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Of Simpler Times 


                                                            david dyer



Ah, fond affection,

o’ childhood’s recollection,

an epoch unforgettable,

tho long time forsaken;

heart’s proclivity,

to dwell ‘pon festivity,

o’ cherished memories, my disconsolate soul doth awaken.


Summer’s night features,

‘sort’d crepuscular creatures,

divers creepin’ or crawlin’,

an’ sundry given to flight;

nary nocturnal clique,

wast so distinctly unique,

as an annual celebration, o’ antiquity’s georgic wight.


Whilst ladies retreat,

gents, one ‘nother didst greet,

betwixt dippin’ o’ snuffs, chaw o’ t’baccers, an’ such;

‘twas yarns, deftly spun,

(nary raconteur wast outdone)

curious tales,

oft’times embroider’d a mite o’ermuch.


Grate o’ fine fiddle,

whilst elderly chaps whittle,

‘midst meld o’ dulcimer an’ French harp’s mournful wail;

colloquies might run,

from day’s labors yet undone,

to winter’s driftin’ snows,

an’ March wind’s angry gale.


Babe ‘n swaddle wrapt,

‘n cradl’d arms quietly slept;

‘nother, ‘gainst uncover’d breast, purs’d lips firmly prest;

pixyish faces peer,

at proceedin’s rather queer,

from ‘hind fine-sculpt legs,

o’ mamas modestly dress’d.


‘Twas intercourse slight,

nigh diminish’ o’ day’s light,

prattle an’ drivel galore,

o’ afternoon’s blistery scorch;

‘till ‘bout bulb’s lustre,

a medley o’ moths muster;

as surreptitious skeeters forgather, ‘round screen-less porch.


Bow’d ‘n contrition

ere commence o’ night’s mission,

somber voice, o’er hush’d ‘sembly, proffers humble plea;

‘twas hands clutch’d ‘n love,

prayers offer’d to God above,

as solemn thanks bestow’d o’er abundance o’ earth’s bounty.


Wee voices all agush,

faces aglow o’ fervor’s flush,

so frolicsome an’ mirthful,

midst merriment’s gay mystique;

dashin’ to an’ fro,

‘n aggregate’s apropos,

children’s games o’ kick-the-can,

tag, an’ hid’n-go-seek.


Others, age betwixt,

havin’ evenin’s gambol nixed,

years o’ nine, e’en ten, hadst expectation o’ revel dash’d;

countenance plung’d,

hopes o’ cavortin’ expung’d,

grow’d ‘nough,

that to older folks

chores now wert lash’d.


Silken scarf drawn,

‘bout locks cast silvery fawn,

framin’ visage stern,

practic’d eyes e’er pannin’

‘cross grounds;

flyswatter ‘n hand,

children an’ pets to remand,

any rowdies alike, young’uns,

yeller cats, an’ bayin’ hounds.


Lads, stout-arm’d, enwraps,

 lasses perch’d ‘pon o’erall’d laps,

ardent courtin’ betides,

whilst moonlight faintly glows;

‘tis sporadic squeal,

as suitors, sweet kisses steal,

bud o’ romance astir,

twixt fair maids an’ burly beaux.


Hair pull’d ‘n tight buns,

roll’d stockin’s sportin’ runs,

womenfolk gather’d ‘pon seats

o’ yeller pine hewn; ‘n gentle repose,

wire rim’d spectacles ‘pon nose,

austere visages drawn,

o’er task afore custom’s commune.


Fingers wrinkly blued,

o’ rinsin’ crop, nephrite hu’d,

oft plung’d ‘neath chillin’

well water’s icy cold numb;

callus’d hands adept,

drudgery’s chore doth accept,

with ne’er a notion o’ heedin’ wearisome call to succumb.


Digits sure an’ stout,

ply o’er yield o’ season’s drought,

a forage o’ staple,

‘gainst wintertime’s benumbin’ chill;

‘neath parin’ knife’s cleft,

 to e’ery speck’s sad bereft,

‘tis praxes’ mentors wield,

o’ oeuvre an’ culinary skill.


Snapbeans, bush an’ pole,

loiter ‘n hollow’d lap’s bowl,

‘n anxious ‘ticipation,

o’ practic’d finger’s sure disclose;

‘tis stringin’, then brake,

‘neath skill’d eyes vigilant rake,

‘till ev’ry kettle an’ washtub,

o’ brak’d beans o’erflows.


Midst twilight’s imbue,

ere moonlightin’s amber spue,

as dun shadows oblique,

‘cross veranda didst stray;

‘twas neighbour’s descent,

on summertime day, nigh spent;

‘n a communal aggregation,

for a bean-breakin’ soiree.