Monday, August 8, 2011

Mgpie #77 Waiting For Destiny ~All Summer Long is An Eternity

Summer Evening, Edward Hopper, 1947

How keenly he admired her pink tap dancer outfit
All the while she appealed to his need to be a comfort
Standing, no; slightly leaning on the balcony rails
absorbed by this fluid minute the moment stuck

on these two love-struck teenagers

They'd always be the two
they were "the two"
The Lovers of the 40's
a duo worthy of slapstick comedy
barely managing to pay attention
to the world's axis
or the world's spin of events

as spun for the record player; deeply grooved
listening to the hits of the day
The top 40 of the 40's
on Grandma's old RCA Victrola
or Grandpa's old wooden tube radio
listening Charlie McCarthy or The Shadow
on these walls painted by pioneers
the old classic radio shows

This night a deep hush fell over the stars
up the stairs into the very barn-wood grain
leaving a musty smell of cedar
as Mama left open the hope chest
nobody knew
Bobby would soon go to war

the farm dangled on the edge of this precipice
just around the corner of World War II
global-go-round who could tell then
who'd lost or who'd won?
a far cry from last years laconic
hazy days of summer
and pre 18
B52's blazing trails
left no smoke to render asunder

it had to be so
The Parents were in a deep summer slumber
too hot to do much else this year
keeping their distance lest they stick
like flies on flypaper
or moths singed by the bonfire
Bob and Jill were an item I reckon to guess

as the porch light silhouetted their lanky figures
there would be an official time
to turned off the porch light
prying father at the 11th hour
could get incrementally loud as the minutes lingered longer

"Don't you know it's way past eleven?" the gruff father lamented

"I'll be in a minute Dad" churled the girl

Bob leaned back even farther
almost falling backwards clumsily
appearing nonchalant the whole time
demeanor being everything then

So slowly and smoothly he danced over
smooth as silk
criss-crossing the railings like Fred Astaire
She gingerly playing the game
keeping time
The Lovers
every movement in this still moment
an exacting dance of frozen steps
a whirlwind courtship sustained by summer's doldrums
a study in steady they went around together
romance under glass

the porch's bannister held easily his Frank Sinatra weight
so methodically distancing himself from her
just in case the front screened door slammed
and the father soon to appear
catching them in the act

Chasing her with friendly pokes
Coaxing her with flirtatious compliments
chasing her round this merry-go-round porch
Bob felt especially gay tonight

Waiting for these quiet moments to steal real intimacy
like he had stolen second in the outfield today
occasionally the conversation
returned to the events of the day
the returns of the day left-over from the morning dew
but it was night and time to lay a wet kiss on Jilly thought Bobby
He'd return the next night and the next repeating the same repast
Bob would always show up

he'd be stoking the fires of her desire one day soon
fanning her mount-to-the-sky-high red-hot flames of passion

nudging ever closer to get a chest-full of her essence
a whiff of her Chantilly lace perfume
She was a cheerleader He, the brazen boy of the debating team
a farmer's son turned gentleman caller
a beau of the summer passing the hours
helping his Pa with gopher work and agricultural labour
driving the John Deere here and there
planting weeding tilling til the cows came home
if they did, then he'd have to milk them

Bob would often catch a glimpse of her over at the Five and Dime
While she'd coyly positioned her lithe-body like a snake goddess
undulating, ringing in his dime spent
keeping the nickel he left for her
She seemed so coquettish to him
while she served him Coke floats or Orange Whips
dressed in her waitress uniform
pleasing him all summer long

This evening hung like a painting by Hopper
and nearly more real than the pixies dust in her eyes
a photographic stillness may never detail
the lack of focus
this night played hazy, dreamy, languid
Into this casual night The Lovers
iconographed themselves

hug over the pale mood
as things were still buzzing
moths to the porch flame
fireflies flash-bulbed the two hearts
bright lights synchronized the space
entwining The Lovers in this stop-action game

The casual after-dinner mint julep
The Lovers portrait
A patchwork quilt of Americana
their sensibilities set the stage
A glimpse into this night, long past
staged via balcony time portal

we'd all hope to meet
ourselves like this
captured on film or paint or some other art form
to return one day

roll the film!
magic takes silence
and a firm conviction
in the suspension of disbelief

yet silent runners this unravelled slice of life
silver screen film stillness bore
leaving only an etched reminder
the remainder
of once which was indeed once upon a time
fairy tales do come true in the big picture show

figures that in the foreground
vanish into thin lines
just by that small point on the horizon
there a puff of smoke evaporated
into the background of inky density

hoping to meet up with our past
hoping to lead to further understanding
hoping one day to climax this relationship

we will have them wed to forever
in our minds
they will stay youthful
forever lallygagging in a conjugal bed
we see them wed one day
can you image the size of that picture frame?

The flash of neon farm lights
tractors left on cut swaths of light
through the fabric of time
the scent of new mown hay
maybe a skunk or two under the porch
"This ain't the way we were was it?" asked debutante Jill

Down on the Farm Broadway
Boogie Woogie on the porch swing time
A lively livery lane of vegetable and animal cornucopia
all merging into this diorama

The Lovers are Dormant by the Welcome Home doormat
This frame by frame within a frame
Technically correct yet evading the life
for this still life portrait

That which they were
where they lived
was capture like a rabbit in a humane trap
keep with Grannies doilies

"Please stand still for posterity sake!"
Hopper the art director would yell
"Picture Perfect; all is lovely as a Corn Flake Box"
His uncanny good looks acting a part in his own art

The Lovers for all eternity would stand
reappear with each mirrored glance their way
on walls in halls in balls these art dolls
For their right to be just who they appear to be
Without any notion or motion or excess need to critique

Captured in this way, like deer in the headlights
The Lovers are frozen
tender and loving
Yet not fully able to render any emotion
we are the ones who lather them into the forms
they have become
and explain away
any self-consciousness or awkwardness
they'd have if they knew we were looking

now appearing nightly
stuck on pleasantries
even the evening lark's mimicry
comforts her by his comfortable stance
her pretty-in-pink precociousness
She would have tap danced all night
Save for her father's demanding voice
She'd forever fan his flames of desire for her too
this Eve's temptress in slinky satin
bronzed by the sun gods

she'd play with his heart
tap all night across his chest
beating like a drum inside him
inside her inside him
they would eventually let each other in

"if this summer's night would only last a little bit longer"
Jill echoed breathlessly echoing back to her; only her own voice

"How 'bout forever?" Bob whispered softly into her moist and humid ear only to hear the all encompassing sound of silence echoing from the distant horizon and the forever-after internalized within and externalized without; merging reality of a forever summer lost in eternity.


Please go here for further interesting takes on this great work of art!

Thank-you Tess Kincaid for this picture painting prompt!


  1. Awfully well written -- beautiful.

  2. I really enjoyed this, your take on the prompt is super!

  3. boogie woogie on the front porch swing...ha nice...some really nice lines...and hope forever is just enough time...warmly felt...

  4. What a fantastic take on the prompt!

  5. Smiles all the way...
    Great metaphors and images..:)

  6. Ah, a Chantilly night. You captured it perfectly.

  7. This is stunning. My favorite JJ poem.

    "We are the ones who lather them into the forms." Indeed.

  8. wow! this is wonderfully written...


  9. Chicco....Hey! Hey! This is an amazing entry, the visuals are so retro, heartwarming and colourful. And I found this line so fetching:

    "Picture Perfect; all is lovely as a Corn Flake Box"

  10. Solid evocation of its era. Good work.

  11. How perfectly this sings the song of then!