Friday, January 25, 2008

Where I'm From

(after the George Ella Lyons poem , and others. Nice one to try.)

I’m from Marmite sandwiches, orange wedges, bratkartoffel,
sauerkraut, and eat up everything that’s on the plate.

I’m from one country to another,
Lederhosen and white organza dresses, pink and yellow is for girls,
why do you speak funny and where’s your dad.

I’m from skipping, if you miss a loop you’re out,
from dippi dippidation my operation, how many people at the station,
red is for danger and out goes you

I'm from laterne laterne, sonne, mond und sterne,
our Father which art in heaven.

I’m from ten du Maurier tipped in the flat red box,
lipstick on the stubs and burns on my fingers,
sixpence in my pocket to buy pink sherbet and a raspberry chew.

I’m from Bunty and Mandy, The Four Marys and The Silent Three,
Fifth Form at Mallory Towers and Alma,
who stole the sugar biscuits from a tuck box.

I’m from Grimm’s Fairy tales: Goldmary and Pitchmary, the apple tree calling
Shake me, oh shake me, my apples are all ready,
from Thousandfurs, three wishes and a cloth that’s covered with meat and drink
whenever you say the word.

I’m from waiting for my father to take me skating at Queen’s,
blisters on my ankles, a Wimpy and a strawberry milkshake after,
Battersea funfair, six shillings in my pocket to spend on rides.
I am from always missing him.

I’m from Petticoat and Panstick,
hiding in changing rooms on netball days
and losing your virginity to Tampax.

I am from the Christmas crib, an angel
suspended by elastic from the stable top,
Joseph and Mary looking down,
Jesus on a manger, naked,
a golden ring around his head,
and a donkey who stands and waits
and sees everything.


Kahless said...

I really enjoyed reading this Signs. And bought back a few memories for me.

I loved reading the Mallory Towers and St Clares books.

I HATED netball and you dont see Wimpy around these days. Unless you do still have them down sowfth.

Reading the Signs said...

Hi Kahless,

We do have Wimpy here, haven't been there for years though.

Yes, Mallory Towers and St Clares - I don't think they exist any more. They're another planet now, really.

R.H. said...

I'm from Vegemite. And eat up everything on your plate, that's right.

And a pink sherbet and a raspberry chew.

(these foolish things remind me of you)

And why is raspberry spelt like that.

Reading the Signs said...

It's a funny thing, R.H., but until the other day I just never thought about it - the spelling of raspberry, I mean. And now this is the third time in a few days it has been brought to my attention. But of course I have no idea.

Vegemite - tried it once. Very nice but when you've been brought up on Marmite nothing else will do.

seahorse said...

I loved this. Really loved it. Very evocative.

Reading the Signs said...

Thank you very much, Seahorse.

I have just looked at it again and realise how much stuff there is about food!

And how there's nothing about Sergeant Pepper, The Doors, Terrible Ten, Thunderbirds and Narnia.

And all the pop songs. Yes, could do a whole list based on those alone.

Unknown said...

This was brilliant signs - I so enjoyed reading it - loved the flow of the words and the imagery conjured.

I do just wonder about one thing - are we from the same place? There are an awful lot of similarites from the lederhosen to Mallory Towers.


Reading the Signs said...

Vanilla, you had Lederhosen too (and cropped hair)? And you stood in the middle of a tarmac playground peopled by nice little girls in dresses and white socks who thought you might be a German spy? Welcome to my world!

Unknown said...

Cropped hair and a dirndl, actually.

Reading the Signs said...

So an extra-terrestrial, then? Oh, shit!

Unknown said...

You think? ;-)
I'm now having visions of alien chickens wearing little skirt and top outfits embroidered with flowers and covered by little white aprons...
It's bloody scary!