1959

I was five then, as we crowded around
the black and white TV,
watching patterns on a blank screen labeled
THIS IS JUST A TEST.

When the high-pitched drone became unbearable,
we reluctantly switched it
Off.

Now we have
color and vexing bands
of text endlessly scrolling
their mindless confusion.
Twenty-four hours
of nonstop “entertainment”
only beware: turning it Off becomes
an inner, as well as outer process.

Pausing alongside that drive
well traveled by others living worlds
apart from where I am today,
the ghost of a little girl riding a blue Schwinn
steams by in vaporous hues;
streamers plugging handlebars,
playing cards clipped between spokes.

Gazing up, a single red-tailed hawk
soars above the din.
Rejoicing in cloudless flight
is something I long ago learned from its kin.
Pulling the rental car into gear,
wheels headed now for gravel roads.

6 comments on “1959”

  1. 1959 is the year I was born, and we never had a TV until I was 12. i still remember the test pattern though and waiting .. c

  2. Hi Bela,

    Loved the mix of nostalgia and insight. What jumped out at me were your words, “….turning it Off
    becomes an inner, not outer process.” This one is a perspective shifting sentence Bela! As we get increasingly sucked into the whirlwind of 24X7 choices and expectations, we need to develop far better self awareness to be able to stand back and make our own choices rather than being buffeted and swept by the majority flows.

    May I also take this opportunity to acknowledge your great presence and support as I myself journeyed through the blogging world over the last one year.Your numero uno position as the commentator of my blogs has enriched and evolved me and this is accordingly highlighted in the WordPress report on my blogsite for 2012.

    http://esgeemusings.com/2012/annual-report/

    So thank you Bela, I truly appreciate your presence.

    Shakti

  3. Shakti, that line you ferreted out was definitely meant to pique somebody’s interest. Thanks for picking up on it 😉 Of course I agree with your sentiments.
    I truly appreciate YOUR support over the past year or so I, too, have been blogging. Guess we began at about the same time … Happy to be number one in your report, as well! Though I’m somewhat surprised … your posts are always thought provoking and richly written.
    Here’s to another great year!

  4. In all the time I’ve been following your blog I don’t think I’ve read any of your poetry. Have I been brain dead or don’t you often poeticize?

  5. Ronnie, I wouldn’t call it brain dead – I don’t know how many blogs you follow, but I get exhausted sometimes just getting through that reader! And I often miss certain posts, just because of the overwhelming amount of material to sift through.
    Poetry is and was my first form of written expression. I have years of journals, and my BA thesis was all poetry. I’ve posted a bit of it, especially of late, because we’ve moved 3X in 6 months (as I think you know) – not much time to wax creative. So back into the archives I go … with results such as this.
    Enjoy your weekend! Hope it’s not too cold where you are …


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