Tag Archives: poetry

homework

Baby Girl had a homework assignment to complete on the first day of school this year.  She had to write a poem about herself, about “where she’s from.” She didn’t ask for help, and I didn’t offer any. I think she got it just right.

Where I’m From

I am from long afternoons at the barn. Pastures sprawled out in all directions and the whinnies of horses. The sweet smell of hay and the feel of rough mane through my fingers. The taste of dirt after falling off.

I am from the days of watching Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon. Dragon Tails, Arthur, and My Little Pony. Singing along with Barney & Friends and the Sesame Street show. Telling Dora where to go and what to do.

I am from Scottish ancestry. The land of haggis, kilts and the sound of bagpipes. A land that fought valiantly for its independence, but lost. The same land where Nessie resides, making lake Loch Ness her home.

I am from two brave soldiers, both of whom fought in World War II. Overseas in a land unfamiliar, fighting a powerful enemy. Bearing the weight of war on their shoulders. Writing letters to loved ones back home, thankful that they are safe.

I am from weeks at the lake. Jumping off the dock, going out for boat rides. Watching movies and playing games with cousins. Spending time with the two neighborhood dogs. Fishing and eating dinner on the deck. Watching storms pass by.

I am from the love of history. The times of kings and queens. Of Tsars and Tsarinas. Guards standing watch outside palaces and castles. Times where sickness and plague ran rampant. And war was at every corner.

I am from the best family anyone could ask for. A mother, father and brother. Loving, caring, always there when you need them. People that could never be replaced. People that will always be remembered, their faces and names forever in my heart and mind.

She says she isn’t a writer.

Summer Leaves

Dawn’s sunlight breaks across the mountain ridge

Illuminating the trees in the vale below.

Mist rises from the creek that flows under the bridge toward the pastures downstream.

Night’s coolness gives way to morning warmth

And summer leaves drift down

 

Orange and yellow, green, blue, brown and black

The leaves come to life, spreading their wings. Catching the morning breeze

They float from heights above

Down to the willows and weeds gathered at creek’s edge

 

Lilacs come to life as the butterflies seek out branches

Where they flit and flutter in the morning sun

Each delicate creature a masterpiece of design and beauty.

Wings of stained glass perfection

Slender bodies, strong legs able to grasp leaves as

Butterflies probe flower petals sipping the hidden nectar.

 

The sun makes its daily trek across the sky

As Earth makes its annual trek around the sun.

Days grow shorter; night’s dominance begins, and

The butterflies sip with urgency

The passage of time and season now visible in their bodies—faded colors; rough, tattered wings; broken or missing legs.

 

And yet

 

They continue to wander from flower to fern

Seeking nourishment to sustain them for the days and nights ahead

When the butterflies seek warmer climes

And summer leaves.

Green in Todd

An ordinary blade of grass

No different from thousands of others

Lining the bank of the creek where I sit

Surrounded by wild violets, mountain ferns, grasshopper weeds

–a field of green.

 

I reach out and touch the single, slender shoot

Pulling it up from amidst its neighbors,

Sacrificing its life for my curiosity.

 

It slides smoothly between my fingers

As I pull it from root to tip—

Then I pull it back

The texture changes from smooth to rough, jagged, sharp.

 

I bend it over my forfinger

The sun reflects off its surface,

Changing the color from green to shining silver

Highlighting the ridges that run

Vertically along its length

Unseen until that moment.

 

As I look more closely at the field of green around me

Notice the grass, violet leaves, ferns, weeds—

All are different shades of green.

The blades of grass-verdant green.

The violet leaves-green, yet subtly blue.

The mountain fern-green, tinged with yellow.

The grasshopper weeds-green topped in feathery brown.

 

And I see that green is more than color.

 

Green is life.

Writer’s Block

At night the words come out to play

Skipping along through my head, as I lay

On the pillow, awake, reviewing the day.

The price I will pay for these words in the light

Of tomorrow—frustration, fatigue, and the fight

Between words and myself that started last night.

In daylight, the words scamper and hide

In my brain, inaccessible, taunting my pride

In occasionally catching them, stemming the tide

Of the thoughts that tease me, dare me to chase

Them, hunting them down all over the place

To write them on paper, thus winning the race.

To those scurrilous words I say, “Taunt me no more!

I’m sleeping tonight; I’ve settled the score

Between you and me.”

I hope I don’t snore.