Something Worth Collecting

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At the age of four, I had a collection of dolls

A stepmother's passion hoisted upon me

In a pink quilted box, the size of child's coffin

Cracking faces and silk stockings a feast for moths

I remember Alice, a coronated queen and one other

A plunging bodice with breasts sew in to the gown

I wasn't meant to touch


Later Grandmother decided it was tea

The perfect collection for a young lady

Tiny silver spoons and bowls of sugar cubes

China cups and colorful pots filled my cupboard

The only set I every loved, red plastic,

Melted in the dishwasher


In my teens I collected menus

Leather bound with tassels my favorite

The hardest to procure

Strange exotic dishes printed on parchment

Well-meaning relatives drowned me in take-away photocopies

My fantasies reduced to Chinese-to-go and burger bars

I threw them all away


With half my life behind me I find myself

Again gathering to me a collection

This time an assembly of my own creation

The intoxication of the find drives me

Addicted to the electricity that sparks

When a synchronistic connection is made

Giddily like a four year old I search

Wondering at the world's mysteries

Greedily like a teenager I gather these butterflies

And keep them in my belly

But like a wise woman I know

There is no velvet box that can hold

Instead I cherish those

That mate my soul

Comments 39 comments

Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 5 years ago from United States

Gorgeous images, from the dolls to the grandmother and the tea set to the new slant on butterflies in the stomach. I give it a 'beautiful' and 'awesome.'


tnderhrt23 profile image

tnderhrt23 5 years ago

From your title to your picture to your words, you captured me with this one. Very vivid and rich piece...exceptional poetry!


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Thank you Tom. Endeavoring to show not tell.

Thanks for coming by tnderhrt I've been joying your poems as well!


BenWritings profile image

BenWritings 5 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

I am a beautiful butterfly. Catch me if you can ;]

*flutters away*


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Damn need a bigger net.


Tony DeLorger profile image

Tony DeLorger 5 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

Sometimes when we write intensely personal experience, it reveals who we are- to the reader and to ourselves. Write more about your experiences, what they mean to you. It suits your style. Loved it. Tony


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Thanks Tony I really am enjoying your insights. I think you would like "The Bath," it is very personal.


Nikkij504gurl profile image

Nikkij504gurl 5 years ago from Louisiana

aww i love the line "...I gather these butterflies and keep them in my belly."


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Thanks Nikki... do you collect butterflies too? :)


Nikkij504gurl profile image

Nikkij504gurl 5 years ago from Louisiana

only when my heart lets me.


poetvix profile image

poetvix 5 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

I love the growth this shows so beautifully. The image you selected fits this piece so well. A really impressive write you have here that not only flows like water but conveys so much. Thank you for allowing us to glimpse into your memories.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Thanks for the comment Poetvix. I always find the best pics from Alicpopkorn. She just fits my style.


booguloo 5 years ago

Memories help us join the old with the new. Nice piece. Thanks for sharing.


Fountains 5 years ago

Very pretty and frilly imagery. I've never even heard of someone collecting menus, and I find that so unique and intriguing. I took from this that collecting things help define the self, and make one feel whole. Collecting butterflies in the belly is such an expressive way of describing the search for that infatuated/excited/love feeling. Impressive.


Isabel Bush 5 years ago

great imagery. the photo is wonderful as well


Jingle 5 years ago

love it, perfect build up.


Jeanie McBain  5 years ago

Nice poem I enjoyed reading it very much


Brownpaperbaggirl 5 years ago

Very lovely.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Bugaloo thanks for stopping by to comment.

Hi Fountain. For me butterflies are for more than love and infatuation, they are when what you've been dreaming about lands in your lap. It could be a number of things.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Isabel, thank you for coming by.

Hi Jingle. Thanks for the comment.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Hi Jeanie, glad you liked it.

Greetings Brown. Thanks for checking it out.


Henry Clemmons 5 years ago

I really liked this. Well told and presented. Always luv ur voice.


Norma 5 years ago

Simply superb! I enjoyed reading your poem and then listening to it (you have a beautiful voice). My favourite lines "The only set I every loved, red plastic, Melted in the dishwasher". Quite insightful and beautifully written :)


Marbles in My Pocket 5 years ago

Wonderfully told story. Very nice writing.


mindlovemisery 5 years ago

Wow I loved those closing lines, breath-takingly beautiful if only I could write so well


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Thank you Henry. I'm trying to learn to lower it so I don't sound like a little girl (which I am soooo not).


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Thank you Norma, what a lovely comment. Thanks for taking the time.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Hi Marbles! Thank you for popping in for a read.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Hi Mindlovemisery. Your style maybe different but you do write very well. Thanks for the nice comment.


Jeffrey Lewis 5 years ago

I thought there was an interesting theme of finding yourself and not so much stuff to collect. I like the gradual transition from collecting what others wanted you to collect to finally what it was that meant the most to you


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Thank you for understanding Jeffery. There are few themes that have nothing to do with collecting running through this, that is indeed one. :)


ALIVE aLwaYz 5 years ago

you and your collections shall always remain as one for you posses the curiosity as a child, beauty as a teenager and wisdom as an adult.


clariice 5 years ago

Adored it! Collection of memories of wonderful visitors into our life, a rare unique gift that each of us have and ought to keep. These are the ones who will accompany us through the times!


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

What a perfectly lovely comment ALIVE aLwaYz. Thank you!


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Hi Clariiice :) When we figure that out we are much happier!


JadedLove 5 years ago

Beautiful painted words. Always enjoy stopping by.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Always enjoy you coming by JadedLove, Thank you.


Claudia Schönfeld 5 years ago

oh i like this one a lot randy... Giddily like a four year old I search...Wondering at the world's mysteries...Greedily like a teenager I gather these butterflies..And keep them in my belly...but know they can't be held in a velvet box.. they only live on if we let them fly.. think you touched the core here..


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

I'm glad you like this one Claudia. Butterflies are such a multitalented metaphor.

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