Tag Archives: children

The Doubtful Guest

Okay, I have something a little more linear and a lot less odd for you fellas today. Another from the vault!

The Doubtful Guest

The doubtful guest entered slowly
Shaking off her umbrella onto the mat
As her hostess fluttered into
An inviting kitchen of warm smells
Calling over her shoulder to sit, rest!
The hostess returned bearing mugs
Of steaming tea to comfort a weary heart.

Mrs Reed, whose hospitality a guest
Could always rely upon, prattled on;
Trivialities of suburban life, one
Consisting mostly of the idealized
Sort of domesticity found in the work
Of Normal Rockwell.

The gossip! the games! the neighbours!
The unendurable tedium of bridge
With a terrible partner on Thursday nights.
Mr Reed, his job and his car;
The children and their little friends;
Mrs Next Door’s tiny yapping dog.

Suddenly, a flash of deep thought from
The illustrious Mrs Reed:
“Oh! to speak plainly, as children do;
To proclaim feelings boldly is my wish.
The innocent see no need to hide.”
Suddenly the doubtful guest’s demeanor
Changes to a cautious acceptance.

Mrs Reed regards the young woman
As one might a saucy daughter
Or waterlogged puppy: with fondness;
While the woman, sipping her tea,
Silently reevaluates her situation
And wonders if it would be so bad
To while away this rainy afternoon.

(C) Bridget Noonan, 2010, 2012.


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In Daddy’s Genes

And because I’m feeling productive today, I’ll post a second poem! This title was suggested by my best friend, because I could not for the life of me figure out what to call it. And Gene Blues was too terrible a pun to actually use.

In Daddy’s Genes

I am infected with that
Same nose, same eye colour,
Same hands, and more;
I inherited- or learned-
Arrogance, and stubbornness;
How to thrust my intellect
Up and out like a shield;
To slice others with words,
And to skewer them with silence.
My smile is a genetic disease,
My voice an unwelcome reminder.

And I wonder now
How many generations of
Lover, of thief, of farmer, of scholar,
Have shared the curve of my brow,
The same bark-brown hair,
And carved their words as I do?
I see my face, and all the faces,
Staring back at me in the mirror.

Is this my inheritance?
A predisposition for diabetes,
For cancer, for cruelty?
I see my fate in my sister’s dimple
And my brother’s blond curls.
Always the same pale pink skin
Blistering under the unforgiving sun.

And I wonder once more
How to throw off the chains
Of DNA and family;
Wonder if I could reach in
And dig out the offending
Markers and links and memories,
To hurl them down, screaming,
Defiant to the last atom.

Yes, I am infected with
Reminders, gestures, speech patterns,
Ingrained too deeply to shift at will.
My genetic makeup is immutable.
But that doesn’t change the
Small, secret, whispered wish
That one half- or all-
Of my twenty-three chromosome pairs
Were from a different donor.

© Bridget Noonan, 2011

This is one I have contemplated mailing out to a couple lit mags for publishing. What do you think, could I get in with something like this?


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Thoughts on the Shore of Balsam Lake

I wrote this on vacation last summer. Well, most of it. I mixed it up, and I’m sure a couple things got cobbled together from other bits I wrote that week, and there wasn’t a resolution until just now. I had vague plans of turning it into a multi-page epic, but… that requires serious effort. I deem this good enough!

Thoughts on the Shore of Balsam Lake

The cries of gulls and children
Echo across a sandy beach
I’m building castles in the sand
And castles in the sky–

At once, a man in uniform
And a young woman in white
Pass slowly, hand in hand,
Smiling, in a dream, in love–

The waves, the shining lake,
Seem more real than the sky
With its painted white clouds
And insipid fading blues–

It is late afternoon now:
The gulls return to gather
Food left behind by the children
And still I wait for sunset–

Sunset! when our life-giving star
Flings colours in bands across the sky
Like a frustrated painter with a
Rather curious and smug cat–

A cat digging trenches in canvas,
Sharp claws dunked in shades of
Reds, oranges, purples, and golds, and
Wearing a sphinx’s enigmatic smile–

At last, the grandest light in the sky
Dips low in its dance with the horizon
And, with a flick of her long skirts,
Sinks over the edge of my sight.

© Bridget Noonan, 2010, 2011.

Also, I gotta say, pen and paper are best for first drafts, but for editing, you gotta have a word processor of some kind. At least, I do.

This is also my offering for Friday’s Big Tent Poetry prompt.


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Baseball Blues

This week’s Three Word Wednesday prompt is a good one: foolish, mercy, relish. Let’s see how you think I did.

Baseball Blues

Ketchup and relish dripped
Off the side of a hot dog
As the children watched,
Horrified by the home team.

Out after out after out,
The foolish men on the field
Couldn’t seem to make it;
Little shoulders drooped.

As the runs mounted higher
In the opponents’ favour,
The smallest began to cry
At his first baseball game ever.

The oldest lad, who had seen
It all -had caught a foul ball
Just last week- shared some
Wisdom with the group:

“You win some, you lose some.”
What mercy or comfort is in that?
The littlest fan wondered,
But dried his tears to cheer harder.

© Bridget Noonan, 2011.

It’s always disappointing when your team loses, especially if it’s the first time you’ve gone to see them in the stadium. I’m not really a sports person, normally. In fact, I can’t watch baseball- it’s like watching paint dry for me, haha. Hockey’s not bad on TV (I’m not insane enough to sell a leg to buy Leafs tickets), and lacrosse is awesome anywhere, but baseball’s really only fun if you’re playing.


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The Leaving Bell

The Leaving Bell

the children ran out of the school
the moment the bell rang
the leaving bell
it was scarcely to be heard
over the sound of their delighted screams
at the puddles and worms awaiting them.
mothers waited at the bus stop
for their muddy offspring,
to lead them home in lines like
the ducks led their ducklings to
the overflowing river.

© Bridget Noonan, 2011

For the prompt at Beyond Rhyme or Reason. I used the words children, bus stop, rain, and instead of faces, I used mother.

Now I’m actually going to bed this time.

EDIT: I also posted this at Poetic Asides. The prompt was for a leader or follower poem. 🙂


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Warning Labels

What always makes people feel better? Poetry!

Well maybe not all people. Some prefer tea, or re-reading Pride and Prejudice for the millionth time, or watching a kickass movie. I love all of these things. You know what I don’t love? Being sick.

Not that anyone really enjoys being legit ill. Like go home from work after three hours of gut-wrenching agony ill, lying curled up in bed hoping for a medium-sized meteor to come screaming through your window to put you out of your misery ill. Or …whatever.

Poetry, then Doctor Who, to counterbalance my ickies! Here ’tis. I thought it was somewhat topical, as I have read a couple of warning labels today.

Warning Labels

For your own safety
Do not cross the tracks;
Or you’ll end like the chicken
A mangled pulp of blood and feathers
As it crossed the road.

Do not operate heavy machinery;
For one thing, this medication
Doesn’t come with a hard hat.

Motor vehicles prohibited!
Except for the ones the city uses
For repairs, and cutting the grass.

No smoking within ten metres of the door
You wretched nicotine addicts
Will just have to smoke in the middle
Of the street; you’re killing yourselves anyway,
Might as well be quick about it.

Life needs more warning signs.
For instance, children:
Side effects include headache,
Chronic money loss, muscle fatigue,
Insomnia, chest pain, and hoarseness.

Love ought to come with a warning label as well:
Dangerous to sanity if recommended dose is exceeded.
Or, side effects include dizziness, shortness of breath,
Elevated pulse, increased sex drive,
And in severe cases, mothers-in-law.

© Bridget Noonan, 2010, 2011.


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