Humble Contributions to the Peoples' History

Posts tagged ‘Poetry’

Poetic Reflection at Two

Alexandra, Sky

“The sky sees your face.”
–Alexandra Kerr S.
2/7/15

Yes, 
the sky sees your face
the wind whispers in your ear
the rain hears your splashes
the snow kisses your hand
the grass tickles your toes
the moon sparkles in your eyes
the sun warms your skin.
Yes,
the sky sees your face.

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Alexandra has continued with her memorable quotes, collected by Daddy:

“I call the picture Turtle de Shelly”
–Alex

“can you tell me my grandpa’s name? I can’t find it in my memory.”–Alex

“what does orbit mean daddy?”–Alex

“Making messes isn’t my thing right now.”–Alex

Alex: can you get me some more water daddy?
Me: why don’t you do it?
Alex: because it is soooo boring.

January 11 at 7:56am · Newport News, VA ·

 When my heart beats that means I’m OK annnd you love me.
–Alex

“My aunty Kae is a nice aunty, I flew on a plane to see her and she took me to art class aaaannnddd gave me food to survive. I threw up in her car because my Nanna drove to much.”–Alex

Comments

Dear Alex, we are saving the date for you and Valeta to return to Pennsylvania in June. Can’t wait to see you both! There will be art classes again and dancing wearing our tutus. I promise we will drive slowly so no more worries about car sickness! How about another ride on the merry-go-round? Love, Auntie K

“our TV has blu-ray. I know about Blu-ray on TV’s you know.”–Alex

Yesterday at 12:57pm · Newport News, VA ·

You are a really smart guy, you knew which on was the blueberry waffles. –Alex

Me: Alex, would you like me to read some more John Keats?
Alex: yea.
“I knew that conflict was a bad idea, I knew it!”  –Alex
Alex: can I have some crackers?
Me: I’m folding laundry right now.
Alex (pouting): please
Me: not right now
Alex: why isn’t my pouting working.

Alex: What happens if this chip breaks?
Me: I don’t know, you will have a broken chip.
Alex: Will the whole world break?
Me: I don’t…
Alex breaks the chip
Me: think so.

She took out another and said “does this chip hold reality together?” before breaking it.
I look on the bright side when I give you hugs.
–Alex

A letter for Auntie Kae and Nanna Jean.

It reads: “I love Auntie Kae. I love Nanna Jean”

Image may contain: one or more people and indoor

“I miss Auntie Kae, because she is really nice.”
–Alex

Comments:  I miss you and Valeta, too! Here’s a video of feeding the manta rays at the Camden Aquarium.


Portrait by Jean Kerr Strosahl, August 2017

“when I go to Kindergarten I’m going to miss being normal.”

Alex started school today, and that is a big change for her… but it is also a big change for me, a milestone in her life and a threshold over which once crossed there is no going returning. She went out that door, got on that bus, and entered into a whole new world of experiences. It will change her, and in that change she will grow into someone new, someone wonderful. Of no less, and no greater beauty than the amazing person she is today. Yet the person she is today will be lost to me. The girl who holds my hand tomorrow isn’t the same person who held my hand as she toddles across the floor, isn’t the same person as the one who looked up at me with those eyes so blue on her very first day. She is the sum of those people, just as the young lady she will become is going to be the sum of the person she is today (and every person she is between now and then). But then am I not a different man than I was when I first held her hand (an eternity ago to her, an instant to me). That man is still here, part of the sum of experiences that makes up my life… just as the little boy who once held a hand (an eternity ago for me, perhaps a moment ago for others).

Time changes us, it brings us new experiences that shape who we are like the waves on a beach shape the sand. Even if we go back to the same place, be it days or even years later, we can never return to that same beach we once walked on. Nor are we the same people as the ones who once walked on that beach.

Tonight, after the excitement had calmed down she laid her head down on my shoulder and said “I can hear you breathing daddy” then drifted off to sleep. Tonight I laid there for a bit longer than I otherwise would… there being laundry to do and a dishwasher to run, lines on the endless list of things that need to be done. I laid there with the window open and lightning flickering in the distance.

Just for a moment, just one moment more.

Emergence

For Women who have Resolved to Work for the Common Good of Humanity.

Emergence

The world enclosed and darkened inside my head
Not even dreams materialized as I lie in bed
Discord delivered echoing despair
And yet . . .  guided me to your sheltered lair.

I found you, though you were there all along
You entered into my soul as an enchanting song
With leonine magnificence, so noble, so sublime
Intrepid lover of art, beauty, truth and rhyme.

This miracle then cleansed my mind
Reborn to a new life refined.
I laughed and learned to forgive.
My heart opened­–I began to live.

And yet what you are is an illusion in time.
This noble ideal can only exist in my mind.
Never to feel your warmth that a Lover knows
Or touch the fabric of your roughened clothes.

But how to create harmony again from sighs.
To feel the exhilaration of the highs
And experience truth from melodious lows.
Not to be played out as a duet but as a solo.

Embraced by the power of this measure
Hearing music of souls joined together
Triumphs in splendor as shimmering sounds
With knowledge and passion that knows no bounds.

I arise from this dream and rebirth
Resolved to become a heroine on earth.

Little Orphan Annie, the Poem Rewritten for the Political Climate Today

Mary Alice Smith, Riley’s inspiration for the poem. Wikipedia

In an earlier post, I described our family’s celebration of Halloween and how my Mother, who was born in Scotland, followed the Celtic Halloween traditions. Our grade school classes also had Halloween celebrations–everyone would dress in costumes and parade around the school grounds, followed by parties in the classrooms. Homeroom mothers would serve cider with orange and chocolate cupcakes.

One year my Mother came up with an idea that I should dress up as “Little Orphan Annie” – not the comic book character, but from the poem by James Whitcomb Riley. Riley based his poem on a real person, Alice Smith, who became orphaned when her father died in the Civil War. Allie, as she was known, came to live with the Riley family, and she would tell stories to the younger children after finishing chores at the end of the day.

For my orphan Annie costume, I wore a dress with an apron and black stockings and carried a dust cloth and broom. I memorized the poem for a classroom presentation; Mom coached me on the proper inflection at the end of each stanza, “and the goblins will get ya if ya don’t watch out!”  On looking back on the poem, I recalled these lines . . .

and cherish them that loves ya, and dry the orphans tears
and help the poor and needy ones that cluster all about,
or the goblins will get ya if ya don’t watch out!!!

In thinking about those words in the poem, I became inspired to rewrite the poem for today’s current political climate just before the 2012 election.

Over the past few months, I have received forwarded emails, not about a particular political issue or articulated argument advocating one position or another, but rather content that focused on rumors and lies with obvious prejudicial biases. In rewriting the poem, I included the lines above, written over a hundred years ago, as they apply today as well.

I guess if I could give a dedication to someone, it would be to those folks forwarding those emails.

The Ghost of Little Orphan Annie on Election Eve

The ghost of orphan Annie has somethin’ strong to say,
Things you might’ve heard before but may have brushed away.
About payin’ those taxes, is that so very bad?
Or are ya worryin’ and fretin’ and makin’ yourself so sad?
For all the roads an’ bridges, schools, an’ parks an’ like
Just let them go to dust?  Well, that would be a fright.
If you’ re complainin’ then finishin’ with a shout
The goblins will get ya if ya don’t watch out!

There’s ways to pull together as Americans will do
But a bake sale to cure a kid with cancer, mumps or flu?
Or how about a doctor for the child ill next door?
Or are ya a listenin’ to that politician’s unrelenting roar.
Now payin’ fair share, that’s not a scary scheme.
Those with more wealth could help, or so it would seem.
So let’s all pitch in together, please, don’t be a lout
Or  the goblins will get ya if ya don’t watch out!!

Are ya balkin’ to give to causes that benefit us all?
Or is money is better spent for merchants at the mall?
With the social security Grandma can live her own
Rather than in your basement without a telephone.
And those that will follow you, fond an’ dear,
Take care of them, please, an’ dry the orphan’s tear
An’ help the poor an’ needy ones that cluster all about,
Or the goblins will get ya if ya don’t watch out!!!

So who are the goblins, do they hide in the night?
They’re just right in front of ya, in your plain sight!
They tell ya that science is not on your side.
They tell ya not to worry, take your car for ride.
They point to your working pal as stealing your dough.
When its unregulated Wall Street that’s really the foe.
They make up a story so you’ll hate those abroad,
Those many poor souls, also victims of fraud.
Think: is it your anger what this is all about?
Then the goblins have got ya, ya didn’t watch out!!!!

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