Tea on an Autumn Morning


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Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

19 March, 2011

Poetry Bus: Alley Adventure

This week's Poetry Bus has the famous Uiscebot as our daring driver. He wants us to go somewhere different and write about it. For some reason, a memory of one of the many adventures my brother and I shared as children came to mind. Stephen always discovered fascinating places, and I was the only sister who had the guts (or insanity) to go with him. This one's at our grandparents' house in an old section of Detroit, Michigan where each neighborhood had an alley.  Enjoy!

My grandparents' old house in Detroit, completely remodeled. 
You can see the tree in the background. Beyond that tree is the alley.
Alley Adventure
The Alley behind our grandparents' house
was intriguing to my brother and me.
The grown-ups didn’t want us to go there,
but he knew how to unlatch the back gate,
Sshhh…very quietly, so it wouldn’t squeak.
We tiptoed onto the graveled road.
A sweet yet acrid smell filled the air;
it was a strange, forbidden world.

This day, we discovered a horseshoe print,
embedded in a piece of hidden pavement,
shadowed by the tall grasses growing wild,
fighting for a piece of the dappled sunrays
that played upon the broken cement.
“Only one print,” Stephen whispered,
“Must be from Pegasus.”

Voices formed words in an unknown tongue
and floated from a large window of an old house
behind an unpainted wooden fence,
“Sssshhh!  Ghosts!” he  whispered.
I bent down to pick up a weapon,
a broken shard of brown glass
“This is a piece of magic glass, Jeanne,
from a land faraway… Put it down!
We don’t know what evil powers it might have.”

Reluctantly, I tossed the shard.
No magic today… no spilling of blood.
A quick run to the old wooden gate,
and we were back on Grandma’s garden path,
with freshly cut grass, wildflowers and roses,
our absence unnoticed, our memories enriched.

Jeanne I. Lakatos  2011


  1. Great memory! I love your brother's imagination - and it sounds like he was probably old enough to know you shouldn't be playing with broken glass.

  2. I loved this, I was there within all that magic, fear and daring and some wonderful lines,...tall grasses growing wild....a sweet yet acid smell filled the air... & great close, plus your brother sounds nuts, in the best kind of way!

  3. Dana, yes and thank you. Stephen does what big brothers do well: tease their little sisters all the while protect them.

    Thank you, Socks. Yep, he's nuts all right... in a good way.

  4. Delightful! When my boys were 7,8 and 9 we lived next to a vacant house .. the owner had passed away months prior. They called it 'the dead man's house' and executed a few explorations inside (without our knowledge) .. they still talk about those days and they are 48,49 and 50!!!

  5. Thanks, Helen. Ooh, yes, those creepy old houses were so exciting! We had one in our neighborhood that we called, 'the witch's house."

  6. Wonderful poem, Jeanne Iris. Alleys are special places, a whole separate town laid over the first one, full of interesting and dangerous things kept out of sight.

  7. Merci, NanU. Wow, I really like the way you phrased your comment. Yes, you're right; alleys are similar to alternate dimensions, aren't they?

  8. Wonderful what imagination can add to an everyday scene...

  9. So true, Jinksy. Good to hear from you! :)

  10. It's always exciting to go where you shouldn't go and you capture the imagination of childhood beautifully here Jeanne!

    I loved this bit

    'This day, we discovered a horseshoe print,
    imbedded in a piece of hidden pavement,
    shadowed by the tall grasses growing wild,
    fighting for a piece of the dappled sunrays
    that played upon the broken cement.
    “Only one print,” Stephen whispered,
    “Must be from Pegasus.”'

  11. Thanks, TFE. When we were children, my brother taught me how to be aware of the 'magic' that surrounded us every day. No matter how difficult it may seem, I try to adapt that same awareness in adulthood.

  12. Thanks for sharing this feeling of the delicious mystery of childhood.


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