4622 Castle Crest Drive


Photo Credit: jeunited.comI found an actual photo of the house my grandfather built on Google! I lived there till age 7.

Photo Credit: jeunited.com
I found an actual photo of the house my grandfather built on Google! I lived there till age 7.

4622 Castle Crest Drive–dVerse Open Link Night and Meeting the Bar

She rules—pristine white, glorious
as a crown on the skull of the hill.
Alone, inviolate. The stuff of which
childhood myths are made.

And I wove those stories, weave them still,
envisioning dry days of California summer,
days steeped, like my first glass of iced tea,
in sunshine, scrub brush, and scents of citrus.

Geranium blooms, red and slightly pungent
grow wild among yuccas that, most years, burst
into white blossoms on March 19th, St. Joseph’s day.
Predictable as the swallows coming home.

Eucalyptus trees surround my fortress,
stanchions holding the house and our lives
erect, until the day the fires trundle up
the ridge, and they erupt in rapture.

The room where I wake—beneath the crest—
Is the home of an almost-stranger—a man
who wears a sheet each year on Halloween as
Grandpa takes me door-to-door in his neighborhood

that cradles the base of my princess-world.
It’s different now, sixty-some years later. They’re
dead, the ghost and my dreams of royalty.
And someone painted my castle black.

I’m linking this to both dVerse Open Link Night and the Meeting the Bar I will be hosting this Thursday, February 7th. While dealing with computer issues and upgrades, I’ve made the difficult decision to cut back on the number of posts I do each week, as my priority right now is to get my second novel and a book of poetry out to agents. I will continue to be hanging around the Pub, but will post any prompt I respond to on OLN.

Here’s a hint for Thursday…dig back into those childhood memories and savor the details.

Advertisements

54 thoughts on “4622 Castle Crest Drive

  1. vbholmes says:

    I like the way you’ve worked the address of your Grandfather’s house into your poem and used Castle and Crest as the base for your memories.

    Like

  2. Wyeth Bailey says:

    Oh, this is lovely. Melancholy but with an edge. The “painted black” line snapped me right back to reality, present time, the inevitability of change and the truth that the future is all out of our hands. The sensory descriptions took me back, then the silent figure of your grandfather. Then back to the house painted black. It’s like waking from a sweet dream. Very well done. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Like

  3. Kelvin S.M. says:

    …ah…that was haunting to reminisce… places and old houses were all best source of memories that chills and sometimes give uneasy feel of calling from the past… very fine offering ma’am… i like the references to geraniums, eucalyptus, yuccas…and the images in crown on the skull, dreams of… royalty & painted castle black..smiles…

    Like

  4. Renee Espriu says:

    A child so views their world in only a way that their imagination would let them. Funny how when we are adults it is difficult to bring back those moments when the world we saw was one only our eyes could see.

    Like

  5. The homes we grow up in as children always seem so big and impressive, perhaps to hold the many memories that were born in them. Familiar places remain the same but our perspective changes over time. I love the imagery “a crown on the skull of the hill.” Lovely.

    Like

  6. Very sweet poetry and most princesses never become royalties and we all realize that it’s not fun to be one either…. 🙂 thank you.

    Like

  7. Jamie Dedes says:

    I am taken with this: engaging memory, the bittersweetness of finding the house on google, the opening line (she rules!), and closing with the ghosts and princess gone the wind of time. Nicely done and enjoyed your presentation on d’Verse, Victoria. Nice to see you online for a second and hope the writing is going well. Thinking of you.

    Like

  8. tigerbrite says:

    How wonderful to be a princess, if only for childhood 🙂

    Like

  9. Awesome write, Victoria! I absolutely love that last line!!

    Like

  10. David King says:

    This is one powerful image. The experience/s that lie behind this poem must have been quite extraordinary. Many thanks for this and for the prompt.

    Like

  11. Sabio Lantz says:

    Amazing dig to find to pic — and fantastic shot to compliment the poem.

    Fun tour of fine memories, now mere ghosts.
    And this non-Catholic got to read up on March 19th: a day of abstinence (meatless dishes) — who’d guess a fava bean could be such a blessing. A day of red clothing, when swallows return — as they did in your poem. Returning with a certainty that life does not offer.

    Fun prompt.

    Like

  12. lucychili says:

    places are such strong memories, it is strange to return to changes

    Like

  13. All those memories are so precious…the ending struck me so hard. My grandparents and my parents are now gone. Our childhood caste was sold last year. Beautiful piece!

    Like

  14. ninotaziz says:

    What a lovely lovely memory to anchor your childhood to. Once in a while, I would make my husband drive me to catch a glimpse of the houses I used to stay in, and I would share my memories and childhood stories with him. It was different for him as he stayed in the same house until he was 17!

    Like

  15. wolfsrosebud says:

    love how you’re weaving them still

    Like

  16. Oh I absolutely love the final stanza and the last line. Like a punch to all princesses 😦

    Like

  17. The ending of your poem was thought-proving. I love the way you describe the child home.You have good detials memories .

    Like

  18. ManicDdaily says:

    Princess world can be a very good way of putting it. Good luck with your novel and poems. I have been meaning to cut back, but I’m so busy with my other work I don’t know that I can focus on big project. Agh. k.

    Like

  19. kkkkaty1 says:

    such an evocative and detailed set of memories surrounding the ‘castle’…I loved reading this//as well as the one of the pepper tree and going to ‘Stewie’s’ to play…too sweet for words..

    Like

  20. a wonderful journey, so beautifully written, was a joy to read.

    Like

  21. shanyns says:

    What a great trip, thanks for sharing!

    Like

  22. nico says:

    Wonderful, wonderful. The details are excellent, sensual, letting us fully experience this memory. On a side note, I also enjoyed the poem you left us in your article–I had been working a while back on a childhood memory type poem, and had the line “Perched high in a welcoming oak” as my first line. Your first line gave me the reminder and impetus to finish it up!

    Like

  23. Tony says:

    I had a peripatetic childhood – the result of a military father and the perceived security needs of our nation. The downside of this is there is no single place that I can think of as my childhood home. The upside is that I can’t have memories like this one to write about.

    Like

  24. Glenn Buttkus says:

    A gypsy childhood had I, 10 moves in elementary school; had to grow up to begin to build nests, and pass years in one domicile. Love the spell you weave, the memories you share.

    Like

  25. i love the sad ending “It’s different now, sixty-some years later. They’re
    dead, the ghost and my dreams of royalty.
    And someone painted my castle black.” Memories always change color as times goes by…

    Like

  26. Raivenne says:

    “And someone painted my castle black.”

    Such a simple line, but wow does it pack a wallop. At first I took the black to mean the fire that destroyed the home, but as it plays in my mind the saying “you can never go home again.” is truly evocative here. The physical house is still there, but it’s not what made it your home anymore. Either way the loss is palpable. Beautifully told.

    Like

  27. Tino says:

    You paint a vivid picture with your words, that certainly outshine any photograph of the old place.

    Like

  28. hypercryptical says:

    Love the story of your castle and how well you remember.

    We moved around a lot during my childhood and I only have vague memories of the first three homes – from the fourth I remember.

    Anna :o]

    Like

  29. anl4 says:

    This is really nice, you nailed it for sure! I was there….

    Like

  30. joanna says:

    what a beautiful memory to have of your childhood! great images.

    Like

  31. i enjoyed the journey of your experience.. well done

    Like

  32. vivinfrance says:

    When a real poet writes like this, other poets gasp and say Hooray for another real poem.

    Like

  33. dani says:

    how amazing to find the photo on google! sounds like you have some wonderful memories from when you lived there!

    good luck with your books!

    Like

  34. My grandfather’s house just got sold last month, after being in the family for 75 years…different building, same feeling…can so relate!

    Like

  35. great write Victoria. Love the visual imagery, the nostalgia and reflection. Awesome bookend stanzas as well. Thanks

    Like

  36. Poet Laundry says:

    A gorgeous read Victoria. Layered and wonderful.

    Like

  37. claudia says:

    oh dang that close with someone painting your castle black made me swallow…such lovely childhood memories and such a fairy tale house to live in… reminded me a bit of my grandma’s house in bavaria..

    Like

  38. WabiSabi says:

    Such a poignant story reminiscent of all our childhood fantasies … a castle indeed! I was saddened by the ending though…painted black! Thank goodness you have good memories of your (white)castle!

    Like

  39. Susan says:

    “And I wove those stories, weave them still,
    envisioning dry days of California summer,
    days steeped, like my first glass of iced tea,
    in sunshine, scrub brush, and scents of citrus.”
    I love the iced tea/summer comparison–my 5 years in Berkeley were exactly that. and now: Painted black! What stories will that evoke? I love that your Grandfather actually built the house. Mine didn’t build the house I most remember, but it was built in 1901, the year my Grandmother was born. Thank you for the poem. I look forward to Thursday.

    (In your comment, you have a great idea of how to cut back and still take part that I may borrow for myself as my goals shift for the 2nd year of retirement.”

    Like

  40. I so enjoyed the tour of your childhood haunt. I am heading to California tomorrow to see my mom for a few days. This is quite timely for me.

    Like

  41. heidi says:

    Very nice poem. The last lines made me feel that sense of indignant violation that comes when someone else is living in a house that will always be “yours”. It’s one of those uncomfortable, very human feelings that can trap you in remorse or help you appreciate what you have. You did an excellent job evoking that complex feeling in me with this poem. Good luck with the new works and thank you for your very kind post to me earlier.

    Like

  42. jmgoyder says:

    Whammo poem with a huge kick of an ending.

    Like

  43. The last verse hit me on the belly Victoria ~ The details of your childhood memories are rich with details ~ Good luck on your writing ~

    Like

  44. Mary says:

    I read your poem over a few times, Victoria, getting into your childhood memories. And I know what you mean about weaving stories. We all wove them, I think. And all girls had their princess worlds. The black castle struck me too. Glad you explained where that idea came from. But eventually we all find out there are no fairy tale lives, one way or another.

    Like

  45. This is wonderful. I especially like how you ended this. Quite the punch.

    Like

  46. janehewey says:

    ah, this is just luscious gorgeous with tidbits of childhood. I like the skull, ghost, white, the feeling of being gone and not forgotten. wonderful.

    Like

  47. Laurie Kolp says:

    Sweet memories will never be painted black… this is so touching, Victoria. I especially like:

    Eucalyptus trees surround my fortress,
    stanchions holding the house and our lives
    erect, until the day the fires trundle up
    the ridge, and they erupt in rapture.

    Like

  48. I fantasize regularly about going back to the house I grew up in. Funny how a childhood house gets into our bones. I choose to live in an old house because new ones seem to have no soul.

    Like

  49. brian miller says:

    the painting of the castle black in the end is so evocative…there is a certain romanticizing that happens with our childhood homes…mine was my grandmothers home…i would move there now if i could though i know it would not be the same….

    Like

  50. zongrik says:

    i love how you turn your childhood home into a castle. it is very gorgeous! what a place to grow up.

    epideictic rhetoric

    Like

Your comment and feedback are important to me. Thank you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s