Elegy for Penny

It isn’t the loss of the shirt from my back,
nor the house that’s levelled and gone.
You couldn’t replace the air that we breath
or the love, ’bout which there’s a song.

Refrain
But you gave me power and passion and lure;
o’er my sweetest dreams you held sway,
and you took my hand, so confidently
counting my luck for the day.

When I recall the corner shop
and its sweet scented displays,
my senses, filled with memories,
explode in halcyon days.

Back then it was a penny for
a slice of simple joy,
but now, more like a toonie or loan
our pleasure to destroy.

Refrain
But you gave me power and passion and lure;
o’er my sweetest dreams you held sway,
and you took my hand, so confidently
counting my luck for the day.

Oh how I long for yesterday,
a bittersweet kind of pain,
for springtime days and sugar-lust
coursing through my veins.

Refrain
But you gave me power and passion and lure;
o’er my sweetest dreams you held sway,
and you took my hand, so confidently
counting my luck for the day.

© 2013 John Anstie

[This poem was prompted by Awna Teixeria in a post on her Facebook page on Tuesday, 5th Feb 2013. It mourns the loss of the Canadian one-cent piece this week.

Awna said: “I will never forget standing in Sam’s, my childhood corner store, with grubby hands full of penny’s slowly counting out my luck for the day. They had the best selection of one cent candies it seemed the world had to offer. For that I will always love and miss you dearly penny. So long old friend….Xo”]

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About PoetJanstie

As a young man, John was fit and sporting. Playing Rugby Union for over twenty years, encouraged in the early days by a school that was run on the same lines as Gordonstoun, giving shape and discipline to a sometimes precarious early life. This fitness was enhanced by working part time jobs in farming, as a leather factory packer and security guard, but probably not helped, for a short time, by selling ice cream! His professional working life was spent as a Metallurgical Engineer, Marketing Manager, Export Sales Manager, Implementation Manager and Managing Director of his own company. Thirty five years spent, apparently in a creative desert, raising a family and pursuing a career, probably enriched his experience, because his renaissance, on retirement, realised a hidden creative talent as a blogger and poet. He also enjoys music, with a piano and a forty-five year old Yamaha FG140 acoustic guitar. He sings bass in three singing groups: as a founding member of a mixed voice chamber choir, Fox Valley Voices; a member of one of the top barbershop choruses in the UK, Hallmark of Harmony (the Sheffield Barbershop Harmony Club) and a mixed barbershop quartet, Needle & Fred. He is also a would be (once upon a time) photographer with drawers full of his own history, and an occasional, but lapsed 'film' maker. In his other life, he doubles as a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, Friend and Family man. What he writes is autobiographical and very often pins his colours to the mast. In 2013, he completed an anthology of the poetry (including his own) of an international group of nine poets, who met on Twitter. He produced, edited and steered the product of this work, "Petrichor Rising", to publication by Aquillrelle.
This entry was posted in age, Ballad, children, Money, nostalgia, poem, poetry, sadness. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Elegy for Penny

  1. eden baylee says:

    Sweet, John! I have no sentimental memories of the penny, but it’s kind of sad to see it gone.
    Now I have to figure out what to do with the jar I have filled with it.
    eden

    Like

  2. Other Mary says:

    This is lovely John, and I like the story that inspired it. It’s great what you did with that line, ‘counting out my luck for the day.’ Is this, or will it be, recorded someplace we can listen to it?

    Like

    • PoetJanstie says:

      Thanks, Mary. Yes, I was kind of, perhaps over-optimistically, hoping Ms Teixeira might take an interest, but I fear that may be a forlorn hope, since she is a much in demand act now and tours for 11 months out of every 12. I met her briefly a couple of times in the UK. Nice girl, lots of experience and also is an integral part of another band called Po’girl, with the beautifully soulful voiced Allison Russell.

      So in answer to your question, don’t hold your breath, but maybe sometime 🙂

      Like

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