Monday, March 24, 2008

Poetry Train Monday - 42 - Where I'm From

I found this wonderful poetry template at Candid Karina's and couldn't wait to do one of my own. Here is Karina's beautiful version. Here is the template if you'd like to try it yourself. I played with the form slightly but followed the content of the template.



















Where I'm From


I am from ballerina jewelry box
from Capital Records 45's and Grandpa's fiddle
his stomping foot a-dideley-dideley-dideley-dye.

I am from the packed-up house
the rumbling seat in the truck with Daddy
his hands on the steering wheel tapping to Maggie May's mandolins.

I am from the piles of crisp leaves he raked to the steps
so I could jump and land and laugh
the granite bedrock edging the sea where we climbed and ran
the silent snowfall and the tug-swoosh of the sled
over the buried street.

I am from crouch, focus and shutter click
from fingers pressing piano keys
from Great-Grandpa Meuse's old photo postcards from out west
Grandma Doucet's bread rising under the tea towels
Mom picking up smoothed rocks from the beach to turn over in her hands.

I am from the stubborn Acadians and the teasing Mi'kmaq.

From Come tell Mommy what's the matter
and Hello, Sweet Pie.

I am from shh so quiet in my ear
I had to be quiet to hear it
standing still in the aisle of the packed church.
I'm from piling into the car and Dad driving
to the woods, to the beach, to the ocean.
I'm from entering these wonders of Creation like cathedrals
hearing prayer in the waves and on the wind.















I'm from the marshes of Poitou
from a morning twelve generations back
sailing from France with hope, with skill
unwavering and unstoppable.
I'm from river trout sizzling in the cast iron fry pan
from baked beans simmered for hours
blending the tartness and the sweet.

From the wolves howling
in the frozen moonlit night
chasing Grandpa's horses as they
pulled the sleigh through the dark spruce
towards home.

From the despair of my uncle lost
in the snow-laden woods with a friend
logging road to follow at dawn
hut where a man fed them peanut butter sandwiches
the look on my grandfather's face
when he saw his son alive
friend's dad clipped his boy in the head
my grandfather pulled his boy into his arms.

From the wind that came up
while my sister canoed with Dad
his calm instructions to paddle hard
her sense of danger helping her girlish arms
to dig into the choppy water with the oar
her adult body climbing onto the hospital bed
Dad struggled to let go of his last breath
her hands cupped his face
you don't have to paddle anymore
you can see the shore
go to the shore Dad.

I am from the mirror carving of The Bluenose
Dad knew I would want
his landscape shots I used to skip past
and now linger over.
Our Family Tree which my grandfather bought
but never filled in, now mine
the generations recorded by my hand.
The perfect photo deliberated, showing
the essence of me
my parents, my grandparents
my husband
his parents, his grandparents.
And the collage beside each face
showing the passions that drove us through our days.


Copyright - 2008 - Julia Smith

18 comments:

Dorothy said...

Wow, so beautifully written. I was there all the way through. You loved your Dad...what a precious gift he left you...his love and memories.

Happy Easter...I know you're nearly a day earlier than I am.
Still rain and cold, but things are beginning to blossom anyway.

Amy Ruttan said...

Wonderfully done, Julia.

Oh and btw I FINALLY did the book meme!!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

THAT is cool. I'd love to try it, but will probably clean forget.

Heck, it'd be fun to do it for all my characters!

Julia Smith said...

Susan - your characters! Yes!

Missy said...

Lovely! I'm at a loss for words.

No Nonsense Girl said...

stopping by to say hello!!!! :)

gautami tripathy said...

Julia, I liked this so much. Your memories reminded me of my dad.

Thanks!

garbled garbage

Karina said...

I just knew you would take this one and blow it out of the water! Absolutely beautiful!

R.G. ALEXANDER said...

"Dad struggled to let go of his last breath
her hands cupped his face
you don't have to paddle anymore
you can see the shore
go to the shore Dad."

I'm crying my head off. That was beautiful-I dont think where I'm from would sound as amazing. Thank you for sharing julia

lissa said...

I like the last two parts, bit sad but very real, the very last line is my favorite (showing the passions that drove us through our days.)

Akelamalu said...

Lovely Julia. I hope you had a good Easter. x

LN- Nickers and Ink said...

What a wonderful whirlwind journey!

Blessings.
Linda

Annette said...

Wow. You did a wonderful job, Julia. As usual, your poem is amazing. :-)

Jill said...

Do I have to tell you the part I enjoye most? Coming from me, a proud Acadian? And yes, we are motsly stuburn!

Shelley Munro said...

Wonderful, Julia.

Danika / OpenChannel said...

There is so much to love about this poem, Julia!

"I am from the packed-up house
the rumbling seat in the truck with Daddy
his hands on the steering wheel tapping to Maggie May's mandolins."

"I am from shh so quiet in my ear
I had to be quiet to hear it"

"her adult body climbing onto the hospital bed
Dad struggled to let go of his last breath
her hands cupped his face
you don't have to paddle anymore"

Now I know why you related to all those poems about my Dad.

I followed the link and found the template. It looks like so much fun I want to try it. And use it in my workshops.

Thomma Lyn said...

Oh, that's gorgeous, Julia. What a wonderful job you did. Touching, and delectably-written. :)

And what a neat template! I'll probably try it, too.

artpredator said...

beautiful, julia...i loved all the history and the very very specific details. i was esp fond of the sections danika pulled out as well

there's a pureness here. you're very lucky to ahve been embraced by this love