Saturday, September 17, 2011

thinking of Reno, my hometown . . .

Reno Stash

In here are stored broken dreams, lucky strikes,
dried bones,
and desert storms,

memories of towns and lakes that are no more,
and of Julia Bulette, who never died.

Blue bright glory of sky, sky,

In here are a peepshow of
Easter egg hunts in brittle grass, of
icicles two feet long, and snow at Christmas,

of a gleaming arch over a street beaming and
buzzing neon stories,

of a casino whose front
was a testimony to those who came before us
and loved it here,

but none more than I.

                                     MLydiaM (1991)

I was too late (by five hours) to submit this poem at the Mr. Linky widget for Thursday's dVerse-Critique and Craft.

I had hoped to get this posted there in order to be behind James Rainsford in the list, because his poem reminded me of this poem of mine that in ways related to his subject and that got me going on this post. His subject was, um, ladies of the evening — and a famous one from the Victorian Era in Nevada is mentioned in my poem. You can read a bio of Julia C. Bulette HERE, where you can see the marker established in Virginia City in memory of her by the men who, um, appreciated her kind services. So I am off the hook for having to follow critiquing guidelines for the first time, which seemed daunting on a lack of sleep anyway — but I so enjoyed his poem that I'm still going to link it to this post.

I am mourning the horrific crash at the Reno Air Races on Friday afternoon. Reno is my hometown, as some of you know, and so my heart is there right now. This old poem is my tribute to the pilot who lost his life plunging from
Blue bright glory of sky, sky,
and to those in the box seat area who were killed and horribly injured. From early reports it appears that the pilot made last-second efforts that successfully kept him from crashing directly into the stands, thereby saving hundreds of lives. I refer you to my hometown newspaper online for the latest details.

Finally, the casino front mentioned in my poem was the huge ceramic mural in front of Harold's Club, with words on the top that said: Dedicated in all humility to those who blazed the trail.



kj said...

oh jeez lydia, this is a fantastic poem. the whole idea of memories and images in a jar has my imagination going wild.

you are a wonderful poet. i think you should submit this somewhere, a contest or a magazine that extends beyond the world of our blogs. you've created your childhood and memories for me just as though you have handed me a photo album.

i read of that air show tragedy. how scary and sad. please add my prayers to yours.

kiss kiss

Rob-bear said...

Delightful poem, Lydia.
And that Julia; so sad that someone would want to kill a sweetie like her.
(OK, maybe "sweetie" isn't the best word, but I can't think of a better one.)

mythopolis said...

This is simply marvelous and moving, Lydia. As you know, I am of the sentimental persuasion, and you have shot me with an arrow of feeling!

susan said...

I loved the poem and your description of Reno (including Julia Bulette). How sad to read about the plane crash.

ds said...

Wonderful tribute to your hometown, Lydia. It's a terrific poem, bringing the past into the present--your childhood woven with the history of the place.

Such a terrible tragedy. I ache for all involved.

Lydia said...

kj~ I was flattered and humbled by your comments. Thank you so much! Some of my poems turn out fine enough to please me and to garner nice praise, but I do not consider myself so talented. I'm just glad that poetry is coming from me again after being muse-dead for 15 years. I wonder what that was all about...

Your prayers are winging their way to Reno. xo

Rob-bear~ I'll go along with "Sweetie" in regards to Julie. We spent many family Saturdays up at Virginia City, where her picture and story are seen everywhere. As a child I liked her immensely and was so sad about her murder. I thought she must have been wonderful to have been given such a fine funeral and burial. It was written that the women in town looked out at the procession from behind curtains inside their homes, while their menfolk walked behind the casket. When I asked my mother about this (at about age 8-9) she said simply, "They did not understand." No judgment. No running me out of the room with the display. No saying this was an evil town or that Julia was a bad woman. She handled it just perfectly, I think.

mythopolis~ My husband read these comments with me and I told him that I was pleased to have touched your heart with this poem, because you so often touch mine with your "sentimental persuasion."

susan~ Thank you, my friend. We could have had some real fun going for a trip to Reno before you moved to Canada if timing had been different!
Yes, sadness for Reno now...

ds~ I so appreciated your kind comments. Thank you for sharing in the memories with me and for having your thoughts with Reno during this awful time.

Deborah said...

Such a glorious and lifting poem, a wonderful tribute to your town at this time x

Theresa Milstein said...

Your Reno poem was interesting. I've never been. It gave me a picture of what it means to you.

Lydia said...

Theresa~ Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate it. :)



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