childhood, forest, Memoir, reflection, tranquility, women writers

Day 13 ProlificPulse Mo Po: explore the relationship between humanity and nature.

photo by michael krahn

Into the Forest © arlene s bice

In childhood, my forest was a Woods
more than a copse of trees less than a forest
nestled between two developed pieces of land
a special place that I walked, later rode my bike
five blocks, climb a tree, cozy myself in a union
sometimes lucky to find no one else thereabouts
read a comic book from my back pocket
the big boys off playing chosen action games
beyond my size, age, and being a girl

ah, it planted a seed, a memory of warmth
where comfort is found in the arms of a tree

it is still there; I drive to a nearby state park
a forest much larger; I don’t climb trees anymore
but find a fallen log or stump of an old one
bring out my sketch pad or lined journal
pencil or pen in hand soaking up peace,
tranquility, restoration of self slowly comes
a ray of sunlight may filter through the trees
rustle of dry leaves and crickets are chorus
birds quiet, waiting to see what I will do

the magic of Mother Nature, still works.

Memoir, Poetry, women

Day 9 ProlificPulse Mo Po: Explore the theme of identity and self-discovery in a poem.

Who Am I © arlene s bice

Born as one person
transformed into another
by experiences, by love
by people who wandered
into my life, stayed, and
those who didn’t

I am the girl who refused
to remain in the mold
crashed through barriers
painful as it was, marked
hidden scars stay hidden
only results show

a name that identifies me
changed by marriage
changed again
returned to the original
feels good, comfortable
like coming home

the true self, the girl
is not to be hidden
she is still there.

love, Memoir, Poetry

Day 6 ProlificPulse Mo Po: feeling of falling in love through metaphor and imagery

Photo by Vanessa Serpas on Unsplash

It’s been a Long Time Since © arlene s bice

The lightness of walking, feet above the ground
as musical notes flitter around in your head
like butterflies
oh, yes I remember

impossible to keep a stoid, straight expression
smiles bubble over, announcing love to the universe
without saying a word
oh, yes, I remember

like a brush to an artist creating at a blank canvas
colors, movement, joy will burst off the surface
no effort at all
oh, yes, I remember

when that ethereal feeling of being in love is new
before tarnish, before tragedies, before the world
or the families try to tear you apart
is a time to build a steadiness, a fortress that lasts
a time to bond and let no one else enter your world
oh, yes, I remember.

American History, living with ghosts, Memoir, New Jersey history, reflection

Day 5 ProlificPulse Mo Po: the concept of time and its passage

There was a Time ©arlene s bice

Memories take me back to yesterday
tho yesterday was 70, 80 years ago
then, there was Hay-on-Wye, familiar
the beautiful woman, satin gown, jeweled
choking me awake at 3 a m, gasping for air
brings memories 700 long-time-ago, years
who was she, why did she show such hatred

more recently, 1600s in Massachusetts
my little cottage, Native American friend
strict laws, suspicions, unlawful disaster
memories still buried deep inside my spirit

a brief life as a young woman comes to mind
love of country, full of chaos, bullies in 1775

yes, it all seems like yesterday.

art, childhood, family, genealogy, general, Memoir, Poetry, reflection

Day 2 Po Mo Challenge Describe a childhood memory

Brother Bob & Me

Childhood Pictures ©arlene s bice

Dad, an amateur photographer
of curious mind to satisfy
equipment was plenty; quality
developed his own negatives

chose favorite spots
now remembered
cozy bookcase corner
backyard pale pink rosebush
front porch entry

dressed in holiday clothes
church steps next door
on ground donated by
great grandmother Rachel.

American History, dancing, general, Memoir, women, writing, WRITING MEMOIR

American Bandstand

Are you old enough to remember American Bandstand? Talk about a memory! I was 14 when my girlfriend Asta Fruscione’s mother drove 4 of us down to Philadelphia from Trenton (NJ) where huge warehouses filled block after block. We walked into the dark TV studio of American Bandstand with no problem. We were surprised that the spotlighted area gave only a tiny area to dance. On TV it looked really large. Bob Horn was the host at the time before Dick Clark later took over.

My mom was thrilled to see me dancing on TV!

We thought we were so clever calling in sick at Kuser School Annex (jr. high). Hah! The school secretary pulled me aside the next day. She saw us dancing away on TV like we were regular participants. She was cool and wouldn’t rat us out though. It would be our secret.

If you still have CDs (the kind you listen to, not savings) or any music still hanging around from the good old days, bring it out and take a listen. Relive your life through memory. Remember to dance in between chapters while the music is carrying you. No one is watching! Let those feet jump into the air. Whoee! Jitterbug or Watusi! Whatever your teen dance was, remember?

If you don’t know where to begin writing your story, pull out the photos that you have hiding in your drawers, under the bed and behind the couch in an album collecting dust. Just start writing.

If you aren’t clear about a memory and you ask your sibling about it, keep in mind that you may have both been involved in an event, but you have your own emotions and thoughts. Which means that if you remember a moment in a different way, it is because you looked through eyes that interpreted what you saw otherwise than your sibling. You may have reacted or remembered differently because it was different for you. Often siblings disagree on a particular memory not realizing that you were all right, just experienced the same moment differently.

Memoir, Poetry, reflection

Maps, a poem from Simply Put, a collection

Image by ???? Mabel Amber, who will one day from Pixabay 

MAPS AS PROOF-arlene s bice©

Every now and then

I’ll sit on the floor after dragging down

the pile of maps folded on my bookshelf.

These are the rainy-afternoons-do-you-remember-when-maps.

I don’t buy souvenirs

but I save my maps, some worn others not

emoting moments, some seeking a thing not found

others of finding surprises-quite-unexpected-but-joyfully-held.

Maps are my proof.

I’ve stepped out of the mold, leaving behind

my mother’s daughter; creating my own  true self

becoming a-woman-who-loves-and-saves-her-maps.

And I’ll continue

to travel on roads new to me, soaking in

the atmosphere of another’s world, seeing it differently

then I will be making a deposit-in-the-bank-of-memories-for-a-rainy-day.

Memoir, Poetry

Songs that linger in your mind. . .

photo by Ri Butov from Pixabay

Jerry Vale Songs- arlene s bice

There are so many songs

each one brings back a memory

a treasure that still shines


warm scenes of tenderness

love, dancing

two bodies as one

a song sung softly in my ear

in a sensuous Italian

being held close

desired and full of desire

days of long ago

still kept, to relive

store away

relive again

and again.

book review, Bordentown, horse racing, humor, Ireland, European travel, Australia, Cairns horse racing,, Memoir, New book release, psychic phenomena, reflection

Review on Amazon for Running with the Horses

Review from Love to Learn: What a funny and poignant read. I thoroughly enjoyed stepping into Bice’s shoes and experiencing her highs and lows with her husband. It brought back great memories of going to the track with my husband in my youth. Going down memory lane with her was a real treat.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Love to Learn. I’m so happy you enjoyed the memories from one part of my life!


Happy Mother’s Day Mom, otherwise known as Anna May Daniels Bice Riggi

By Arlene S. Bice

Shortly before Mom passed away in October 1986 she asked me to give her a good hug. “Was I a good mother?” she mumbled, her face pressed against my shoulder. I answered her truthfully. It was what I said over many years. “If I could consider myself half the mother you were, I would be satisfied. I never considered myself half as good as she was as a Mom. I too, made hard choices.

She was a fabulous mother, devoted to us three kids. With my father in the hospital for the last 7 years of his short life (he passed away at age 44 when I was 12) Mom didn’t have to split her time between husband and children. We were her strong, main focus. She sacrificed everything for us. Mom had chances to marry but refused to marry before we were all out on our own. No man would be in the house until then.

She never liked school and quit in 6th grade. Fortunately, her father left her some properties that her smart girlfriend Edie managed to tie up legally so the State or the hospital could not take them from her. She sold them one at a time to use for income. To supplement that income she made jewelry at home at night with my brother Albert to help her. He was 6 years my senior, working in a bank as a day job. When jewelry making closed down, she followed with working in a laundry ironing men’s shirts. Summer temperatures rose about 100% in the laundry.  She walked the 1 ½ blocks away and was home when my brother Bob and I returned from school. Later she replaced that job by working as a waitress on weekend nights.

We always had 2 home cooked meals plus the lunch she packed for school. Never did we eat peanut butter and jelly for lunch. In summer, she made 3 meals a day, every day. On Saturdays she took a break and made something simple for dinner, like hot dogs and sauerkraut or chili con carne. In the winter we ate cakes and pies for dessert made from scratch and home-made bread she made to save money.

Life got easier for us in my teen years when Joe entered our lives. He wasn’t allowed to live in the house until they married after I did when I was seventeen.

My wedding was gorgeous. My marriage, not so gorgeous. For years I resented that she pushed me into a marriage I didn’t really want. How foolish I was. I didn’t understand her thinking at the time. All she wanted was for me to be safe and secure in a good marriage. It wasn’t her fault that her choice was not a good one for me.

I always took care of Mom after she was widowed a second time but there a space between us that could have been better if I had the wisdom then, that I gained over the years by coming to know her through her eyes after she passed away. Writing about her brought me closer to knowing the wonderful woman/mother she was all along.