagine that somewhere in that small town there would be a plaque with your name on it ... and when they gather at Nita's Tavern surely they mention your name.

Great weave, my friend.
'inside my mind, I'm living happy times'
And that says it all !
*Hugs*
~*Marge*~


~*The pen of the poet never runs out of ink, as long as we breathe.*~
noles1@totcon.com

Mother_Earth
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since 11-20-2000
Posts 1387
1/2 year Texas & 1/2 year Mich


17 posted 03-11-2001 12:00 PM       View Profile for Mother_Earth   Email Mother_Earth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mother_Earth

This is just great, but I am mad!! I have lived in small towns all my life and NEVER did I live in one like this! Who can I write to to complain? I love this!! ME
Martie
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California


18 posted 03-11-2001 01:21 PM       View Profile for Martie   Email Martie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Martie's Home Page   View IP for Martie

Balladeer--This is a marvelous piece of writing, told in such an endearing way..filled with real life charm! Thank you for being so good at bringing smiles. Very glad to see you!
Seymour Tabin
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since 07-07-99
Posts 32119
Tamarac Fla


19 posted 03-11-2001 02:28 PM       View Profile for Seymour Tabin   Email Seymour Tabin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seymour Tabin

Balladeer,
The quality of your writing is top notch. I've never found it less. Of all the poets I have read You are the best.
Packratmike
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since 02-25-2001
Posts 635
California, USA


20 posted 03-11-2001 03:18 PM       View Profile for Packratmike   Email Packratmike   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Packratmike

An excellent, entertaining, nostalgic read. Thank you!

Packratmike
Krawdad
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since 01-03-2001
Posts 2627


21 posted 03-11-2001 03:23 PM       View Profile for Krawdad   Email Krawdad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Krawdad

Thanks for this, Balladeer. Brings back some enjoyable memories similar to your own. Well done, sir.
SEA
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with you


22 posted 03-11-2001 03:30 PM       View Profile for SEA   Email SEA   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for SEA

Hello!!! Nice to see you sweetie! I've been missing you! This is fantastic, as usual....tuggin at my heart, making me miss my home town...not quite as small though.....now I live in a town like you've described.....it's taken only 2 years to get a "hi".....the end of this sure got to me....love this Balladeer... SEA
serenity blaze
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23 posted 03-11-2001 03:48 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Kit stole my reply! But it is true, no one else spins a tale quite like you! Excellence shows everytime.
JLR
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since 02-04-2001
Posts 1851


24 posted 03-11-2001 03:51 PM       View Profile for JLR   Email JLR   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JLR

What can I say that hasn't already been said? I was born in a town like this and I miss it even more since reading your beautiful words.
 
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