Distant Voices

Distant Voices

A bench, at first, where solder flowed,
and wires glowed in anticipation
of the words and music that would dance
across waves that filled the air
before rasping from a tiny speaker.

A desk would follow, dials and needles
on your radio measuring signals,
those received from far places,
yours, a response to those voices
and clicks with your own.

I may have had the desire to follow,
and you did encourage me,
but my discomfort in talking to others
over the air was just as real for me
as talking to them in person.

Years later, I found myself at a desk,
talking to the camera as I vlogged.
It seemed that I was finally ready
to talk to people, even if remotely.
You would have enjoyed that.

These days, it’s blogging, and I could be
anywhere. At the kitchen table
or in a recliner with a laptop,
or on my phone as I remember you
and write a poem about your ham radio days.

This poem is my response to Poetics: In the Light of Other Days, the prompt from Laura Bloomsbury at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem recalling some specific thing or things from the past, or more generally about what evokes a memory or memories in you.

31 thoughts on “Distant Voices

  1. My grandfather had a ham radio for years and though he had stopped by the time I remember the tower in the yard was there through my childhood. He was a county sheriff in rural Illinois and I do remember listening to the police radio with him. I always wanted to speak but I’m sure if he’d let me I would have been too shy. Your poem brought all this back. I enjoyed seeing a similar situation through your eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had a Ham Radio guy as a neighbor when I was a kid & was constantly amazed at his contacts. K1DBP were his call letters as far as I can recall, over half a century later.
    Great work, Ken.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I grew up in that Ham Radio era. My neighbor lived up on the hill and had a Ham Radio. We had a big upright radio with a big round dail that had several wave lengths that I could tune in and listen to. A great poem and memory Ken.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ron. It was so long ago that I don’t remember all of the details. He started out in CB in the 1960s. After a while he was into single side band, and then he moved on to ham radio.
      He had towers at a couple of his houses. We poured the foundation, then put the base of the tower on a pivot so that he could string a cable across the roof, rested on an angle iron with a pulley wheel, so that he could use his car to raise and lower the tower to work on the antennas.


    • I started out on YouTube in 2006, but left there (late 2007, maybe?) due to trolls that got pretty personal. I was on LiveVideo from early-mid 2007 until late 2008, when I joined a site called VloggerHeads. I opened a new YouTube account so I could embed videos from there to VloggerHeads. At one point I was making up to 300 vlogs/year. For the past six years my videos are once-a-month updates made while kayaking, that I also share on Facebook to stay in touch with family. The vlogs usually are conversations, but I can be obnoxious at times. One was one minute with nothing more than me eating a fried egg sandwich. Here’s a link to the videos there: https://www.youtube.com/user/ryvrvlogr/videos

      I also have a YouTube channel that I use for video poetry, although I do have some earlier video poems at the first one that I need to migrate over.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The affection comes through in your words. I never would have connected ham radio and blogging, since I have no experience with ham radio. I was explaining how I have “blogger friends” to my in-person friends last night. My dad died before cell phones, much less smart phones, and he didn’t see the point of having a computer. I often wonder if he would be on social media if he was still around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Merril. Years ago, when I was into vlogging, I made a point to visit some of the people I’d met online through their videos. Many were small group meetups, and the count passed 50.
      My father was making home movies from the late 1950s into the early 1970s, and then home videos in the late 1980’s and early 1990s. Almost always, he was the one behind the camera, but I’m pretty sure he would have had an interest in at least seeing people he might know on the screen.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is incredibly moving, Ken! I especially like; “These days, it’s blogging, and I could be anywhere. At the kitchen table or in a recliner with a laptop, or on my phone as I remember you,”.. memories have a way of being with us no matter where we are 💝💝

    Liked by 1 person

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