Jasmine Breezes

Spirited cries of summer night’s fun
can no longer be heard upon Jasmine breezes.
Once children’s play yards during growing up
years now are hallowed halls with ghosts at play.
Ready or not, here I come! Is now a barely
whispered call, heard between the clatter
of a now-modern world.
 
Barefoot we would run so hard up and down
the roads and across backyards out to the
back woods. We dug through white, sugar sand
until we reached the earthy smell of
dampened soil. We danced in rain showers
that cleansed the air and left behind a
delicate trace of pine and gardenia.
We picked fresh oranges for snacks
given freely by neighbor’s trees.
We would peel away the inner parts
of a Hibiscus and drink the sweet
nectar as if we were bees.
Riding our bikes for miles on end,
we could feel the summer-shimmer
of heat rising up to our pink cheeks.
Mrs. Taylor’s meals wafting
through the air, dirt and grass-stained
clothes mixed with sweat, all these things
are long ago memories of days no more.
Silence is all that’s left now of youthful,
outdoor games—no longer allowed.
The freedom, the scents that surrounded
have become planned sports in shiny arenas.
With fences and big lights to keep it all
bright—and safe from the neighborhood’s
affliction and those that may prey
upon the innocent and pure.

Kelly is hosting us at dVerse Poets with a prompt that asks us to write on the lingering of scents in our lives:  http://dversepoets.com/2016/01/05/scents-that-linger/

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30 Comments

  1. Oh, yes, you took me right back to neighborhood hide-n-seek games, entire days spent outside, bikes ridden down hills at top speed. It is a bit sad that things have changed so much. A lovely piece of writing!

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  2. I especially love the tropical elements here…such scent we don’t come into contact with every day in the Pacific Northwest. You didn’t have to work at this..as it seemed to come to you naturally 😉

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    • We are a sub-tropical climate here in Florida and I imagine we have very different, but equally wonderful, scents in our locales. It did seem to flow pretty easily as I remembered one thing after the other of those old days. Thanks, Kathy!

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  3. I love all those scents that children today are missing for the planned and clean, it would probably be safer to let them play outside today, but we are lead to believe that predators are out there, when in reality they are inside those sport places, and in our very homes.

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    • Many of us in the neighborhood where I grew up have shared with each other our encounters with those who tried to prey upon us. Most of us escaped, but some didn’t. And you’re so right, some predators are in our own homes.

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  4. I remember those carefree days and disappearing acts and parents calling us in and failing to find us… The smells you describe: hibiscus, orange and jasmine sound very exotic to me, while pine and gardenia are comforting and familiar. But the sentiment is the same…

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    • We did disappear at times but we knew we had to be home for dinner…or else! Those scents are common ones here in Florida. Thanks for your visit, MarinaSofia.

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  5. What a lovely share 😀 I love how you wove those beautiful memories into your poem 😀

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  6. Love the title, which itself evokes the senses, and the orange and ‘delicate trace of pine and gardenia’ – we’ll all have hay fever before long! Gorgeous write, Gayle.

    I have moved house, into a ‘doer-upper’, quite the project, but so glad to be here and to see the back of 2015. Becoming an expert brush-wielder! 🙂

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    • How right you are, Polly, there are lots of plants to be allergic to! Thank you for your compliment.

      Nice to hear an update on your house move. It’s fun to do some work on a “fixer upper” and to be able to choose your paint colors and make everything fresh. My best to you! 🙂

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      Reply
  7. I am missing on those innocent and carefree days when one can just play outside, run, dig dirt and smell the flowers ~ Love the title too and overall nostalgia of those by-gone days ~

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    • Thanks, Grace. I’m grateful that my two daughters were able to have freedom in their growing up neighborhood to ride their bikes and play with their friends without too much worry. It’s a nice way for kids to grow up I think.

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  8. Glenn Buttkus

     /  January 6, 2016

    Innocence lost, yes, I pine for biking without helmets, playing in the woods, tag football & dodge ball & the monkey bars, at one with nature, but was it really so pristine, or does our memory of those times get so drenched with nostalgia that we tend to forget the jagged edges, the concussions, the nettles, & the black eyes?

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    • No, it wasn’t all pristine. I haven’t forgotten the stickers in my feet from going barefoot where I shouldn’t have and the scrapes, sprains and bumps that we thought were going to kill us. Oh, and getting hit in the head with a baseball bat when I stood too close to the batter at an impromptu game next door and the frantic trip to the ER. Nope, I haven’t forgotten.

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  9. Ah yes, the comparison of what it was ‘then’ to what it has turned into ‘now.’ We used to play baseball on an empty lot, deciding on our own teams and calling our own outs, & eat apples from the tree that grew there. So much different than buying a hot dog at some professionally refereed game. And such different smells indeed!

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  10. Simply beautiful.

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  11. Living breeze..
    ins or outs
    please..
    moving
    connecting
    creating ways
    out.. wheRe iNs
    rule
    more..
    rare for
    outs
    oF
    uS
    aS LOVE..:)

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  12. An excellent transport in time. I agree that summertime is quiet with these modern kids. I’m in the city and the sounds are different but laughter is the same and that’s what’s missing.

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    • Thank you. There’s nothing quite like the sound of children’s laughter. It was nice to be able to have that freedom to roam and find fun things to do. It’s a different world for sure.

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  13. All of the senses are more active in childhood although I don’t believe it has to be that way.

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    • I guess it’s because everything is so new to children but I don’t think it has to be that way either. Thanks for coming by.

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  14. A wonderful bouquet of aromas.

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  15. Though some of the specifics varied, this brought me back to my own childhood playing outdoors, riding bikes along dirt roads in the hot sun, running from backyard to backyard . . those were wonderful days. It is sad that kids today don’t experience the freedom and joy of outdoor play like we used to. Wonderful response to the prompt today. Peace, Linda

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