Thursday, March 19, 2020

Light sources at the ready

No matter how much falls on us, we keep plowing ahead. That's the only way to keep the roads clear.
~Greg Kincaid

Ugly Lamp contest at the KY State Fair
photo by rreihm

Can I tell you how much I love that there's an Ugly Lamp contest at the Kentucky State Fair? Yay for things that are wacky and creative :-) I also love Kathryn Petruccelli's mom. You'll see why in this week's poem:

by Kathryn Petruccelli

My mother used to tell me
there was a time
she kept a closet full of lamps
so whenever one of her kids
broke one, she’d sweep up
and pull another out.

I imagine her trolling
the Saturday morning garage sales
of the ’70s, buying every cheap,
ugly thing that lit, handing over a dollar,
50 cents, maybe haggling them down
to a quarter. A woman with a stockpile
of light sources at the ready
while her children flipped
like gymnasts through the living room:

my brother leaping for all he was worth
toward the old brown sectional,
the rug underneath a hot pit of lava;

read the rest here


Have you read Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale? I gave it two thumbs up when I read it a long time ago. Might be good reading while you're at home.


For info about my Things I Wish You Knew project (and the TLD March challenge), visit this post.

Michelle Kogan has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Michelle!


michelle kogan said...

Thanks for this colorful poem and window into Kathryn Petruccelli's life. I liked her comments below on memories and their connection to poems also! And great Wednesday post on DIY and other at home activities Tabatha! Stay well.

KatApel - said...

I love this sentiment, Tabatha. I didn't do it with lamps, but I did it with my house. I don't have a neat and orderly house. We have all manner of bits and pieces that could be useful one day... and invariably are! And I have two boys-who-are-men (and my husband) who can cobble all sorts of doodads into stop-gap/functional items. I think kids need to have freedom to move and make mistakes. (And maybe two holes in the gyprock walls counts for a lamp or two?😉) Sending you much love. Take care, my friend.

Janice Scully said...

What an unusual and beautiful poem. So much emotion in this story and I feel knew the mother in the poem. I had three older brothers and I remember my mother's only reminder of her mother, a porcelain bowl, broken. She was upset, but just glued it back together and everyone carried on.

Linda B said...

I sent the poem to my daughter, Tabatha, whose younger daughter leaps & does flips all over the house-no broken lamps yet, but she fell on the coffee table once & they thought she had broken a bone. Good news, just a limp for a while! I love this mom's love for her children. She knows what's really important! Thanks, and best hopes to you & yours for all to be good these tough times.

Kay said...

I love her mother, too, Tabatha! What a way to raise brave, strong children--even if a few lamps get broken in the process.

jama said...

Love the sentiment in this poem (and thanks for introducing me to yet another poet!). Great pic of those ugly lamps, too. Who knew about such a contest?

Liz Steinglass said...

A lovely poem to go with a collection of award-winning ugly lamps! At our house we often talk about how hard it is to make a good lamp. : )

jan godown annino said...

Hi Tabatha! What a poem-insitgating month you have, with two deadlines re: your catalyst for - the March 31 deadline for the "Things I Wish You Knew" prompt here at The Opposite of Indifference. And MHB's deadline for your creative idea over at Today's Little Ditty - game on! I laughed so hard at the wacky lamp image & then read the poem in whole.

And for the KC poem shared from The Rattle site, it's Such a perfect poem of love from a Mother who was obviously not nervous, or if she was, suppressed it.

Thank you & keep your cosy herd well. Precious you, too.

Karen Eastlund said...

Thanks for this wonderful poem! I wish I'd known about the ugly lamp contest... not that I live in KY, but we could have started one of our own in MN. We would have a yearly garage sale to raise funds for a preschool, One year the ugliest lamp I have ever seen showed up... black with lemony marbles embedded, a true monstrosity. I was sure it would show up in this picture. Haha.

Joyce Ray said...

Aren't these lines great?

At our house, Disaster walked through
the front door as familiar as spring mud.

We had a pair of similar eagles lamps at our camp! Loved the photo of ugly lamps!

Carol Varsalona said...

Tabatha, your post struck a cord with me and turned on the lightbulb to remember a truly ugly lamp. When I first started dating my husband, he had a bachelor apartment in a building facing the ocean that was decorated like nothing I had ever seen before. There was a truly ugly lamp-red and gold with cupids. The ugly lamp photos made me remember that. The poem makes me think of a wise women who understand the habits of children. This was a good pairing.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Hi, Tabatha--once again you find a poem about lamps which is also about acceptance and resilience and making do in disastrous times which call for backflips and dancing too near the coffee table. Also you led me to Rattle, where I have just posted my PF poem to their weekly Poets Respond feature.

And here's a belated thank you for the virtual birthday card--it made my day that much more blossoming! xxoxx

Mary Lee said...

I like this woman's response to disaster. I'm going to stockpile more lamps (figurative, not literal), though, I, too, would love to strangle that eagle...

Bridget Magee said...

Here in Switzerland when you move into a flat you have to bring all your own light fixtures. There are literally bare wires coming out of the ceilings. I got to go lamp and light fixture shopping with my teen last year. Thanks to her eclectic style, I'm proud to own some really funky lamps. Petruccelli's mom is a woman after my own heart. Thanks for the introduction to another new (to me) poet, Tabatha. :)

Linda Mitchell said...

Oh, my goodness....the opposite of the whimsical goofy lamps of KY to the "by the throat." This poem is intense, Tabatha. Thank you for sharing it. The idea of lamps...the idea of having what's needed in times of disaster is strong and good. I'm sorry I missed your link for PF? Anyway, I made it here and I'm so glad I did. Now, I want to go gunk up a lamp with some glue and mod podge. lol.

author amok said...

This poem reminds me that acknowledging we will face disasters makes us resilient when they come. Like so many children, my brothers and I played the lava game.

Buffy Silverman said...

Ah, a mom who stockpiles lamps instead of warning and yelling about backflips. That was the norm when we were kids (well, my mom would have yelled and sent us outside to do whatever the heck we wanted, and not worried about the danger.) Is it the world that changed or our perceptions of threats? Maybe not the right question to ask this week.