Walt Whitman reportedly said that he wished his early work could be dropped into oblivion, well, ditto that, Walt.
I believe the only reason that most of us high school kids had our work published in this sweet little journal, Mosaic, was that we were brave enough to submit. Okay, that’s the only reason my work was published, a Catholic gesture of brotherhood on the part of Miss Mika’s Mosaic Club. I believe putting any permanence to these words was merely an act to acknowledge that I had the wherewithal to read the call for submissions, type up my stuff, and drop it off. Bravo. The process should have ended there.
Some of the work, while youthful, shows talent. Hope and vision anyway. But most of it is an undeniable outpouring of that ever so heart wrenching heavy thing we all knew in one way or another: teenage angst. Many of the pieces pine for youth. (What?) ‘When I was young.’ You are! (Well, we were). But is that not the beauty of adolescence and pubescence? That early awareness of aging? That we are no longer what we were (young) and we are something new (less young). Of course, if your are comparing the growth from 12 to 15 years old, that is duly significant. Comparing 7 to 17 years old? Yes, those are leaps, bounds, in fact, and certainly angst-worthy. Pine on, I say! We did.
Okay, so enough editorializing. I promised in a recent post about my brother Pat that I would post poetry what we published in Mosaic. I mistakenly noted that we had published in the same issue. That is not the case in the two volumes I have, 2 and 3, shown above (and yes, while the photos are mine, therefore not very good, the size difference is true, one is an 8.5″x5.5″ publication, and one an 8.5″x7″). I am published in Volume 3, and Pat is in Volume 2.
Does anyone out there have Mosaic Volume 1? And was there a Mosaic Volume 4?
So, with all due embarrassment, one of the pieces they so unfortunately published of mine, in Volume 3, is as follows: “I have traveled at least a mile from where I was yesterday, in strength, courage, and maturity. My means of transportation was life, love, and imagination. I have seen many wonders and many hardships along my journey. Though I have traveled this distance I am in the same place only the scenery has changed and become more vivid.”
Er, could we please move on now? (Oh, don’t be so harsh.) I was 13. Waning poetic as I felt to be bombarded constantly with images and notions and feelings and conclusions. I had arrived at a metaphoric understanding, and I guess, now that I think about it, a peaceful one, considering all that was going on in the world and the U.S. in the early 70s. I saw it as a journey. I was on it. I was learning. Enough said. (Still….)
My brother Pat, on the other hand. Always a thinker and a poet. He, too, wrote about the movement from young to less young, with meter and rhyme to boot! Ah, and so he did, as always, better than I.
When I was young
I sang a song
that since has not been sung
When I was old
a fool I’m told
and me, the only one
if you would know
that I felt so
what difference would it make
for me to try
to tell you why
my strength it all would take
and so, you see
that you and me
are miles and miles apart
and what is sad
I wish I had
just known it from the start
So, there you have it, as promised. There are a few other ditties from each of us in these two volumes, perhaps to be shared another day.
What I would really like to know, if you have access to other Volume(s), please share?
Oh, to youth, to aging, to Walt Whitman and oblivion. Cheers.