"Life is the dancer and you are the dance."
Eckhart Tolle

Saturday, April 16, 2011

"A New Life" NaPoWriMo #16-Napo Old Photo Prompt #12

 By Dorothea Lange

Voices through the dust clog senses as
nine little devils dance round your room
bringing you drought
Go to the plow they’re hanging about …

A dream was waiting, Old Sunny Cal is calling
“The Mother Road’s” anticipation singing her tune
San Joaquin Valley is a belly of refugees
working the land hard …
harvesting cotton,
lemons, oranges,
a transient life, moving
Flyers declared abundance
Reality’s prejudice, abuse, deplorable conditions …
like grime under your nails it wouldn’t come clean
While you slept in Ditchbank camps,
sadness bled into bones;
the sun was no refuge for pain
Your child’s cry from hunger became creases in your face …
chimera behind those eyes


  1. Pamela, this is a poem quite above the norm. Beautifully written. The lines `Reality’s prejudice, abuse, deplorable conditions …
    like grime under your nails it wouldn’t come clean`
    are penetrating and memorable.

  2. Abbreviated poetic version of Grapes of Wrath!

  3. You paint a stark picture of abject poverty.

  4. This is powerful with great imagery, expressing the feelings of poverty perfectly.

  5. Important, passionate piece, Pamela. "Sadness bled into bones" is a powerful line.

  6. Some sad images here, very gripping indeed.

  7. chimera behind those eyes

    Tell their own story...

  8. Pamela, powerful writing here. What you leave unsaid in "Flyers declared abundance" really hits me in the gut when compared to the reality you describe just after. You capture the time well, and the timelessness of those situations.

  9. As others have said, this is a powerful piece. The line, "Your child’s cry from hunger became creases in your face …" tears at the heart. Excellent!

  10. Thanks Viv, for such a nice comment.

  11. The book, the movie, it portrays it well.
    Thanks iself.

  12. It is a sad part of our history, Anthony.

  13. Thanks for the wonderful comment, Mr. Walker.

  14. This is so good! You've captured the whole 'The grass is greener thing' and the poverty and the prejudice and the exploitation...

  15. Although I pretty much love everything you have been doing, this one is incomparable. Yet it retains that Pamela voice I have come to expect. You find the important details and then seemingly without effort, stictch them together in a flow that often astounds me.Great piece of writing, Pamela,


  16. A penetrating and compassionate piece. I particularly appreciated the last two lines.

  17. What a wonderful poem.

  18. Pamela, all of these are amazing. I'm commenting on all at once cause that's how I read them. How do you do it every day? Each on is a jewel.
    I'm going for the 30 on another site, but I'm struggling just to get the words down.