Chalk Marks, Bears and What Lay Beneath

When I was a child the pavement
was a canvas, a joyful defacement:
I made colourful chalk marks on the grey,
a street artist, until the rain came
and washed them away.
Hopscotch boxes led my feet
across the concrete
and cracks warned of bears
waiting to eat me
if I didn’t stay in the squares.
I was curious about what lay
beneath the heavy grey;
grass and weeds promised a secret world of soil,
ants, scuttling beetles, and an earthworm’s coil.

Kim M. Russell, 1st July 2010

Chalk Art Stock Pictures, Royalty-free Photos & Images

My response to Poets and Storytellers United Weekly Scribblings #26: Pavement

Sanaa’s midweek prompt has us walking on and exploring pavements. She has drawn wordy inspiration from Wendell Berry, T.S. Eliot, Barbara Kingsolver and Vladimir Mayakovsky, and audio inspiration from a song by Adele, as well as some images from Pixabay. 

Our challenge is to write a piece inspired by the word ‘pavement’.

A renewed attempt at using the new WordPress Editor.

33 thoughts on “Chalk Marks, Bears and What Lay Beneath

  1. I absolutely love, love this, Kim! 💝 You took me back to my childhood with “colourful chalk marks on the grey, a street artist, until the rain came and washed them away,” and oh “Hopscotch boxes led my feet across the concrete and cracks warned of bears,” the image and idea of a pavement as a canvass delights me, as it portrays how a child’s innocence wins despite the bedlam around the world at the end of the day. May its secrets guide us, nourish the soul and give rise to hope! Thank you so much for writing to the prompt. 😃🥰😘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice work indeed, KR. My sister was a hopscotcher, always asked me to help draw her squares. I’ll be forwarding a link to her later this AM.

    I tried, disliked, and decided against the WP Editor; won’t change until I have no choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ron. I don’t like the new editor. The last time they introduced it, I tried it and begged to go back to the old one. But I was promised this time it would be easier to work with. It’s not good for laying out poetry.


    1. We didn’t need hi=tech toys and computer games. Sticks, stones, pavements, bits of old rope, trees – that was all we had, and it was enough.


  3. So interesting to me to see everyone with pavement/sidewalk memories. Growing up on a farm I have no such! Now if you want to talk about mud pies with corn kernel decorations, hollyhock dolls, and catching fireflies in mason jars, I’m your girl! What fun to hear about your hop scotch adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful memories, Kim!
    I still remember when my kids used to say something about stepping on a pavement’s crack meant breaking their mum’s ( mine 😮) back…only God knew what that meant… LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was fun, Kim. At first those around here would adorn their walks but that ‘wore off’ and now we seldom see them in our walks. I really liked what might be nearing those cracks, that was a new thought for me until today.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Chalk and a sidewalk are a child’s wonderland. I can’t count the times I played hopscotch on pavement. Love the memories your beautiful poem brought to me.

    Liked by 1 person

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