Thursday, October 04, 2007

Now I Lay me down to sleep....

I remember when it arrived. Trucked down from Tallahassee. My Great-Grandmother's bed. My Mom tucked it into the "poker room" and started stripping the blackened mahogany stain, grape jelly, off it's grain. I was enchanted with the wood grain that emerged. Patterns, telling stories, in the old plank. The headboard and the footboard are each one slice of mahogany, not pieced together, one slice of greatness. The Mother Tree. And it was mine.

Handed down from one eldest daughter to the next, to the next, to the next, to me.......I touched it and remembered my Nana under the cotton sheets telling me stories....."When Monk and I eloped...." I felt the magic then, of her barefeet peeling out from under the crisp sun-ironed covers, the heavy blanket tossed back breathlessly, and her panic, at the sound the sunday~suit~quilt thudding on the hand tied mattress might of made. He was at the window. Two floors up. Waving the diamond ring he had just won in a poker game. She left in her flannels.

My Mother. At Jacksonville beach. On the second floor with the lights out and the four mahogony legs centered in gallon cans of water. So the rats couldn't crawl up. Sleeping on the salt flavoured sheets with the ocean spraying kisses through the windows. The third generation of blonde haired girls to sleep here.

And now it was mine. I slept on it, in it, for years. Lounged backwards with the phone cord twined between my fingers painting my toenails up against the headboard. Stuck wads of gum on the siderails. Dreamed here.

When I inherited my blonde haired 7 year old daughter, we bought a waterbed with satin sheets, and moved it into her first bedroom. Draped the windows and it's soul in white eyelit and puffalumps and she grew up here. When she moved out and said " I want a queen sized bed" I understood. It was the same year, her Father and I divorced and we traded.

I sleep here again. One day, this ageless hammock will go to Kyle, my precious blonde haired grandaughter. Until then, she's mine again.

I prop my cast~footed leg up on two pillows piled at the footboard. Georgia takes the right side. She huffs and puffs and chases her tail in circles until she's just~so comfy and then settles in. Deja tiptoes on the pillows. Around my head. Kneading in my hair. The moon peeks in under the window shades. Casts shadows on my chest. Rising. Falling.

Ahhh, the stories this wooden princess could tell......

73 comments:

JR's Thumbprints said...

They certainly don't make furniture like they used to. Nowadays, folks by disposable crap from IKEA.

Max-e said...

It must be great to have a family tradition like passing on your bed - a constant reminder of those who came before you and who you loved. Memories and love.......what a nice combination.

By the way when is that cast coming off Singleton you seem to have had it on forever.

eric1313 said...

The wooden princess diaries...

Why haven't you wrote them yet?

I'm sure they're known by heart.

Glad to say hi. Just got in from Detroit--I threw the post together at a friends computer, and spent the last two days with partying a little with some of my old frineds, Talk to you soon, porch party extraveganza.

eric1313 said...

clink! tink!

Anonymous said...

Lol....stories, even you, haven't heard before! ;)

ILYSVMS!

SLB

singleton said...

JR...No, they don't. Everything is glued together, pressed together, mass produced. So really, there won't be too many family pieces to hand down like this in a few generations..... by the way, pardon my naiveness, but what is the IKEA?

Max-e....It really is cool. I wonder if the crafstman who so painstakenly carved this, sanded it, brought it to life, would have ever dreamed that she would see six generations and still be as strong and beautiful as she was under his fingertips. And as for this blasted concrete boot around my foot, it might make it to the next generation too! Nah, it's been 7 weeks, one or two to go! We're on the countdown now!

Eric....so glad you were on a party~run, can't beat friends and fun....laughter and stories! Still on a crazy rollercoaster here, I really don't know where this post came from, except I'm exhausted and the unmade sheets looked so inviting, even if sleep is fleeting! Porch parties were made for insomniacs, and yeah, we need to let the blue wine flow!

SLB...You know that! ILY2SSOM!

sandykessler said...

That is a rare beauty believe me - deja cute name picture please??

sandykessler said...

The galaxy photos come from Galaxy picture of the day mostly new star formations in ultra violet- so powerful and moving I feel.thanks for noticing

sandykessler said...

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap070719.html and she found the nasa website for you

karma lennon said...

Nice. I too have my grandmother's bed. It wasn't passed down through generations but I like it all the same. But I can't say I really have ever looked at it like you look at yours-possibly cause I never met my grandmother, I don't know. I like how you see yours.

JustRun said...

I love furniture with stories... and so many unknown ones, at that.

karoline said...

oh what a fabulous piece of art that is and it is so befitting you, singleton...just beautiful...

k:))

eric1313 said...

"let that blue wine flow..."

Sounds familiar...

And inviting! Lets rock and roll soon! Clink!

Bardouble29 said...

As always...I love the story teller you are. I missed you! I am so glad they finally got my internet hooked up today!

singleton said...

sandy...thank you for the link, I think those stellar beauties are phenomenal...and as for little Miss Deja Vue....she's a teeny Burmese? Siamese, my blue eyed hellion! In the company of Isadora Fontaine, every color in the feline rainbow~the girl with the swirl, and Tallulah Joe, a fine young tuxedoed fellow. I'll have to see if I can't get everyone together for a photo take! And Georgia, my love, is a ....ummmmmm....Dog! (But, she doesn't know it!)

karma....well mine is made up in memories( Thank goodness, because I never make it up otherwise!) Still you have a little tangible piece of your Grandma, where she dreamed, and probably still does.....

justrun....Me,too! and I can only imagine this one's history....from loves...to prayers, dreams, little ones jumping. She's seen it all!

karoline....TY, that's what it is, isn't it? Art? I'm still so amazed at the love I know went into crafting this one. The carving doesn't show up in the picture, but it's not glued on, it's actually carved from the tree trunk....and how old must this beauty have been before she fell and become a part of our lives?

Peace~love, my sweet friends....

singleton said...

Eric....with everything that's been going on, it would be river's deep,
blue and tidal
indigo and depthless
a blacklight
at the bottom
of a crystal
martini glass.....
Yup, we gotta Clink!

Bardouble....Yeah! So glad to see you sweetie, all settled into the new digs and plugged in? Yeah!

Scott from Oregon said...

As a wood guy, I find it implausable that that is a one piece mahogany head board. Not that I mind being told that, it's just that one piece of wood that wide will warp horriby almost guaranteed.

Mahogany has such a straight grain in places that glue joints disappear.

All that said, I love the bed. I adore the bed. I blew up the picture to have a better look at the bed.

What an awesome bed!

Enemy of the Republic said...

Your stuff is so good that I often can't think of a coherent comment. It just makes me want to know you. If I come down to where you live (I'll grab Spongy and anyone he wants to come along--what a road trip), will you drink a bottle of Woodland Reserve with us to honor the Baron?

The Electric Orchid Hunter said...

What a nice story! In our family we have an ancient harmonium, imported to South Africa many years ago from some German church. It gets handed down to every youngest daughter on the maternal side - and it still plays! The sound of a harmonium will always remind me of my mom and my grandmother...

singleton said...

scott....gee, I never thought about all that, warping and all, but I can tell you that my fingers and toes have traced the grain for years, that it's been stripped almost white, and clear stained back to it's original fireside hue.....and I have never ever found the first fracture, the first tell tale line in it's grain....it is one enormous pattern and I can't find the ending or the beginning...And maybe because it is such a huge slice of nature....You raised a great scientific question, so Haley and I have examined it....and yup, the legs, and bottom trim are planks, but the headboard and footboard, over 2 inches in thickness are endless grain....I dont know....but I believe in her bigness....And I believe in love, and peace, and all that wonderful hoo-hah!

enemy....Girl, I'll honor the Baron no matter what...I don't know Woodland Reserve from Coca Cola, but I'll toast to what I know...his sharing, his spirit, his reaching, his growing, his love....his presence...
And the circle,
May it be unbroken....
And Roadtrips are for taking.....
I'll meet you at the seawall...

Electric...Ok, I'm enchanted...I'm going to google harnomium....because I can only just imagine it...and from here, it sounds like a harp in the wind, and that would be an endless gift....And from what you've shared, it is....

Peace~love my friends.....

Justgivemepeace said...

its late
and the headboard
a forest
of rain
and towering oaks bending
making shadows in the hall
calls my name
whispers it
in sweet alias's
and I turn my head
my eyes
my wanton ways
and then
give in
exhausted
sleep is bubblegum
pink and
spent
and tasteless
in the morning

eric1313 said...

Some Place Nice to Rest
E1313

Now I lay me down to sleep,
but you hold me above the cold
and for that I offer you
my soul to keep one more night.

Knowing as I lay with you,
my beating heart of thunder
will be yours to see through
the cloak of living darkness
because I am blind this way, too.

And if the first light strikes
and dawn begins her rise,
without a shadow of my ghost
to see it one more time through,

Know that I died now fully awake,
and forever,
whenever
I shine in baby blues
it's for you that I burn
a candle flame
in heaven's morning glory

your heart-walls enshrining
the words you helped find
my eternal soul as always
your soul, a gift to take.

eric1313 said...

How did you know I was here?

Did you hear my inkpen scratching a mystery on the walls?

mindy said...

i still have some of my furniture from when i was a child.. it's repainted and now, it's my son's. i love keeping things like that around.

eric1313 said...

Have a great weekend. Saturdays are for the soul.

peace~love

eric1313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric1313 said...

They Call Her Old Painless
E1313

Something about a fire--
when it falls sprawling and low
and the heat rolls across it
in waves like the smoothest beaches
on the Earth produce,
and it pulls you in by the eyes.

Something about a fire--
lets me know that everything
will happen again, and again
as long as it never completely dies
and somehow this makes me feel
at peace with the dark night.

Something about a fire--
that a moth whispers
to the warm, promising glare,
and other loves
tragedies we'll never again have
this chance to know.

singleton said...

eric....it was late
and I didn't hear you, but I knew
and you knew
and so
we scribbled
knowing I'd you'd read it in the morning or the day after ...
and that's the way it is...
and was
and will be
because iknowyouknowiknow

mindy...isn't that the bomb? My children aren't nostalgic over things like that, but then again, neither was I....until I remembered....

Eric....
"tragedies we'll never again have
this chance to know"


"and some for the
small hours of harmony
and radiance,
for a shadowbox royale,
for red waters to run pure.

And thats how it is, fleeting, and small
and
huge
and wonderfully tragic...

eric1313 said...

Glad you're here.

eric1313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric1313 said...

The Dealer Smiles
E1313

The money was on the table,
nothing breathed, cards all down.

But I couldn't see a thing.

Because the dealer...

She had my eyes

My heart

Soul

Skin

Everything as on a string
tied around her metallic blue-tipped
little finger.

Soon I knew she had my hand.

Had it beat, too.

singleton said...

Eric...
blue tipped
blue lined
poker run

eric1313 said...

nothing's as wild
as the queen of hearts

except maybe
the queen of diamonds

eric1313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric1313 said...

...on her best Jack's
credit card boogieboard

singleton said...

LOL! I used Jack's credit card
to boogie board today!

eric1313 said...

ha!

Your the Queen of Souls. They don't have cards like that around.

But hey! When in Rome (and the Romans are paying!)

singleton said...

The queen of moodrings, catseye, opals might be wilder....
changing
with the light
the wind
the time of day
and the hand
she plays
shes worn on
she gambles from
but always
wearing
red lipstick
or not
and
the cutest little poker face

singleton said...

LOL! The Roman doesn't pay, but holds the bill for 30 days and then garnishes my wages! Still, I shopped on,
up and down the WD aisles
stocking up on Mics for me and Buds for the army
and Lays, you can't just have one,
and
helluva dip
tomatoes, lettuce and bottled water...

eric1313 said...

Her cards splayed like a fan
across her opine face

covering what you think is
is a smile

but she never lets you know that
until the final hands down

eric1313 said...

You keep your army well-stocked, now, you hear?

singleton said...

penny annie
they call
her
but they don't know her name

singleton said...

Ahhh, Eric....I am so exhausted.....They had the troops diggin trenches today...

eric1313 said...

penny annie
they call
her
but they don't know her name
until the chips are counted

red white blue white red

and her lips curl red fusion
whenever she says 'ante up, boys'.

eric1313 said...

Lets talk for a sec.

We get all out of whack, poem, talk poem, talk.

I'll wait for ya!

I hope the work on Gimmie Peace is almost over. Then a lot else starts, but it would be a comfort for you.

singleton said...

Hah! And she smiles
that pass the pickles~cheese~salami
tray
and
twirls her extra long cigarette
in the ashfull fluorescent
bowl
at her right
and sips beer
with wet lips
waiting to
count
the cards
and the empty pockets....

and push her red vinyl chair from the table
and dance
the distraction
before she has to fold

eric1313 said...

Penny Annie
Singleton, E1313

Penny Annie
they call
her
but they don't know her name
until the chips are counted,

Red white blue white red...

And her lips curl red fusion,
whenever she says 'ante up, boys'.

they melt like wax--
see them in puddles,
the boys running on the floor
with spilled paint faces
with swooning, drooling lears

Blue white red white blue...

It's nothing new,
and nothing shocking
and nothing ever matters--
Penny's in their eyes...

singleton said...

She folds
and its not a 2,7 9, joker,
but you don't know,
can't tell by her face,
her crooked smile
her brown eyes blued with Saturday
mascara
and so you wait
and when she rises, shifts,
scooches back
and
"pardon me, for just a moment"s....
you flip the cards over
quick
to see if she won by losing
or lost by winning
and
there
are the tarot cards
telling
a story you
don't have time to read
or even flip back over....

singleton said...

clink!

eric1313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric1313 said...

clink!

lets talk! Like the final product?

singleton said...

You Rock!
I raise you five!

eric1313 said...

Penny Annie
Singleton, E1313

Penny Annie
they call
her
but they don't know her name
until the chips are counted,

Red white blue white red...

And her lips curl red fusion,
whenever she says 'ante up, boys'.

they melt like wax--
see them in puddles,
the boys running on the floor
with spilled paint faces
with swooning, drooling lears

Blue white red white blue...

She twirls
her extra long cigarette
in the ashfull fluorescent bowl
at her right
and sips beer
with wet lips
red lips,
waiting
to count the cards
and empty the pockets....

Keep her luck and push
her red vinyl chair
from the table,
and dance
the distraction
before she has to fold.

It's nothing new,
and nothing shocking
and nothing ever matters
in heaven or on hell
when Penny's in their eyes...

eric1313 said...

you got it! I had to revise it a little tiny bit. Perfect!

Ting!

eric1313 said...

Penny Annie
Singleton, E1313

Penny Annie
they call
her
but they don't know her name
until the chips are counted,

Red white blue white red...

And her lips curl red fusion,
whenever she says 'ante up, boys'.

they melt like wax--
see them in puddles,
the boys running on the floor
with spilled paint faces
with swooning, drooling lears

Blue white red white blue...

She twirls
her extra long cigarette
in the ashfull fluorescent bowl
at her right
and sips beer
with wet lips
red lips,
waiting
to count the cards
and empty the pockets....

Red white blue white red...

She keeps her luck and pushes
her red vinyl chair
from the table,
and dances
the distraction
before she has to fold.

It's nothing new,
and nothing shocking
and nothing ever matters
in heaven or on hell
when Penny's in their eyes...

singleton said...

to her right...

"It's nothing new,
and nothing shocking"

Clink ya! The perfect fold...

eric1313 said...

Now it's perfect! I'm bad, huh?

Now maybe I can do something with the rest of this stuff...

You feelin' the love yet? Yoiu sounded sad earlier...

singleton said...

peace~love, my friend, children taller than me
home
for the week-end
to chat it up
catch it up
feel the love......

Soulful Saturdays.....

eric1313 said...

I hope you can find the peace.

Are they there with you know?

eric1313 said...

...you now?

now you know I know now

eric1313 said...

it's 11:11

do we know whwere our hippie is at?

Dohhh!

1t's 11:12...

singleton said...

Eric....Sorry! The power got knocked out, and it was dark for blocks and blocks
and into the wee hours...

Clink! Sunday's are for looking through......

savannah said...

lovely, sugar. i was smiling as i read.

singleton said...

Savannah....Thank you....Wishing us all smiles and peace

eric1313 said...

The power again? Those bastards! They really know how to shut you down...

Glad to see you feeling better through your words. When people write like me and you do, we can tell these things. It was beautiful to paint on the porch with you last night as it always is, no matter if it was only a short time.

I only hope you get as much art from it as I do. That's sharing the love.

clink!

singleton said...

Eric....And for once there was no lightening! It was just like wham!bam! the lights went out....everywhere....Of course, I thought it was because we plugged GimmePeace in yesterday....delayed reaction! Shut the whole town down! It was good though, quiet time with Haley home....and BTW....Penny Annie rocks....we'll have to play poker on the porch more often!
Peace~love~clinks~raise ya

eric1313 said...

clink! I knew it was good. That was some editing on the fly, for sure.

Glad your home and well. Clink me real time some time soon and we'll catch up on our scribbling.

Maithri said...

Gifted, Wonderful Lady,

Your writing sings to my soul,

'Deja tiptoes on the pillow' - Wow! Who writes like this?? Incredible.

Lots of love, M

singleton said...

Eric...Sometimes the best of times are on the fly! Reckless and mapless.....like freefalling with 99 cent cans of spraypaint through the sky!

Maithri...TY sweetie, but the credits go to the world around me....Deja really does tiptoe on the pillows! puffy white feather filled clouds......Just her size!

Peace~love boys

SpongyBones said...

Hippie Woman, amazing that you see the small joys in life and that you pass them down. Life is full of things that are often forgotten. Glad your grandaughter will have a memory to hang on to later.

singleton said...

Spongy...I hope she has a million! And her life is often full of things often remembered! It's funny, we zoom through life on fast forward and then wake up one day...and rewind....slow motion...ticker tape....and then we find bigness in the small things, the little joys....and discover that the best of times are never the most extravagant, the most expensive, the whirlwind cruise around the world we've always waited on....they're the simple things, the ones that spell love, make laughter, grafitti memories in our soul...

Peace~love my friend, and laughter.....memories in the making!

Maithri said...

'The bigness in small things'

Just wanted you to know I appreciate the bigness in all that you write on these pages.

Your presence is a gift.

Love, M

singleton said...

Maithri.....
These last few weeks have brought those words to larger than life in my little world....And thanks to souls like you, and the army in my backyard, my precious sibs, I am constantly reminded what gifts really are.

Peace~love my friend and thank you...for sharing, for being.....