Sunday, April 11, 2021

Lavender Street, early 60's

The name is a misnomer.

pencil sketch by dsnake1

Lavender Street
early 60's

i have no idea where the bus
ends its jouney this side of town
but i know the other end because
it leads me to my school
but every morning in the pre dawn
my father would accompany me
cross the road and wait at the bus stop
for the number 11 bus to arrive.

this is not a reputable piece of town
known for its knife fights and such
so my dad tags along for he is stocky
and muscular so no one would want
to mess with me or the tank,
but he lets me carry my heavy school bag.
i suppose he keeps his hands free,
you know, just in case.

we wait in the semi darkness of the bus shelter
sometimes he lights a cigarette
maybe it is the long wait,
or the wind was right that morning
blowing the smell of decaying logs
from the sawmills and clogged rivers
just behind the rust-eaten metal bus stop.

i would not be thinking of school

i would be thinking about the temple just down the road
a temple with an idol of a wooden horse, life size,
black with soot from the daily incense
its body and neck plastered thick with gold paper
i wonder what the devotees were praying for.

and the bus would come, clunking, wheezing.
my dad would bundle me up the thing
leave without a word or a wave
as he prepares for his work day
and the first sun rays of the day
bursting over the tanks of the gasworks
lights the town with fingers of gold.

written 06/01/2015
revised 27/05/2019

U2 - Where The Streets Have No Name

Β© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2021

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Blogger scotthastiepoet said...

What a strong and beautiful written memory - this is life, my friend - Thanks for the music vid too... I had forgotten all about that clip - just loke your writing, very energising.

11 April, 2021 22:42  
Blogger Gillena Cox said...

My bus companion in my high school days was my dog Shane
Happy you dropped by my blog today Cheong Lee san


11 April, 2021 23:03  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


Thank you! πŸ˜€
Your poem at your site is so inspiring.
U2 is one of my favourite bands.


Thank you!
It must have been a wonderful bodyguard. πŸ˜ƒ

11 April, 2021 23:12  
Blogger Magaly Guerrero said...

I was there the whole time, in the chill, in the dark, thinking about school... and feeling blessed and surprised by that ending warm and gold with light.

12 April, 2021 00:57  
Blogger Helen said...

The sketch and poem are things of beauty ......

12 April, 2021 01:18  
Blogger Lisa said...

That's beautiful.

12 April, 2021 01:56  
Anonymous Namratha Varadharajan said...

I loved the story in that. The picture was painted clearly, in beautiful detail, through your words

12 April, 2021 02:45  
Blogger indybev said...

What a lovely capture of a childhood memory. Bravo

12 April, 2021 04:25  
Blogger Rommy said...

I've found a well-stocked bookbag makes a semi-decent weapon when the situation called for it. But it is a very touching piece about how we express love without saying the words.

12 April, 2021 06:58  
Blogger Old Egg said...

I am sure we all have tales of our childhood similar to this. It is good to write about them as ones own children should learn about our lives too to keep i their memories.

12 April, 2021 10:04  
Blogger Marja said...

I really enjoyed this beautiful narrative poem with great descriptions

12 April, 2021 11:27  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Wonderfully vivid and detailed memory; brilliant poem of place (and also time).

12 April, 2021 15:03  
Blogger Priscilla King said...

The joys of watching the sun come up through a school bus window! And the way kids who had nobody to wait for the bus with them used to try to make those who had feel that it was "babyish" to have parents or other family members walk to or from the bus with us...Some things seem to have been the same, worldwide.

12 April, 2021 19:59  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


Thank you!
Yes, i like the ending too. It speaks of optimism in a dark place. πŸ˜ƒ


Thank you!
glad you liked the sketch. πŸ˜ƒ


Thank you! πŸ˜€

12 April, 2021 20:51  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


Thank you! πŸ˜€


Thank you! πŸ˜€


Thank you!
Yes, a well-stocked bookbag makes for a semi-decent weapon in a situation. πŸ˜„

12 April, 2021 21:31  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


That's right. Some of those childhood memories are still very vivid, and i have written quite a lot about those times. i am not too sure about today's children wanting to learn about our lives, but i could be wrong. πŸ˜€


Thank you! πŸ˜€


Thank you!
ah, also time. πŸ˜€

12 April, 2021 21:43  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


Indeed, the joys of watching the sun come up through a school bus window. And also the scenes of the town as it goes along its route.
i think it's all right to have a parent wait for the bus with a child. it is still happening, and yes, probably worldwide.
Thank you for the visit. :)

12 April, 2021 22:06  
Blogger colleen said...

This gives me a chill ... in a good way. The memories touch me and transport me. It engaged so many of my senses.

12 April, 2021 22:52  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Colleen! :)

13 April, 2021 21:28  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

A pleasure to re-read, too!

08 January, 2023 22:19  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you Rosemary!
Sometimes I reread my old poems, and I would say "that's not bad" or "bugger, i really wrote this?" :)

08 January, 2023 23:43  

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