Friday, March 09, 2007

Plastic bags in trees


They annoy me, and they inspired this poem to my long gone great aunts.


The Piece Dividend

Piece Dividend

A white flutter high up in the beech.
The plastic prayer flag of a universal brand.
Their mantra? Buy one get one free.

What would they have made of it? Those barren
rationed aunts, whose only dividend in life
was granted by the corner Co-op.

Those women who bought butter by the pat
whose lives were grease-proof wrapped.
What would they have made of the miracle of

Kenyan runner beans
Tibetan gogi berries,
Chilean Merlot, or garlic naan?

Would they agree the sacrifice was worth it?
Their future for mine today, on tick?

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10 Comments:

Blogger PI said...

Excellent! I assume it's just high blown litter? My Grandad used to make big pats of butter with two long ridged paddles - in his grocer's shop.

4:46 pm  
Blogger Verilion said...

I love the poem, I hate seeing bags in trees too.

5:13 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Yes just poly bags, hope they tax the bloody things.

But I'd love to see my old Auntie effie's face in a modern supermarket, it would blow her away, the choice, and the amount of stuff out of season. She never wasted anything, she had a button box, which contained buttons cut off discarded clothing, and zippers and press studs. She was a dressmaker to trade. In the 1920s she'd fit ladies dresses on the London bound train, while it stoppeed at Waverly. She knitted and sewed for us as kids. Even tailored blazers for us.

10:49 pm  
Blogger Searching For a Meaning said...

Fond memories came running back when reading your beautiful poem.

Thank you.

10:15 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks for looking in "Searching", and for the kind comment

10:55 am  
Blogger Verilion said...

Well another one of the supermarkets here in France has stopped providing plastic bags to customers, it's reuse or nada.

On another note, I think your Auntie Effie might scare me. For some unbeknown reason I have a pathological fear of buttons and that box you just described freaked me out a little bit!

4:46 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

What a funny phobia! She was a sweetie to us, but gave my mother hell as a child. She had lovely buttons too, Victorian ones, ornate ones, glass ones, all sorts.

I find seeing button boxes at car boot sales etc really sad.

6:00 pm  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Well said. Apparantly in South Africa they call plastic bags in trees such as you've photographed, the new national flower. may your great aunts r.i.p.

10:46 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks CB. Sometimes our lives seem so soft in comparison to theirs. Effie lost her fiance in WW1, never married and looked after her mother and mine, her brother, my grandfather, took off a la Hemingway, he went to
Spain, and then travelled all over.
This was right through the Depression and WW11. And she worked full time. In retirement she cared for another brother who lost a leg in WW1.

V a fear of buttons,as you probably know is called koumpounophobia. See here one sufferer on the subject.

http://www.kamps.org/haje/koumpounophobia-fear-of-buttons/

11:27 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

i took this to poetry school and got some really helpful comments, so I've posted a new, revised cersion, which I think is much sharper than the previous one.

10:37 am  

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