Making Scents of Memories


Today for dVerse Poetics, Grace invites us to “drizzle your poems with fragrances.” I find this my most favorite sense to slip into both prose and poetry because it so easily accesses memories. I took you back to my childhood in the late 40’s and 50’s and just a few sensory related memories. I grew up in my earliest years in the foothills of L.A, in the home of my grandparents until my widowed mother remarried when I was seven. That is the setting for this poem.

Photo: araspot.com

Photo: araspot.com

Making Scents of Memories
i.
Mama melts blue cubes
in cold, then boiling water.
Clean, fresh smells erupt,
linger on my Sunday dress,
on starched crinoline petticoats.

ii.
I hide in branches of my pepper tree,
crinkle its leaves,
breathe in its pungent aroma,
taste secrets.

iii.
Mama smells like roses—
Grandma’s funeral,
like gardenia and cigarettes.

iv.
Incense—inhale the Sacred.
Clouds billow,
wisps snake around blessed candles
in dark, consecrated vaults.

v.
Fear—our hills are aflame–
acrid smoke from eucalyptus torches
and burning brush.
Grandpa carries me off the mountain
to Aunt Mary’s.

vi.
When my widowed Mama remarries,
I weep goodbyes.
Lilies of the valley wave
fragrant farewells.

Please join us and invite your poet friends.

Advertisements

23 thoughts on “Making Scents of Memories

  1. Lovely and bittersweet memories.

    Like

  2. All the memories will keep floating by when whiffs of same rekindle the senses!

    Hank

    Like

  3. Sherry Marr says:

    Such beautifully evocative memories, and scents.

    Like

  4. Mish says:

    So much more between the lines and yet, you have shared your nostalgia and emotions. The scents you have used really bring each significant event to life for the reader.

    Like

  5. C.C. says:

    So poignant….the tasting of secrets and weeping goodbyes. Wow.

    Like

  6. Sue Anderson says:

    Poignant and lovely. Thanks.

    Like

  7. I could smell each one. I really enjoyed the concise form–you crafted so much in each snippet.

    Like

  8. When the family gets together and reminisces about home and mom, the invariably come to the scents and aromas she had a hand in. Today with cousins, we compared notes and shared memories. They all smelled pretty good to me (and I have no sense of smell!) Thank you, Victoria!

    Like

  9. maria says:

    A poem that chronicles the past. Thanks for sharing the scents of your memories with us here… 🙂

    Like

  10. Bryan Ens says:

    That last stanza really got me…the joy of being back with your mother must have been bitter-sweet as you left your grandparents’ home.

    Like

  11. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    Such eloquent verse, Victoria. Each poem is in itself a beautiful and emotive tale ❤

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

    Like

  12. I love the image that you produced with such beautiful use of words. Well done!

    Like

  13. Each poem a story in itself, together a complete story. Each a scent in itself. Wonderful Victoria.

    Like

  14. Victoria, your perfumed miscellany drew tears – your memories, so vivid and emotional. Incense fasting tended to make me dizzy!

    Like

  15. this was both bitter but, completely lovely,Victoria

    Like

  16. Michael says:

    Lovely Victoria such memories and such fragrances that connect them.

    Like

  17. What a sweet set of memories, though those burning eucalyptus made me a little sad.

    Like

  18. Clever title! And the memories are beautiful.

    Like

  19. Grace says:

    I admire how each part is a complete sensory delight Victoria. I remember wearing those starched dresses myself, and I love the smell of that pepper tree. That part of the hills flaming up is scary to me as well.

    Take care Victoria and keep cool.

    Like

  20. Linda says:

    Sad and sweet. I love that crinoline petticoat, and then the crinkled leaves. Wonderful poetry as always, Victoria!

    Like

  21. jillys2016 says:

    Verbs, wonderous verbs! I LOVE this poem. Each aroma is clear and vivid.

    Like

  22. kanzensakura says:

    This is wonderful. I just adore/love how you separated each into separate memories. Each one of these memories are poignant and redolent of that time in your life: bluing, cigarettes, wild fires,incense – all of them a look into your past, a look into you. I love all of these and cannot pick out a favorite. These are all amazing.

    Like

  23. Charley says:

    What a beautiful variation — to call it a “list” poem is to do it injustice. Strong imagery (scents and otherwise), carefully culled. Great job!

    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