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Late night or early morning warned me,
reminded me to tick back to my beginning,
back when I was winning battles with my brain.
You and I remember, it was before everything changed,when things were natural,
natural like the Quaker Oats oatmeal box,
how smooth and round it was,
how the Quaker reminded us of peace, his smiling face, a few wrinkles, black hat surrounded by plain colours, smooth colours and cardboard lid.
It seemed his cylinder was always full of silver change or marbles back when we saved such things.
Wasn't it before twenty-four hour news cycles,
before pictures of stone throwing in the Holy Land? Before throwing used stones was in vogue?
Used stones for throwing?
I told myself I would go back,
back before politics and religion fancied me.
Back before a hard jerk to the right, before
I would swear an oath to God to make a difference.
Somehow, age has fooled me into thinking I was important. You too?
I want to wake up late tonight or early morning after news at ten, after Jack Paar, after the Star Spangled Banner, after the test for
thermonuclear war tones quits.
I want to wake up in my easy chair to black and white TV.
I want to wake up after programming is over,
know what I mean?

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The following comments are for "A Chance of Snow"
by williamhill

a real question, Charlie
I've repeatedly wondered about this, too, wondered if increasing complexity is necessarily favorable progress - I have to conclude it's not, not if its cost is taken out of your soul.

I get so tired of opinions, hyped searches for new idols to genuflect before, fresh news like a thousand old illnesses.

I'd like to find a place in the woods, all by myself, just me and the wind and the rain, no TV, no newspapers, no radio, maybe just email from a few soft hearts that matter.

Ah, but the extension cord.

Maybe God can speak in a thousand voices, but I hear him better alone.

Fine poem, Charlie.

( Posted by: johnlibertus [Member] On: February 4, 2006 )

Ah...the good old days!
You're singing my song Charlie...For every step forward we've taken toward the future...we've fallen 3 step back!

Remember when when the air was fit to breathe?

When we left our front (and back) doors open?

When we were polite to our elders (even if we couldn't stand them?)

When Christmas was CHRISTMAS and not politically incorrect?

When a stern look from our father was enough to set us back on the right path?

But then...what does a little ole lady in tennis shoes know about life!!!

Loved this Charlie.


( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: February 5, 2006 )

Love it. But I don't think it's about "good ol' days"
This is a great piece. The image of the Quaker Oats box is great. It is a majorly important moment in the history of American advertising, as it was the first, ever, branded retail packaged-goods product. The owner of the company used the Quaker, because, in the part of the country where he did business, Quakers were known as honest businesspeople, and he was afraid that his very new concept (pre-packated oats) would be seen as "newfangled" and possibly not to be trusted. He thought that such a homey, trustworthy image would help sell the product. Personally, he had nothing to do with Quakers. He was right, by the way -- the image helped him vault into massive success, and has kept Quaker Oats around for almost 150 years as a major brand in the category.

Great imagery... throwing "used stones." Love it.

But I don't think this is about "the goold ol' days" in the sense of porch swings and doors left open. If it is, I'm sorry, Charlie. Even if it is, that's not what it's saying to me... because I'm not a believer in "the good old days," even though there are, of course, things about the past I miss. I'm too much of a realist to harp on the past as a whole, though... It may be because if I go further back than 6.3 years, I end up in a place without my little boy... It may be because I *like* lots of the things we've got going on today, and call into question many of the "values" of the past.

That being said... I do like some snow. It covers the landscape and makes things quiet. I miss the quiet. I can't get the ringing out of my ears, my friend. Sometimes I just turn the sound on the TV all the way down and watch them lipping away, and that cracks me up enough to make up for the lack of a test pattern.

Sometimes I just sit and stare at the TV while it's turned off and remember a time when there was more quiet to be had.

And then I remember that I've got a bed, and good books, and a car, and cafes and good friends who will sit, quietly, with me and not even need to talk.

Which isn't really commentary on this poem, at all. But just me rambling because I'm on migraine meds and I saw a William Hill poem and was glad.

Nice poem. I miss the snow, too. But not everything that went with it.

( Posted by: andyhavens [Member] On: February 7, 2006 )

williamhill's test pattern

Yes. It is someone's version of Toffler's Future Shock come true. Well done.

~ John

( Posted by: Flonigus [Member] On: February 7, 2006 )

Too Much Info
I guess that is what I get, there is just too much information bombarding us from all over the world.

We are so desensitized that we do not know how to care, what to care about, just take me back a few years, to where it all started slipping away and see if I can regain the grip?

This one really sings, and the title, yeah, after the network signs off, the snow pattern on the old black and white Admiral TV...

Guess this shows our age.

Again, very well concieved poem, it controls time and takes the reader to another place.


( Posted by: BWOz [Member] On: July 23, 2006 )

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