Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Wishbone Moments

image borrowed from psychcentral.com

Wishbone Moments

“Crap in one hand, & wish in the other--then
note the results.”-- Earl Carpenter (my grandfather).

At ten, I sat on a puncheon bench
    in Lincoln Park, staring west out into
            Puget Sound at those forested islands
                  in the stream, with the majestic Olympics
                           as backdrop, & I wished for success as a 
                  writer, in order to afford a wonderful cabin out
             there somewhere in those emerald isles,
my future creative refuge,
my fortress of solitude.

                                  At thirteen, girls were no longer just a
                   shrill nuisance as they became mysterious
             and fascinating creatures. I really wished
      the one of them, preferably a buxom blond,
would become interested in me, with
my newly developing musculature
& blossoming intellect.

At seventeen, I wistfully wished that my family
had been wealthier, rather than just another
                upper lower class blue collar statistic, so that for
                crying out loud I could drive something newer than
a rust bucket jalopy with bald tires & collective 
dents, and that perhaps I could actually attend
           the senior prom--the flowers, limo, & restaurant;
           but alas, I survived intact without fulfilling my
           youthful fantasies.

There was no way my family could afford to help me go to
college, so at twenty, with student loans, I started college on
my own. I graduated first in my class from community 
college, but sadly I wished that my mother had not been
dying of cancer, as she bravely sat in the front row cheering
me on, oblivious to the reality that she had less than a year
to live. 

I certainly wished that I could have avoided serving in the 
military during the Viet Nam War--but conscription was a
strict determinant. Yet I emerged almost unscathed from the
chaos, & was grateful for the G.I. Bill & veteran’s

Wishing & planning
are healthy pursuits, but one
must accept what comes.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub


brudberg said...

Oh yes.. the acceptance is such an important part... just wish for something new... and sooner or later something good will happen... wishing for world-peace might at least mean a couple of wars less..

lillianthehomepoet.wordpress.com said...

So much to appreciate in this piece, Glenn. Smiling at your thirteen your old self. Thinking of my husband's high gloss black and yellow 1955 Ford -- we called it The Bee - while reading about your older self. Remember the Viet Nam war and those we lost in body, mind and spirit to those horrible days -- but also mindful of the opportunities it later provided to some of its bravest - like you. A wonderful poem -- and wishing always for the best.

De said...

Glenn, I absolutely love all of the voices you've invoked in this, starting with your grandfather's. ;) My grands said something very similar, except they were Baptist, so they "spit" in that second hand. ;)

Thank you for your service, and for your considerable writing gift, and the ways you share it with us.

Marilyn Cavicchia said...

I love the bad tires and collective dents. What a great image.

Kim M. Russell said...

I agree, Glenn. You can't wish your life away, but you had an interesting time finding out!

Anonymous said...

I so enjoyed this history of wishes. Especially liked.. "so that for crying out loud I could drive something newer than a rust bucket jalopy with bald tires & collective
dents". OH my goodness that made me smile. You gave us a serving of wishful thinking with a twist of reality.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

I enjoyed the bounty of wishes and the wisdom which lingers near the end ❤

Victoria Ceretto-Slotto said...

I love the emerging wisdom in this, but also the sneak peak into your journey to who you are today. Aren't we lucky to be where we are today? And we had to get there by accepting the reality of our limitations and those around us.

Joon said...

It is pure pleasure listening to you read. My favorite parts are those about your mom and the blond.

Sumana Roy said...

don't know what would happen if all our wishful thinking were to come true....however "...one / must accept what comes." :)

kaykuala said...

Those were moments in time that set one's direction and eventually stature in life. The bald tires and dents had always been the measure of success during those student days. Thanks for sharing Glenn!


Debi Swim said...

Your last lines are full of wisdom. I enjoyed reading this Glenn

Kate Mia said...

sMiLes.. my friEnd.. Glenn..
i never wished for material
success in ways of money or fame..
and now likes.. shares.. followers
or even youtube pennies..
all i wished
for is love
as art of liFE..
then now..
and all
my wishes
coMe true.. now..
and with never ever
worrying about gaining
stuff in ways of newest cars
and bigger homes..
the money
i wanted
to use it or not..
what i did wish for
was one day to create..
i never worried if someone
would like it or not.. just the
joy for making something new
beyond the same of all the books
i read before.. and the paintings that
seemed to only gain dust as pages as such..
i paint
a new world
everyday now..
one that most folks
have no way to fully see..
but that is life my friend.. we
all view our UniVerses different
in what we value and come to love or hate..
all i control
is the Fearless Art oF Love
i make and do.. and truly
what else could i wanna make
or do.. but fearless love.. and yes..
that is only the liGht of mY UniVerse..
i look to the wishes of my dad who bought
a lottery ticket everyday.. and never won his dream
of another bigger material thing.. for me.. the lottery
win is in the doing now and never ever any other wish than
best that
noW can be more..
as FeeLinG and SeNSinG
more as mindfully aware..
and sure.. the Nautilus who does
now all.. leaves a shell of more behind..
iSReaL NOW best iS my Prayer and Wish for ALL..:)

Linda Kruschke said...

I think this is one of my favorite poems of yours. It's a nice little glimpse into who you are that I enjoyed reading. As for your grandpa's quote, my mom said something similar, but a tad bit nicer: "Wish in one hand, spit in the other, and see which one fills up first." I like your conclusion, that wishing must go along with planning, but that we must accept the outcome even if our wishes don't turn out like we wanted.

Susan Anderson said...

Such a great poem. Lots of wisdom here.

Mother Wintermoon said...

Very moving Glenn. A poignant window into your life with wise and thoughtful sentiments.