Monday, January 24, 2011

Portrait of an Unknown Girl


Aim: to comment as a photographer.


She looked a nice young kid, fresh-faced, with a sunny smile.
She was sitting in the sunshine, entirely without guile.
I was photographing scenery down there beside the sea,
And she looked up and laughed and said  'I dare you to take me!'
It was such an innocent request, made with a little laugh,
So, there and then, I captured her in a seaside photograph.
Her face was scrubbed and shiny, her hair in a pony-tail;
An everyday girl, she seemed to me, a casual, passing male.
As I turned to leave I questioned her; 'What's your name?' I said.
And, suddenly, I was overwhelmed with a sense of future dread.....
'My name is Norma Jean' she replied  'I'm changing it, you know.
My new name will be so pretty........
It's Marilyn Munroe.'

(A Memoir)


When I was in High School my uniform was a terribly drab navy blue
And throwing it out for a pretty dress, well, that was a dream come true.
But things changed a lot when I went to sea and a uniform was required!
Suddenly navy became the shade that was all that my heart desired!
I'd a little peaked cap with a badge up front and epaulettes on each shoulder
And I felt so smart in my uniform: very mature, much older!
Older in quite the nicest way, a woman of the world I thought,
With high, high heels and a nipped-in waist, and a great deal of fun in port.
Now navy was fine for the colder climes, but not so good in the heat
And there came a time on every trip when the captain announced a treat.
'Whites will be worn tomorrow!' The message came over the air.
We suddenly knew we could blossom, for Whites were the thing to wear.
We still kept navy epaulettes, showing Union Castle Line,
But the Whites were so much classier when the weather was hot and fine.
And I always felt quite sorry when, on the homeward run,
The weather turned cool and wintry and clouds disguised the sun.
'All hands will wear navy tomorrow' the message was loud and clear
And you don't disobey ship's captains! You'd be thrown out on your ear!
But life was still fun in navy, both for officers and for crew
And I still remember them fondly, my days in navy-blue.


Anonymous said...

Great story with a surprising ending! And a bit of sentiments... I like it! :)

Maude Lynn said...

Love that first one!

Lesa said...

Love Marilyn Monroe! Did you know she was a bookworm and owned an extensive library? loved learning that about her since I'm a bookworm too-- and a bookblogger.

Great post-- Thanks for the visit!

Mad Kane said...

Loved your Marilyn poem. Delightful!

Anonymous said...

Two imaginative 'takes' on the same prompt. Hard to choose a favourite, but I would plump for Norma Jean, for the wit behind it.

RJ Clarken said...

I loved both poems, but the exuberance and youth of Marilyn Monroe - well, you captured that moment in time,

mark said...

In the 'Norma Jean' poem, I was struck by how we know the subject of the photo, but not the photographer. Which adds to the mystery of it.

I quite liked the first one.

gautami tripathy said...

I liked both.

singular thoughts

christopher said...

I like finding a twist, the poem is like a good short short story then. So I'm a sucker for the poem about Marilyn Monroe before she was Marilyn Monroe. I can easily see that happening.

Anonymous said...

Poor Norma Jean. I wonder what her life would have been like if she hadn't gone down that path to Marilyn. Nicely rhymed, as always.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed both poems, and the stories they told!

Laurie Kolp said...

I loved them both.

Deb said...

What a captivating photo (one I had not seen) & story to accompany it.