Claire V. Bogdanos

Acceptance,Knowledge,Love,New Chapter,Process,Wisdom,

ACQUAINTANCE ( 2013 ) 2013/08/30

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 12:42 pm
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I count among my friends as best I ever had

The first of all is God and then my mom and dad

I know you’ll be surprised but this is truly so

A friend is always there no matter where you go.

When I was just a girl, my dad he went away

He never really left, I speak with him each day

I know he will not answer we are worlds apart

But I can feel his love because he’s in my heart.

And as the years have passed my mom has joined his side

To leave me all alone impatient here outside

Some day it will just happen I shall join them there

We will be as one with eternity to share.


DATELINE: HOBOKEN, NJ, USA “CHILDHOOD” ( 2013 ) 2013/08/20

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 1:38 pm
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My Nana was born June 2, 1891, at 34 Monroe, Hoboken of a Prussian mother and a Westphalian father, the 2nd daughter in a family of many sons.  She began working at 6 alongside her 8 year old sister Olga in P. Lorillard factory on Henderson, hand rolling tobacco in cigarette papers. Little fingers worked quickly as they laughed, giggled, sang, chattered away mocking the adult supervision to lighten the intensity of the child labor conditions !  She had equivalent of 2nd grade education, spelled phonetically, pencilled pages of legible stories and wrote me a double-sided letter in pencil every week of my life until she died.  Sadly, I never saved one yet I remember those stories as if it were yesterday !  She made my clothes, taught me my prayers, how to sew, play cards and hugged me a lot.  My only sibling arrived when I was 9, it was she who several years later nicknamed me “Goody Two Shoes” which I suspect wasn’t all flattery, what do you think ?  My parents were just kids themselves, I think we matured at the same rate and time like birds of a feather ( the follow up ) that flock together !  My dad used to say that I was born “all grown up”, perhaps !  

Sincerely,                                 Claire B.


MY OLD AUNT ROSE ( 2013 ) 2013/07/20

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 12:29 am
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Such a cheerful face and a ready smile
She made my young life so much more worth while
And was always there when I craved advice
With a hug and a kiss not once but twice.
Rose arrived in July of ninety-five
Born just two pounds no one thought she’d survive
She surprised them all and was fine by spring
But never grew tall, just a tiny thing.
She raised five brothers and a niece or two
Looked after her dad and her mother too
She’d knit and crochet and even tat lace
That smile we all loved remained on her face.
Through her very long life she kept her cheer
Dear old Aunt Rose how I wish you were here!


WISTFUL THOUGHTS ( 2013 ) 2013/07/08

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 11:58 pm
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I miss my mom, I miss my dad

And all the friends that I once had

I miss the way life used to be

When joy and hope and peace were free.

These days are gone just blown away

With lost remains of yesterday

Oh how I pray and often yearn

For oldtime pleasures glad return.


I realise now this won’t be

Seems most of it was not that free

I’ve tried quite hard to be aware

And understand with love and care

Here in this world the future brings

Broad visions of lifes happenings.





Filed under: MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 12:16 pm
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Remember the peddlers? Well, I’m still in the 30’s and recalling that bygone era with much affection. Especially the iceman who came once a week the entire year long. We never questioned where the ice came from, much like today’s children who do not query the existence of Wi-Fi. How much we take for granted since Ben Franklin’s experiment with a simple kite in an open field. I think I was about three and we lived on Cambridge Avenue in Jersey City, close to the park on the first floor of a frame building with a wooden porch in front of three large railroad rooms with a shared toilet in the hall! It was just up the steep hill from Hoboken off Congress Street with cheaper rent. It was a very hot summer. If you wonder what “railroad” means think of trains, opening one into another minus wasted hallway space (of course no privacy). Two huge double-hung windows porchside and two in the kitchen, yardside, with wide walls in between, there were large pocketdoors on the front room to save coal in the winter. No bath! Enough said, a huge laundry tub and a folding screen next to the obligatory black iron coal stove with a giant water cauldron over the glowing embers, familiar to anyone? But back to the ice, my dad built a shelf for an oscillating fan and placed an enamel pan with a 10 cent piece of ice on top of the icebox, opened all the windows, and “voila”, old fashioned air conditioning for a dime. No radio, no TV, no online, just the bible, loads of conversation, love, family, neighbors, poverty and ingenuity! Great huh?



Claire B.



Filed under: MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 12:05 pm
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May I share with you? But what shall it be? Big decision, the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, I’m not sure where to begin as each era is shouting my name! I remember my daddy making “bathtub gin” and the horse and cart peddlers who sold ice by the piece. And stirring a pot as big as myself set on a black iron coal stove with a huge wooden paddle, boiling my baby sister’s diapers, on a homemade stool built just for me. Of course every yard had a huge wooden clothespole that reached for the sky with giant iron hooks where the clotheslines were tied. But the hooks didn’t start close to the ground for security’s sake, you needed a ladder at least ten feet tall. Yes, there were laundry thieves who could shinney hand over fist up that pole to steal sheets off the line. Those wash lines would occasionally fray and it took a juggler to replace them. My daddy taught me how, I was his only “son”, haha, for nine years which is why I am adept at “hammer and nails”. You listened in bed for the squeal of the pulley in case your neighbors were the victims! All pulleys made a noise, no way to silence them, no silicone to spray them. Most stores and homes had little jingle bells suspended on their entrance doors that welcomed all who came. Old habits die hard, I kept those bells on my doors until I moved to Florida to retire. I have a feeling that perhaps a return to the bell system might inhibit some burglars! Do you think it’s worth a try? Keep tuned, there’s more to follow!



Claire B.


DATELINE: Hoboken, NJ, USA ” ROOTS & WINGS ” ( 2013 ) 2013/06/16

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 3:00 pm
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There is an old saying ” there are but two gifts we can give to our children, one is roots, the other is wings”, Anon.  Well, I can assure you never were those words more true than in the America of the 1930’s !  And yes, we did go to bed hungry but we didn’t complain, what good would it have done?  We simply learned to share, it became our way of life, that and the love of God sustained us !  I worked three jobs until the time of my marriage at age 25, close to “spinsterhood”.  Keeping busy was the impetus of the day, and the time-worn admonition, “Idle hands do the devil’s work” was the familiar motto!  We sure had roots as family was our “community” and wings translated into “dreams” of which there was always an abundance!  How I miss the love that we knew then, it was free of conditions, fear and bribery.  Can you imagine, love for the sake of affection?


Claire B.


DATELINE: Hoboken, NJ, USA ” ORANGE PEELS ” ( 2013 ) 2013/06/14

Filed under: MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 4:55 pm
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Are you familiar with the term ” hand-me-downs ” ?  For those of us who are , it epitomizes a way of life that seems to have faded into a form of casual oblivion !  However, with this disappearance we lose a huge chunk of the basic tenets of our American heritage, our raison d’ etre.  I’ve been wearing ” castoffs ” for the better part of my life, which is why and how I learned early to boldly ” cut and sew ” or to turn used sweaters into vests and ” bobby sox “.  I was taught to knit and crochet by the age of eight and to weave by ten.  It was ” disgraceful ” to discard any object that displayed even the faintest signs of  ” resurrection “.  Recently, I was thrilled to watch a TV program about the recycling of orange peels into feed for cattle ( chock full of vitamins ).  Bravo !  When I was first married, my favorite place to shop was called, the ” Salvation Army ” ,  and every item chosen became a labor of love !  Each eventually made its way into a ” family heirloom ”  or a garage sale, thats American ingenuity and entrepreneurship !  I must admit that as my sons entered grade school,  I ceased ” making ” their clothing but they did wear  ” hand-me-downs ” for an extensive time after.  The result of which is that the youngest of four remains to this day a vision of sartorial splendor !  Hmm, I wonder why?



Claire B.


HYPOCRISY ( 2013 ) 2013/06/13

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 8:47 pm
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I used to be married to this person I know

I must say that it was such a long time ago.

Perhaps had been better if a stranger were he

Unless one of us moves seems I’ll never be free

We live in this small town that’s only one mile square

If I shop in a store you can bet he’ll be there.

It has been forty long years since we shared a home

Much nicer this way as we are each on our own.


And now we are friends and can casually chat

About family and such, about this and that.

It’s been a long road the healing did not come quick

Looks like fate had a laugh and has played us a trick.

So here we are approaching the end of the trail

With our egos intact and a marriage that failed !



MY NANA ( 1945 ) 2013/06/11


I’ve loved you God since I was small

Because my Nana told me so.

I loved you when I grew quite tall

And heard the stories I now know.

Because she said you did it all

With kindness and a loving heart

And meant the world to heed your call

To love each other from the start.

I wish I’d learned how not to stall

I’ve tried to follow where you go

The path is long most seem to fall

I know, my Nana told me so.


EULOGY ( 1968 ) 2013/06/05

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 12:34 am
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Glitter tinsel bright and gold

Shimmer lantern white and old

My father’s face, the frown he wore

The visage seen from long before,

The namesake not at all alike

Comparing man and tiny tyke,

Had hoped to be but some akin

Again that we delight in him,

But not yet so nor ever be

That any, all, should be as he.


What are we that we leave but nought

Of what we’ve been or might have thought?

Seems all that’s left e’er we depart

Are mem’ries dim in aging heart,

A stone to recollect the day

We came and that we passed away.

A pittance small for life’s demand

A wage not worthy of command.


The moral in this wretched thought

That time can neither hide nor fraught,

Is simple in its elegance

A matter of small eloquence

The one impact to which we’re heir

While most unjust and too unfair,

‘Tis seeming most depraved to think,

We stand, we tremble on the brink

We come and go both heart and mind

And never leave a trace behind.


BIG LITTLE MEN ( 1959 ) 2013/05/25

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 1:10 am
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My little men are playing hard

their jumbled shrieks of glee

Will prove an ever constant source

of wonderment to me.

It is not meet that we should know

of all the words they speak

For half the joy of their long day

are secrets they need keep.

And in their world of little men

where adults cannot be

All men are brave and strong and good

in faith, they’re not yet three.


DATELINE : Hoboken, New Jersey, USA ” HERO ” ( 2013 ) 2013/05/21

Filed under: MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 1:16 am
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Am I correct in believing that Brokaw called my era the “ Greatest Generation” ?  ( My mother bought me that book.)  I spent more than 76 years of my life in “ incredibly “ close proximity to my mom, she was my “hero” !  I miss her everyday and live by the simple rules she valued.  In German it was : Kirche, Kinder, Kochin, “loosely”  translated into … God, family, duty !  Not a bad goal.


Claire B.


TO MY CHILDREN. ( 1978 ) 2013/05/11

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 3:12 pm
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From a mother to her son, and I write singularly,

because you are all the same, one finger of a hand, it

matters not which one, because all are indispensible

to me.   You are all an integral part of me, not even

death can truly separate us.  We are eternally one flesh.

I know with great clarity that you wish that our family

problems could be, with mysterious and magical alacrity,

whisked away on some fortuitous wind.  But you must now

understand that this is impossible, for many reasons,

honor not the least.


Perhaps with foolish vanity, I say to you that I have

sincerely tried to mend a constantly crumbling relationship

in the best manner that I was capable of, and perhaps my

efforts were misconstrued; and then again, perhaps my

vision and my ability were clouded by my own personal

pain and disappointment.   Perhaps, I too, was weak and

selfish.  My God, I hope not.


It must be that you profit from my experience in that

you do not err as I did, but rather that you see my errors,

tucking the memory of them away in some far corner of your

mind, using them as a guide in your lives to avoid similar

misfortune.  Each of you must make your own mistakes, hoping

only that every one teaches you a valuable lesson.  I love

you all as I love my life, you have each given me memories

and joys to last a lonely lifetime.   I pray that I have done

the same for you.   I apologise deeply for having brought you

to your present pain, and whatever decisions you individually

reach,  I will accept as being just and honorable, for this is the

manner in which I have tried to raise you.

Love, Your mother.


ALISON ( 1977 ) 2013/02/13

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 3:16 pm
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I loved you, Alison, daughter I never had,

Little bird with timorous wings trying to soar

Above life’s clamor and din, mediocre and sad,

Like a lion at bay, as it whimpers a roar

Far too regal to run yet too timid to fight,

A babe thrust from her nest by adversity’s quirk,

Yet she stood like a queen never taking to flight.

How I envied her strength and the way her mind worked

And I loved her like a child I wished had been mine,

She stole my heart yet never understood the why,

But a wildflower to a cage one can’t confine,

Neither chain hearts or wings, hummingbird homeward fly.

See the pluck of that heart and the length of her limbs,

Flee now from the wind and consuming storm that stirs

To devour the sweet soul that breathed curious whims,

Shattered hopes, scattered dreams, the world could have been hers

And through her tender tears she wove her magic spell,

Her good-bye, whispered soft, bore majestic disdain,

Sweet child of my heart now gone I pray you fare well,

Lose not that bright spirit soon we’ll meet once again.


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