Friday, December 22, 2006

Poetry Friday: The Word is BELL

The vivacious and awe-inspiring Maggie at Mind Moss has offered up the beautiful, musical Poetry Friday Word for today...BELL. Feel free to use it in your blog post today, in whatever beautiful shape paints your canvas...story, poem, photo, odor-ama exploration, 3-D revelation of what you really DID that summer on the East Coast....

As soon as Maggie posted the Word, my man Mike Doughty’s song “I Hear the Bells" popped into my head, and it still hasn’t left. Then I remembered a solid gold bell ornament my parents had, and church performances with ringing bells, and Salvation Army, and how the sound of bells both startles and comforts. I have two offerings today, Doughty’s lyrics and one remembrance.

I will be on vacation...well...”Off Work”...until after the first of the New Year. I will be posting sporadically and checking your blogs and leaving comments. I wish you all the merriest of holidays and all the cake and wine you can shove in your eat-hole...Happy Merry!

I Hear the Bells
Lyrics by Mike Doughty

I hear the bells
Down in the canyon, it’s
Snow in New York
Some blue December, I’m
Gone to the moon
Without you, girl, and I’m
Calling to you
Throughout the world and well I can

Hear the bells are
Ringing joyful and triumphant and I can
Hear the bells are
Ringing joyful and triumphant

I hear the bells
They are like emeralds, and
Glints in the night
Commas and ampersands
Your moony face
So inaccessible
Your inner mind
So inexpressible

I’m seeking girls
In sales and marketing
Let’s go make out
Up in the balcony
Your business dress
So businesslike and I’m
Tossing the blouse
Over a chairback and

You snooze, you lose
Well I have snost and lost
I’m pushing through
I’ll disregard the cost
I hear the bells
So fascinating and
I’ll slug it out
I’m sick of waiting

The Curve of One’s Face in a Christmas Ball is Directly Proportionate to the Curve of One’s Soul

Except for the expensive ones, the ones with long-tailed pointed bottoms and indented middles with sweet white sparkles surrounding the centers, and the gold bells that my mother hung on the chandelier high overhead, the decorations we had when I was a kid were of the round glass ball variety. Some time before I was born, the ornament store must have had a sale, as my notoriously cheap parents seemed to have splurged on this one decadent item. Decadent. Now if you find these ornaments in the store, they’re cheap. Tawdry, even, like fake joy. But when I was young, these balls were Christmas.

My younger brother and I would sit thisclose under the tree, snuggled in the flannel pajamas and nightgown that our grandma always made us for Christmas, the large hot Christmas bulbs threatening to burn our curious cheeks, the sweet tang of real pine needles tickling the recesses of our nose so we could taste it on the backs of our tongues. The heat would be turned down, as were the lights. We would sit there near-shivering, on the threadbare rug, moving our faces in and out of the tree, into this bulb, and that bulb, giggling when we got close enough for our noses to take over our faces. We’d admire ourselves in the red and green and blue and gold and silver balls. Our hair would be bath-wet. Our grins would contain more or less teeth than the previous year. We could see the reflections of our parents moving behind us, gathering a baby to feed, taking a bowl to the kitchen, reminding in an ominous tone that Santa came only for children who went to bed on time.

We had no idea how much money we didn’t have. We didn’t see the forced smiles our parents gave up when the heating bill came and our winter boots gave out and dad’s paycheck would cover only one.

It was all so simple. A face in a glass ornament. The colours showing us other children just like us, from different planets. The bitterness blowing in under the door, and our toes finding the loving flannel edge of bedclothes. Our parents then tucking us in, kisses, a Rockwell painting.

Our tree this year groans under the weight of ornaments and lights. Crocheted ornaments from my grandma hang beside candy-cane reindeer and Disney characters, years of photo ornaments and gifts from relatives, homemade and store-bought.

We have a few glass ornaments. They’re not the same as when I was a kid. The luster isn’t there. The fragile-ness is gone. They look plastic and tired.

For one night, I want to sit under the tree, in flannel pajamas, with the lights low and the floor warm, with my children. Sitting and making faces in the round glass ornaments that mean surprise. With gold bells hung in the chandelier above our heads.



At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy holidays to you and your loved ones.
Loved your post, it tugged at my heartstrings too. Reminded me of my childhood and about growing up with less, but somehow things were always there for us come holdiday time. Reminded me of times when simple things made us smile, as opposed to the overmanaged, overhyped, oversold times now.
Oh well, am not depressed. :-)
Enjoy your time off!

At 10:39 AM, Blogger meno said...

Thanks for that. Emjoy the time off and have a Merry New Year too.

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Maggie said...

Mona that was absolutely lovely.

Its true when we are children we find joy in the smallest of things and have no idea that Mom and Dad feel the weightlessness of the pocket book as heavy.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and Dancing Snowflakes and Pepperming Candy Canes!

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice.

HOpe you get what you want this holiday season.


At 10:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, oh, how I love the way you write!

Hope you're enjoying your days off and your family time.


At 11:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoy the time off!!!!

Eat some cookies for me.

At 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Mona. Enjoy your vacation. Lots of love, Dan

At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderfully rendered memory. I too long for Christmas to have the magic edge it had when I was a kid. I spend a whole month decorating and listening to Christmas music to help summon that magic, but, as you alluded, it can only truly successfully be rendered through the eyes of kids.

Merry Christmas Mona.

At 9:23 PM, Blogger Teri said...

Merry Christmas - and Happy New Year!

At 12:43 PM, Blogger your fiend, mr. jones said...

Glad to see you're still here MB. Merry Happy!

Culture Worrier,
Mr. Jones

At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn, I'm half in love with Mike Doughty and his words every other day of my life.


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