when there suddenly is life//between clouds & urban grass squares

beyond a blaring tv, smoke
& angry shouts–

can’t sleep at night,

& contours pressed
on lukewarm soil, a grass square
between dull apartment blocks,

our made-up sea in
“fisher, FiSher, how dEEp
is the water?” crowds of kids &
dang, the waves, we run, an iridescent carpet

for our fantasy, under the trees,
a multimillion cracks in space between
the sky and us for

dragons (whiteTeeth), locomotives,
whales– an autobus– see, see // flat on our backs
we watch them float, transform,
diffuse, & spring grass tickles
in the hollows of our knees,

i dunno what it is, the

——–oof sound-less-ness maybe,

weight held on stable ground,
it makes the world less scary


a little more a place,

———————to live

————————-maybe, someDay.


Vistoria has us writing childhood memories for MeetingTheBar at dVerse today… first thing that jumped to my mind was this.. that grass square between the blocks was a magical place for us kids.. and the games we played ..fisher how deep is the water and cloud guessing being two of my favs.. oh..next to roller skates hockey.. ha..helped us compensate the not-so-nice things we faced as well… smiles


54 responses to “when there suddenly is life//between clouds & urban grass squares

  1. Claudia, loved the reminder about favorite childhood haunts. Always a launching pad for adventure, to spread one’s wings. “A little more a place to live/someday,” gorgeous turn of phrase, because we never knew where or when our real freedoms would start. Loved this, and always love your free form and wordplay and worDs with unexplained cApital leTTers! Whimsical. Peace, Amy

  2. This took me back to times of staring at the clouds, seeing all sorts of things in their shapes. The times we grew up in (I’m 46) seem to have been freer – more innocent and safe somehow – than today; I certainly spent more time outside than contemporary children seem to. Of course, we didn’t have innumerable TV stations, computers, games consoles and the like competing for our time; I think maybe we were better off without them.

  3. A really charming memory recounted with a child-like vision and enthusiasm which I found delightful. (Something we should all strive to recapture, I’m thinking.)

  4. love the imagination in this piece…imagination is where i thrived as a kid….it was a whole lot different back then…not as much to distract us and we had to use it…fought many a dragon…smiles…

  5. OMG! You took me back–where I was laying on my back! Ha!
    Watching the hundreds of B-17s fly over daily while practicing. Low and friendly, I was one of those turret gunners who waved at me, age 10.

    YOU certainly “live” now, girl. And I also.
    Sorry I don’t get around (Internet) much anymore (song!!!
    Love and PEACE, Claudia

  6. My thoughts went to how interesting it is that a strip of grass is more valuable than a concrete building. I think I need a return to childhood day 🙂 Much enjoyed

  7. This poem is actually a painting! 🙂 The way your words worked in my brain was probably a similar way to which a paint brush works on a canvas. A very rich (as in texture rich) piece. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  8. I love your depiction of the space between grass and sky with its marvels and possibilities. Is the narrator remembering this when unable to sleep at night? or is it the child who feels pressed/pressured then and lies awake? I was the insomniac child myself, even in the country woods when confined to the top bunk in a small room unable to see out the window.

  9. This brought back such fond memories of playing outside between the block of flats – we didn’t even have a patch of grass most times. Far be it from me to seek to ‘explain’ poems, yet I am intrigued and unsure about the beginning and the end of the poem – is it about someone trying to fall asleep and they revert back to childhood memories to retrieve that carefree state of being which enables them to nod off?

  10. You make a childhood memory seem like a surreal happy dream. This is so nice. Guess we all have some memories that have become as happy dreams that we can observe now and smile.

  11. kids always see the light and the magic. always. i thought the smokestacks looming in the distance, painted as they were red with white stripes, were to look like giant, fun candy-canse, you know, for us kids. the pollution smelled like bread, and made my mouth water. rad poem up there, girl.

  12. Hmm…I still play that game of naming what I see in the sky and imagining the story that goes with each creature created….I suspect that’s why some would say I have quite grown up yet. 🙂 Another fine poem.

  13. Amazing what green spaces can offer in cityscapes. I especially like here the tickle of grass in knee hollows- very evocative, and the bits of games. Thanks. k.

  14. How did we ever survive as children with no helmets, no technology, no insulation; still we found fun playing in the streets, trekking to parks, reading comic books, immersing ourselves at Saturday matinees, drinking soda pop with chocolate bars; and this lyrical lithe piece reminds me that everything, everyone,
    we experienced churned up the creativity that one day would seek its own level in poetry; thanks for the jaunt.

  15. Do you remember the movie, “Truely, Madly, Deeply,” your piece reminded me to it. The part where they are looking at the clouds. It’s an old film now, but if you haven’t seen it, I know you will love it.

  16. Your words quite move me Claudia – if only we could hang onto that innocence, that imagination…

    Anna :o]

  17. i dont know, but I am not getting the good vibes others are getting from this. Yes, there are games that many of us played as children, but there is also something underlying, just out of reach. Its ok, I felt the same about Brians piece as well, must be one of those day 😉
    You know I love your stuff though, so I dont need to say that…….do I?

  18. As a inner city girl, I fully get finding a world of adventure in the clouds of our imaginations even while our bodies were constrained to small oasis of grass in the ever stretching landscape of concrete and asphalt. Beautifully told Claudia.

  19. I loved the meeting of the concrete and the grass. You seemed to me to capture the yearning we can haveas kids to connect with nature and to be part of something large, while not wanting to stray to far from home. (Or maybe you that was just me and you have done a wonderful job of transporting me back to a little girl.:)

  20. spring grass tickles
    in the hollows of our knees

    That feeling–I remember! Makes me want to go out and roll in the grass, except that it’s dark, and raining, and the neighbors would find justification for thinking I’m crazy.

  21. As usual, your words are captivating. I love your use of adjectives and just the format you usually write in, it makes it smooth the read for me. Childhood is a box that can be hard to open but sometimes its full of amazing emotion and stories and leads to strength that you write for the world.

  22. This made me nostalgic for simpler times, when we made our own games, when we were always outside… A lovely sense of hope in this.

  23. I used to lie on my back alone, but preferring to look at an entirely blue sky rather than clouds (which bullied my sky). If I waited long enough, I felt as though the ground at my back was a ceiling, that I was barely attached to it, and that I would fall into the sky if only I let go. At other times I would turn over, look as closely as I could at a blade of grass, and at the same time feel as though I was embracing the whole earth.

    a note to zongrik:

    This is a ‘powm’ by the way, Claudia.

  24. brings to mind living in urban areas where one is lucky to have a small deck…many times the roof the only place to imagine from….but one hasn’t lived until they’ve felt grass tickle hollows under their knees…;)

  25. Each post I visit today, I am reminded of different facets of my childhood. Amazing.

    After reading yours Claudia, I remember the big rambutan tree we had outside my grandma’s house.

    I have no idea why.

    Maybe because it was like a hugh green cloud outside my window.

  26. Build your castles in the air, dear Claudia, wise advice for young and not-so-young alike… When I read your verse, I am there. There are comfortable, familiar images that draw the reader in. Childhood is the great denominator that draws readers of differing backgrounds into your poetry. One can use simple images to convey intricate common themes. You have shot the arrow and once again it has found its mark. 😀 Eric

  27. …first, i really really like the cover of this poem Claudia…
    …second… the entire piece reads fine to me…and i loved it for it brought back images from the past that are so relatable and enjoyable… spring grass tickles
    in the hollows of our knees — this line in particular is brilliant…i can read and read it again and again…smiles…

  28. Yes a place to live. In the real world of our fantasies. “Grass squares between dull apartment blocks”. Love it. I see my old neighborhood or visits to the Bronx in the 70’s.

  29. “& contours pressed
    on lukewarm soil, a grass square
    between dull apartment blocks,

    our made-up sea in
    “fisher, FiSher, how dEEp
    is the water?” crowds of kids &
    dang, the waves, we run, an iridescent carpet…”

    Hi! Claudia…
    Thanks, for sharing child-hood [a child] memories [and child-hood [a child] imagination] through your poem…when there suddenly is life//between clouds & urban grass squares.
    deedee 🙂

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