Saturday, July 18, 2015

Gas station on State Street

photo by tom hall


The flag in the window has flown

             too long,
             so long

the red stripes have faded

             to all white,
             and beyond          (white)

there are no more bars

            to hold back

the field of stars

           they are free,
           but still taped inside the frame
           obscuring the view

                                         & fading fast.

38 comments:

  1. Wonderful, very vivid emotions you've expressed here. Greetings!

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  2. More than the stripes and the bars, the flag is more than a cloth flying outside, all faded ~ I hope we always remember why we put them up in the first place, maybe to let the field of stars fly free ~ Happy weekend ~


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  3. The hippie, nature girl in me only sees a grassy field late at night --- maybe some teenagers sneaking out (no more bars on the windows) after their parents have gone to bed, and lying in a wildflower field watching stars and stuff.

    As for your "in the red, fading," the first thing I thought of was what "in the red" means for a business (owing money). But if that's fading, then maybe the debt is gradually being paid off. So that's a good thing. Not to owe so much to others, feeling free, little by little.

    I also see "there are no more bears to hold back the stares," whatever that means. :) This just turned into an overnight camping trip, I think. No bears staring would be nice. LOL.

    "all white and beyond white" ... I love that. It makes me think of the afterlife, all the we can't even imagine. Fresh canvas. Clouds. Perfection. Purity. Starting over with a clean slate. Lots of good imagery in that. Especially "beyond white," a shade we haven't even seen yet. Or maybe you just mean colors beyond white. All of them. Who knows what might happen? And who cares? That's the cool thing about playing in fields and watching stars; it's whatever you want it to be.

    I'm not sure yet about your caps. But I immediately see GT (which was what we called our "Gifted and Talented" program in school).

    Also, your lowercased words say "station on." So the kids took a boom box with them to the field. I wonder what they're listening to?

    ~~~

    Oh, Sweet Jesus. I just looked up S.S. and saw what it stands for. This is what you're talking about with the S.S. and the gas:

    https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/sstest.html

    NOW this is about the way we can be free but still not free. Free within parameters. Having suffered, survived somehow, but then having to muddle through the rest of life in pain and still dealing with those difficult memories. PTSD. Be it caused by the literal Holocaust or a symbolic one.

    There's some flag burning going on here, at the very least. But what kind of burning?

    And then also, this is a statement on who we are as a country. What do we even stand for any more? The notion of patriotism, community, the collective strength and fight ... it seems so faded (and fading fast) that it doesn't really mean a whole lot anymore. We're so segmented, individualized, disjointed. Free "stars" (both kinds), but contained. And we obscure our own views by becoming so mentally blurred and detached. We're just washing ourselves, our freedom, and our country away, one lazy-brained day at a time.

    Lots of meat on those bones, Sir!

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    1. Ha ha. I leave the most ridiculous comments. :) Oh well. Happy Saturday, brother. Hope you have a fun one.

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    2. It was an interesting construct I saw on a walk - the faded flag. It stirred in me a range of symbolism. So I tried to capture the image.

      I think it can stir in each of us a bit of a different reaction.

      To me it stirred thoughts on the nature of freedom - it is a transaction, to gain freedom, we give up a bit of freedom. Still stuck on philosophy a bit. Don't know that I have answers as much as questions and ruminations.

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    3. For sure. I love that you "let me" ramble on and see whatever I want, even if it has absolutely nothing to do with what you meant. It really bugs a lot of people, so I hardly get to do this ... interact with poetry the way I like to. You know, like a free-for-all. :) It really means the world to me when you say I can talk all I want. Most people have a "shut up and go home" attitude toward me ... which is exactly why I've spent so much of my life trying to be quiet and smile. It's liberating to be given permission to let my brain explode. I think you know what I'm saying, even if I use way too many words to say it. :P

      Never, never stop thinking about philosophy. If you do, your brain will shrivel up and turn into a ball of forgotten candy. Don't let that happen to you. At all costs, keep it thumping.

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    4. Hey I just write the stuff - its not my place to dictate how it is read. Some artists take themselves way too seriously and expect everyone to see the world as they do. I just see the world, and love to see how others see it as well.

      Ah, my brain is a raisin. And now I am hungry. And (gulp!)

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    5. What better way is there to keep your brain alive than to eat it? ;)

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    6. nom nom nom...

      zombies!!!!!!

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    7. The perfect breakfast. ;) Especially on church day ... which never seems to end. (We're gone the entire day. Ugh.) I will feast on my own brains to keep myself going, all the while pretending no one else is around me. Thank goodness I'm able to do that; otherwise, I would surely mass attack the congregation.

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  4. Your symbolism is always outstanding X =) I often wonder how much freedom we really do have

    mindlovemisery

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  5. how cool where this american flag took you - the stars free from the bars... i thought first "wow- cool" but then... the bars are also protection - aren't they - and maybe without them the stars are not really free but given over to fade - even faster...

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  6. Your use of metaphors in this poem with the flag and strips is fascinating.

    I get a sense of surrealism all the nations flags & colors obscuring and fading to the very end of a cataclysm. or maybe the flags colors fade because the symbols don't want to be imprisoned anymore.

    The interpretations can go both ways or different.

    Love it very much X. :)

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    1. P.S I posted a new poem Yesterday, check it out. :)

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  7. This poem works at so many levels. The flag is validation but also reflection. I loved it. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  8. You bring a lot into focus with this faded flag--and so much has faded about it, the stars are floating away, nothing is centered--a flag is pure symbol if anything is--created to be, used for, exploited as, and all of the above--I am only seeing the dismal parallels to our politics at the moment, but I know this flag could be framed, waved and faded for a lot more things than just that.

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  9. So much symbolism in these words. I am quite fond of faded flags really...they have seen so much & still they fly.

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  10. may be time for a new flag...we can't let the stars dissolve and neither the bars and colors in a flag that's still flying...i wonder what's beyond white, is it tattered and ragged?...is that window set in a dilapidated house?...ha...sketch of an old flag triggering odd questions....

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  11. Such a beautiful and powerful write!
    Hope you're having a nice weekend.

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  12. The title alone is a story..flags do fade...some maybe 'right'..others not so..the most important things in the world often come from looking upwards...remembering we are but mere specks..important but part of something bigger

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  13. Wonderful poetry. I like the subtext, the contemplation after a line.

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  14. So good... "no more bars to hold back the stars"... gem of a line!

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  15. wonderfully done.short cryptic lines carrying immense weight.someone from Guantanamo could have spoken these lines as well.

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  16. thanks for this. it made me get all emotional just thinking of the U.S. flag. :) well done.

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  17. Fading is a realization how time flies.. a representation that there's no forever. thanks for the read, X

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  18. The lines I love best are "there are no more bars to hold back the field of stars". Very cool image too, that overturned bowl of atars.

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  19. Nice, I can see that flag. A lot went through my mind - the confederate flag in S. C., the meaning of our flag, fading, we the stars tipping over. You captured so much in this poem.

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  20. Interesting thoughts on this faded flag...faded patriotism or maybe faded lines blurred and stars flying free....thoughts of hopefulness....now you have me thinking!

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  21. So much symbolism you created here with the fading flag ... I do love the stars being set free ... we can still reach for them and hang on to the values that matters to us most.

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  22. There is so much in this and each readers interpretation probably adds up to a only a small part the actual content contained in your words as you wrote it..

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  23. Things fade away but the impact they can or had should be powerful.

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  24. I love your windows and frame encompassing the flag. Glad the stars are more free (as stars should be) and the stripes are soldiers marching in their rows, lol!

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  25. Some times we need to renew as we get older

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  26. Whoa ! Heavy !!!! ...and good.
    ZQ

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  27. Wonderfully sketched. I am there!

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  28. this is an edgy vignette of a landscape.
    old & faded flags have their symbolism too; battle-hardened, proud, respected.
    a lot to think about in these words. :)

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