Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Poetics: The Stuff of Life in Old Reno



The streets were gray, safe alleyways
showed some minor decay.
Bums slept there at night under neon signs
as street walkers strutted by.
In winter there was snow—
the valley air was crisp and clear,
scrubbed by high desert winds.
Morning came and many casino
workers mixed with fewer office
workers on the sidewalks, as some
drunk gamblers swayed, holding smudged
drink glasses, bleary-eyed and determined
to break even in the new day.
And all were connected by scent from the
old brick corner bakery with steamy windows—
a sweet yeasty aroma created in the
dark of night when the baker and his crew
in white aprons mixed and kneaded
and baked breads so sumptuous
as to make the people proud to live there,
to breathe the same air, to break bread
with one another, to be nourished for another day.


Written for dVerse Poets Pub - Poetics, where this week Grace, in a truly lovely prompt, asked us to write about bread.
.

21 comments:

Rob-bear said...

The vagaries of life, all caught in one poem, filled with the sweet smell of fresh-baking bread.

Blessings and Bear hugs!

Brian Miller said...

that smell of bread...it connects us all...calls us all out of whatever we are into...or where ever...its like the ever call to home and comfort...

Grace said...

Those bakers really get up early to bake the bread ~ I can smell it (actually we have an Italian bakery close by) ~ You have captured the face and bread of the city life ~

Thanks for joining in Lydia ~

Sabio Lantz said...

Ah, to feel connectedness (EN , in Japanese) -- its vibrancy. Even if a bit idealistic and exaggerated (like bread in Reno), the fiction itself can give birth to meaning.

lynndiane said...

The yeasty smell of fresh bread holds a universal attraction! Enjoyed this scene you've captured.

anarmchairperfectionist said...

A lovely piece Lydia! A little bit of bread goes a long way in forging bonds and bringing warmth.

Claudia said...

nourished for another day... i can think of nothing that nourishes more than bread and yes... how the need for it unites people of all backgrounds, of all countries..

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

i haven't been very active in blogland for a while but i'm glad i read this - it's brilliantly written and so evocative

kaykuala said...

A very apt pic. A typical casino city will have a similar scenario anywhere in the world just as you described! Nicely Lydia!

Hank

Mary said...

This is a beautiful poem of connection! Despite the grayness of the scene, the scent of baking bread nourished all. I can almost 'smell' it as I read your well chosen words.

liv2write2day said...

And we still have that wonderful scent of fresh-baked bread here in Reno--on California Ave and Plumb Lane. If you live here, maybe we can meet at one of those two places sometime!

Lydia said...

Thanks for all of your kind comments, Everyone. Happy Holidays to you all!

liv2write2day~ I could tell there are some great bakeries in Reno these days when I googled for images. I wanted one of the old bakery downtown but it must be buried in an archival file and not an image quick to come up at google.

I was born and raised there near California Ave. on Marsh Ave), but moved to Oregon decades ago. Wish I had been in touch with you when I was there for a HS reunion this past summer, as I have no plans on returning anytime soon! Say hello to Mt. Rose for me!

grapeling said...

no wonder breadhere: like the best loaves, you've given us texture and substance ~

Hattie said...

Lydia: I welcome your visits and will visit you more in the new year.

goatman said...



It is said that the Bedouin could survive for weeks on bread and water, in the desert.

Fireblossom said...

I just wanted to stop by and wish you a very Merry Christmas!

goatman said...


Found a nice quote on the book of faces recently you may like:

"Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt"
K. Vonnegut
from Slaughterhouse Five

Adhi Das said...

Wishing you a very happy & Prosperous New Year ..Thanks for all the support! Keep writing! Keep lighting!…BEST PRAYERS FOR FUTURE!!

kj said...

I should smell that bread by the last word :^)

"bleary-eyed and determined
to break even in the new day"

i couldn't help but think that this may be the entire problem with person kind…..

nice always to be here, lydia. i still don't know what keeps me from joining this fine crowd of wordly lovers

love
kj

susan said...

Your skill in describing an early morning scene of such complexity in so spare a poem is amazing.

I hope you will continue to share your vision in the year ahead.

pat herz said...

Mom baked bread often, the warm yeast kitchen sourdough aroma surrounds me now, 50 years later in Reno
YOYO

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