Friday, June 26, 2015


Stories repeated through generations,
each handing on to the next, some truth,
all gathered in memory of mind and cell;
bequeathing the old to new youth.

Time sifted through those many tales,
tinkering with plot and characters,
reworking ancient facts as mythology;
released in each birth as factors.

And now, repeating, as I do such accounts,
there is a sense of entering into that past,
embarking on a journey of remembering;
handing on each story as they have asked.

NB: not sure I have this right but tried all the same.


In that instant of a drowning madeleine,
transported through the seas of memory
and feeling,  he was adrift on oceans of
smell and taste, sweet, aromatic, sensory -

I looked up from the book, it was time
for coffee and a madeleine from the freezer.


  1. I am not quite sure where the flashback is in each poem but the reference to Proust made me smile.

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    3. Damn, I wish I had an edit function. Deletes are just rewrites.

      Perhaps I have veered offcourse. I was using 'flashback' in the first instance in terms of how we have a cellular and cultural memory which is deeply ingrained and that it is a physical 'flashback,' and one over which we have no control, as in, it is an unconscious flashback because we are experiencing something via our ancestral inheritance at a cellular, and I believe emotional, mental level.

      And in the second poem, of course Proust and the Madeleine represent a physical 'flashback' where he was taken back to the experience of childhood mentally, physically and emotionally, and, as the reader, we share that experience and then we return to the present moment.

  2. It definitely is important to pass down those family stories; and interesting about the plots and characters sometimes being tinkered with in the retelling.

  3. The flashback of the madeleine is just wonderful at the end.. I think I need a cup of tea to travel in time :-)

  4. Ah.. yes.. all the archetypes of human mind and body in balance
    shared.. as one race of humans from beginning to end..
    sparks of then and now come one in symbols
    or words from myths to science all
    one in now.. of human emotions
    reliving soul over and over
    again.. in spirit
    of living
    again and
    again.. with
    all as one.. the
    essence of all of this
    is real.. the symbols are
    just shells for the real of all
    inside.. insights of then as now..:)

  5. I like the strong first stanza but am confused by the flashback...did someone drown or just dunking pastry? or both?

    1. Marcel Proust wrote, as it ultimately happened, famously, in Remembrances of Things Past, of how, when he dunked his madeleine in the tea and ate it transported him back in time - flashback on all levels.

      Madeleines are small cakes - 'drowning' was my poetic licence and a reference to the fact that Proust in essence 'drowned' in the experienced, was pulled down and into it....

  6. Lost in a book, a drowning Madeline and your first poem are all very expressive and thoughtfully written.

  7. It's always interesting when you get together with family and old friends to hear how the details of tales told by each participant differ from the ones you remember and relate. I must admit, I always prefer mine--of course, they tell the true story.

  8. yes, it's important to know your roots... it's also cool + interesting to hear what fam was doing before you were born... smiles. The flashback at the end was the icing on the cake. Well done.

  9. I think you did this prompt wonderfully. I especially like the part of recounting stories from the past and handing them on to future generations to pass along as well.

  10. Intriguing, yes--I had a flash realization that there are some memories I deliberately don't open the doors to.

  11. In every retelling, a story becomes new again ~

    I was lost in the second part, I guess part of being adrift on ocean of memories and feelings ~

  12. I too enjoyed the Proust reference, although I'd have loved to see your own flashbacks as well as more general musing about the nature of memory. Good use of the dunking/drowing metaphor!