Sometimes I am asked how do I come up with ideas for my poetry. Here is one example:
My wife Linda and I enjoy going to estate sales, both to tour the houses and to shop for interesting items. Linda collects salts and their silver spoons. I collect old bottles, old small tins, and metal bells. I must own 150 bells now of all sizes and shapes. I have them divided into groups, such as animal bells topped with various animals, lady bells (ladies in full skirts and bonnets), bells of differing heights, etc. I have become more selective in deciding to buy a bell when I see one nowadays. Friday we hit three estate sales. At one sale, I found an old bell that didn't look like much. The handle had been replaced long ago with a wooden barrel with a metal bolt and nut to hold it in place. The top nut was exposed and quite rusty. The wooden barrel handle had a big crack down one side of it. The clapper was missing, with only an old, dirty piece of cord left behind, having the end that had held the clapper showing left-over rust. The top (handle part) wasn't much to look at, for sure. The bottom part appeared very old and was dark green in color. The bell was heavy. The handle was 4 and 3/4th inches tall, with the bell being 3 and 1/4 inches tall with a diameter of the bell opening being 4 and 1/2 inches across. A heavy, eight-inch tall bell! Closer examination revealed the bell to be made of copper, quite heavy and thick-walled & quite well-made. I decided to buy the bell. It cost all of $3.50. The lady at checkout said that it was copper and should shine up nicely. However, I prefer to leave the decades old green patina untouched. I can just imagine that this bell was once a grand bell and was probably quite expensive when new. I, of course, wondered about its history -- who bought it new, who all had owned it, how/where it was used, who repaired it, how it came to be sitting on a den shelf in Shreveport. The result of my imagination answering such questions is the following storoem.