Keeping My Eyes on Kellogg

This week's Sibling Assignment was given to us by Raymond Pert. Here is his assignment:

Take a picture of something weird or of something not weird in a weird way. Try to make the subject of your picture either unrecognizable or take a picture of something really odd that your viewer won't know what it is.

Post the picture and write a post about it in whatever way you want. You might try to identify what's in the picture or you might write what the picture makes you feel or think about or whatever.

Here is Raymond Pert's post on the picture I sent him, and here is Inland Empire Girl's post on the picture RP sent her. Below is my post based on the photo IEG sent me.

These windows remind me of the garage doors down the street from our old house on McKinley Avenue in Kellogg, located behind the old Bunker Hill office building. This is what I imagine these “eyes” saw over the years as they gazed upon my hometown.

Keeping My Eyes on Kellogg

Hard hat, silver lunch pail, Thermos.
Booted feet shuffling by on the way to the dry.
Cigarette snuffed out on the pavement.
Raised hands in greeting.
Keeping my eyes on Kellogg.

Brown hills, scrubby brush, rust-colored soil.
Smoky haze lingering on top of mountain peak.
Hills aglow with fiery lava.
New formations created each night.
Keeping my eyes on Kellogg.

Lead, arsenic, cadmium.
Milky white creek runs through center of town.
No one dares explore the banks.
Full of poisons from years gone by.
Keeping my eyes on Kellogg.

Neon signs, swinging doors, music blaring.
No parking places uptown on a Friday night.
Payday and everyone’s pockets are full.
Raising glasses and swinging fists.
Keeping my eyes on Kellogg.


raymond pert said...

Wow! I don't remember many poems you've written but this is superb. I love the repeated line and the details are perfect. It's the whole of our hometown artfully compressed into just four stanzas.

Great post/great poem.

Inland Empire Girl said...

Wow! I agree one hundred percent. I think you better give up that acting/singing/directing/script writing/novel writing/light person/concession worker/ticket seller part of your life for a week or so and have a poetry reading next. You were very close on the picture. The windows were at the old bus garage at Silver King school. I took it when I went up after the roof collapse last year.

Silver Valley Girl said...

Thanks for the feedback on the poem. I'm glad you liked it. My hope was to conjure up images, either that I remembered or were told about in Kellogg days gone by. It looks like it may have happened.

Silver Valley Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Go Figure said...

Yes, great poem indeed. It transcends my view of Kellogg, but I was pretty focused on what RP once coined as AstroDirt(c). HA!

Silver Valley Girl said...

Yes, for you it was AstroDirt and stealing letters off of buildings, if I recall! LOL!!

Go Figure said...

Now that is interesting...the part about letters off a wall. Did I mention that story, or were you or your friends amongst the angry crowd that confronted my friend and I at the Union Hall, that crazy evening in 1970? Oh, on Obama, I certainly recognize the appeal...I gave serious thought to voting for him also...I think that the Idaho Values Alliance web page would be interesting reading.

Silver Valley Girl said...

Yes, you mentioned the story some other time. I don't think me and all my 7 year old friends were in the angry mob in 1970...now that would have potential to happen in Wallace maybe...those Wallace kids were tough. I think Wallace kids had beards by the time they were 7 years old didn't they? HA HA!!

Go Figure said...

Heck, as I recall, I was only 6 at the time. HA!

tumblewords said...

This might be a near duplicate - the first appears to have cybercided. This is a wonderful poem, IMO. I love the rhythm, the imagery and the feeling of stepping into that older world. It brings back memories of my visits from Coeur d'Alene.

Silver Valley Girl said...

Thanks so much, tumblewords. That means a lot coming from you. I really appreciate the comment.

myrtle beached whale said...

Is the "Keep Idaho Green" sign still on the hill above sunnyside? Last time I was there I did not pay attention. I have told many people about the irony of that message on that brown, lifeless hillside. I am sure the hill is now green and lush and the sign would be appropriate.

Silver Valley Girl said...

No Keep Idaho Green on the hill. Now that place is actually covered with green trees. Yes, it was always a bit ironic having that sign there. They must have removed it when they started the reforestation process in the late 70's and early 80's.

Jenny Johnson said...

Those weekend fights usually involved the Silvas and the Kitchens didn't they??? Great poem - loved it

New reader
Jenny J
Spokane WA