The Shrill

The Shrill

A Poem by R.E. Ray

The Shrill


Back then, middle school started in late August.

We dreaded the six-hour wood chairs, the shriek

Of her chalk,

His monochromatic lectures, Midwest humidity,

Mathematics and chemistry.

 

The gifted kid smelled of his mother’s fragrance,

Ginger-mint gum and Monopoly money;

The dumb kids, onions and factory cigarettes.

I was invisible and odorless,

 

Like some of those Latin-lettered metals and gases,

A purple hopscotch-grid cranked out

On ditto paper,

Aniline-stamped white we held up to the light

To fan-dry, get high,

 

Skip the monotony of periods counting money

We didn’t possess, mixing up cocktails

We couldn’t differentiate or drink.

Now I think of kindergarten, my backyard art:

 

Sulfuric matches, the aroma of melted Crayons,

The multichromatic pancakes they became, indivisible

Concoctions on indigo porcelain that I,

An elementary schoolboy of six, thought beautiful,

 

The ephemeral blaze, the singed wrappers,

The billions of colors, the shrill

Of my digits, my brand-new Chuck Taylor’s

Trekking a lost generation’s chalk dust.

© 2020 R.E. Ray


Author's Note

R.E. Ray
Image taken from https://www.allsole.com/blog/style/a-buyers-guide-to-converse-fit-care-and-style/.

My Review

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Featured Review


I am feeling somewhat smugly satisfied with myself for stumbling across this stroke of poetic genius and all before me breakfast porridge this fine new day... a treat for each of the senses and a nostalgic trip back in time ... You certainly have a unique style my friend and one I very much admire.. write on.

Posted 1 Week Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

R.E. Ray

6 Days Ago

Well, I'll take that review any day, Neville, smug or not. As always, I appreciate you spending you.. read more
Neville

5 Days Ago


welcome sir, you are...



Reviews

Wow. Such vivid descriptions. Can really envision the world as you lived it.
There’s a certain sadness to the piece. You are able to describe all these things so brilliantly from my memory but describe yourself as invisible and odorless. It’s a sad recollection but one I can relate to

Posted 1 Day Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

R.E. Ray

1 Day Ago

Thanks so much, Dennis. I think many of us can recall vivid details of childhood memories, but forg.. read more
Oh dear! it's like I was sitting on the back seat witnessing your first day at school. I felt it all; the scents, touches and moods. This "I was invisible and odorless," touched me so deep. We sometimes think we are invisible, but we there is always someone studying our moves; it sounds creepy though haha. I liked this poem so much it brought back so many memories. I used to like the smell of books and the wooden pencils. Thank you for sharing.

Posted 3 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

R.E. Ray

3 Days Ago

Thank you for another kind review. I obviously have vivid memories of that time. So good to read y.. read more
This is an excellent piece of writing Robert that stirs the senses of taste, touch, sight and smell. Quite a trip you took us readers on. Great imagery and the story line conveyed so well. My mind wandered to my own school days, particularly the chemistry lab which had to be evacuated because of fire or gases. Yes, grammar school and kids experimenting. Really enjoyed the read. Thank you.

Chris

Posted 4 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

R.E. Ray

4 Days Ago

Thank you, Chris. Yes, some of those images came from fourth or fifth grade, a few later. I don't .. read more
Christine Anne Shaw

4 Days Ago

It was enjoyable to read and I hope your health is improving.
dearest R.E. I am mesmerized by your poetry. I must write this poem in my Journal. It is Special. I went to a private religious school
(Protestant); however your poem “rings a bell”
remembering how much we enjoyed the Artistic Flair of every subject. The fifties 1950 thru 1958 was different from today. I have been to a few Class Reunions and at the last one in 2019 ... as we were planning to leave the Restaurant where each large table had a “Lazy Susan” with dishes to share (Oriental food). Our Class President said, “This will be our last Reunion,
because of our Age”. Well for me... my
Life will continue on in a very flamboyant manner... reading poems and posting some myself. It is a whole new life full of learning and sharing. We will have our Reunion in the
endless sky of possibilities. tenderly, Pat

Posted 4 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

R.E. Ray

4 Days Ago

Pat, I appreciate your always thoughtful and personal review. I recall so many images, words, and p.. read more
Wow, you took me on a magic carpet ride through a time tunnel, R.E. The sights, sounds, smells of our childhoods. My son might have known some of them, but not my grandchildren. Life was so simple for us back then. If only we could stay in that sort of Utopia forever. Great write. Lydi***

Posted 4 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

R.E. Ray

4 Days Ago

Thank you, Lydia. I appreciate your kind remarks. It seems Utopia slips away with each birthday. .. read more
Hi, R.E.,

It isn't so much every nuance of each moment, happening, feeling, and thought you've so faithfully mentioned that found my envious bent, but, rather, the uniquely original methodology of "how" you brought it all back to life upon the page.
And, I thought, "What a shame those too young or removed from such youthfully innocent wonderments will not be able to fully appreciate and understand just how fine (and refined) a work this Free Verse piece actually is."
Love the Converse high-tops and title, too … perfect choices.

Skillfully rendered, with most excellent imagery, syntax, and diction highlighting your keenly entertaining, poetic voice.
Kudos to ya, Poet, with a most sincere thanks for the magical revisit to me callow days o'yore! ⁓ Richard 🍃

Posted 5 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Richard 🍃

5 Days Ago

Mimeograph paper was one of my earliest highs. 🙃
Richard 🍃

5 Days Ago

Thank you for the personal compliment, My Friend … so very nice of you. 😌
R.E. Ray

5 Days Ago

You're welcome. Earned and well deserved, sir.

I am feeling somewhat smugly satisfied with myself for stumbling across this stroke of poetic genius and all before me breakfast porridge this fine new day... a treat for each of the senses and a nostalgic trip back in time ... You certainly have a unique style my friend and one I very much admire.. write on.

Posted 1 Week Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

R.E. Ray

6 Days Ago

Well, I'll take that review any day, Neville, smug or not. As always, I appreciate you spending you.. read more
Neville

5 Days Ago


welcome sir, you are...
A storm of colorful imagery.
This sounds like a lot more education than is offered in many colleges, these days.
Marx, contrived history and true racism appear to be most of the agenda.
Amazing creation, poet!


Posted 1 Week Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

R.E. Ray

1 Week Ago

Thanks very much, Jimmy, and for being the first to review this one.

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308 Views
9 Reviews
Rating
Added on July 1, 2020
Last Updated on July 1, 2020
Tags: school, history, class, money, chemistry, mathematics, chalk, shrill, shriek, ditto paper, purple, black, white, poem, poetry, free verse, freestyle, RERay


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