When Mom and Dad moved to Maine,
Mom had a limp, and Dad walked with a cane.
They weren't in the best of health,
But they did own several properties and had some wealth.
This house in Maine, was not the favorite of the lot,
But they came anyway and had a plot.
They wanted to open a boarding house and give respite to all their kin.
There was Aunt Molly, Brother Seth, Cousin Jesse, and their daughter Wren.
Times were tough and the communal living seemed like a good idea at the time.
However, everyone had their own tastes, reason and rhyme.
It was Cousin Jesse that wanted to paint the house orange because Fall was his favorite time of year.
Brother Seth, just sat on the porch while he did all the work and drank a can of beer.
Aunt Molly wanted to paint her room lavender blue,
And Wren wanted wallpaper but couldn't pay the wallpaper guy when the bill came due.
Cousin Jesse paid the bill because he had obtained a job down at Food Land,
And he played at night in a Rock n' Roll band.
Mom and Dad had dibs on the whole downstairs, and painted it Ivory White.
They liked neutral and thought the rest of the house should stay out of sight.
One afternoon, the neighbors from next door came to call.
They thought the orange house called for a Halloween ball.
Everyone descended on the house on Halloween night dressed in costumes bearing candy, cookies and Apple Cider.
Wren dressed up and came downstairs as a spider.
The house lit up the whole street,
And Jesse and the band rocked the house with a Rock n' Roll beat.
Mom and Dad began to take a liking to their orange house in the State of Maine,
And soon were able to get rid of the limp and the cane.
© By Phyllis Ann (Starbird55@comcast.net)
De Colores: Or How the West Was Won
Pablo is a good man. Pablo is a hard working man. Pablo is a family man. Everyday Pablo gets up before dawn, feeds his mules Pete and Repeat, and hitches them to his cart. Down to the next little town he goes where all the farmers gather with their fresh produce and meat. He loads up his little mule drawn grocery store and heads back to his village. His village, yes, his poor little adobe village. All the houses were like little piles of sand with rounded corners punctuated by wooden beams - dismal and without personality unless it was a festival day. Then the colored ruffle dresses of the little dancing girls and the smell of barbecue and vegetables from Pablo’s cart made his job almost worth it. Just almost, that is.
Poor Pablo became blue and depressed, and he started thinking “What if my village was the color of sun against the hills?” Then in his little spare time, you could see him hauling sand from the arroyo. The arroyo was many striped, and one of the stripes was yellow. If you didn’t think about it, you would think Pablo was hauling gold. But Pablo borrowed as many old wood buckets as his friends and neighbors would let him use. Mixing the sand with water, Pablo made a wash and washed his house with the beautiful yellow sand. His neighbors were so excited that they readily let him wash their homes with the golden color of sun. They all went down the old dirt road to the edge of the village and had a joyous celebration. Their village looked just like the sun had cuddled into the side of the small mountain.
Still, Pablo was not satisfied. He could not see his own house when he approached the village. “I know what I’ll do,” he thought. “I’ll color my house with that reddest of arroyo sand - it will stand out and I will be able to see my home.” So little Pablo donned his sombrero and serape and hauled enough red sand to paint over his yellow house. Though to his amazement, his house did not color red, for mixed with the golden yellow sand, it was the color of a bright pumpkin. It even looked like a pumpkin, for Pablo wasn’t known to paint evenly and there were a few stripes down its sides.
All the villagers came to admire Pablo’s pumpkin-colored house, and that stirred each one to want a color of their own. They asked Pablo for their buckets back, and there was a parade of villages down to the arroyo choosing a stripe of sand they loved. Since that little arroyo was like a miniature Grand Canyon, there were many colors from which to choose. Being villagers like you and I, some chose much sand, some little, some got more than one color in their bucket.
Singing “El Rancho Grande” in harmony, they gaily created their sand paint and each little family colored its own house - each of them being a different color. The village elders (the “village people”) called a meeting and declared “De Colores Day.” Actually they even renamed their village “Cuidad del Colores,” or “City of Colors.” They passed a law that Pablo’s house of pumpkin color could never be repeated. In his honor if a villager’s house came close to becoming the color of pumpkin, the villager would be required to re-sand it.
Pablo was so happy he began to take his cart to the next village - even hiring a helper. The next village looked like little piles of sand with rounded corners punctuated with wooden beams…… Pablo is known as the artist who colored the west - “Papa de Colores.” And you will see every color across the land, but only one spot of pumpkin.
© By Phyllis Ann (Starbird55@comcast.net)