Thursday, March 27, 2014

Rural America - a tribute to poets

With national poetry month fast approaching I decided to showcase some collectible plates that remind me of expressive, almost lyrical scenes of poetry.

Many of the scenes decorating these particular plates have a common theme in some of my favorite poems: home and hearth. Scenes like a cool, crisp stream or willowy green pastures. Even blustery snow-covered roofs on sturdy farm houses built long ago has the power to send my thoughts back - like a well written poem- to a soft, dream-like state where I have been most happiest. I believe too, that many of the authors also felt the need to reconnect with the place that meant so much to them by sharing with the world. Poems, describing a vision so endearing, it stayed forever in their hearts and mind. Home.

This bowl is a soft buttery  yellow with a scene that reminds me of John Chapman- best known as Johnny Appleseed. On the back of this dish is simply titled 'Bucks County' with a cute old-fashioned post.

And the poem, from Disney's Melody Time. I grew up singing it and always shout it out at the top of my lungs, especially when I'm having a bad day. Helps push those clouds right out of the way.

The Lord is Good to Me
and so I thank the Lord
for giving me,
the things I need.
The sun and the rain
and the apple seed.
Yes, he's been good to me.

I owe the Lord so much,
For everything I see
I'm certain if it weren't for him
There'd be no apples on this limb
He's been good to me.
Oh, here am I 'neath a blue, blue sky a-doing as I please
Singing with my feathered friends, humming with the bees

I wake up every day as happy as can be
Because I know that with his care
My apple trees, they will still be there
Oh, the Lord is good to me.

Another favorite

Reminds me of poet John Burroughs

                The Return
He sought the old scenes with eager feet,
The scenes he had known as a boy.
"Oh! for a draught of those fountains sweet,
And a taste of that vanished joy."
He roamed the fields, he mused by the streams,
He threaded the paths and lanes;
On the hills he sought his youthful dreams,
In the woods to forget his pains.
Oh, sad, sad, hills; oh, cold, cold hearth!
In sorrow he learned the truth,
One may go back to the place of his birth,
He cannot go back to his youth.

* fitting to know Burroughs was buried at the foot of a rock he had played on, affectionately referred to as "Boyhood Rock."

And these plates 

This favorite poem is titled Trees by Joyce Kilmer

* Trees was written from an upstairs bedroom at the family home that looked out to a hill and a well-wooded lawn. 


I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear,
A nest of robins in her hair:

Upon whose bosom snow has lain,
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me, 
But only God can make a tree. 

And last but not least, Walt Whitman and his poem simply titled:

The Farm

Through the ample open door of a peaceful country barn,
A sun-lit pasture field, with cattle and horses feeding; 
And a haze, and vista, and the far horizon, fading away. 


Maybe he was referring to life and the idea that each moment is passing, like breath, fading away on the horizon.

I'll wrap up with a poem I had published years ago in a volume of Garden Blessings, Poems, Prayers, and Prose Celebrating the Love of Gardening.

The Garden

Whenever I am troubled
With a burden on my chest,
I hurry to the garden
A spot that I love best.
Down on my knees, I close my eyes
And lift my arms up high
Release a torrent weight of pain,
Beneath a clear blue sky.
A cool, fresh breeze surrounds me.
It soothes my troubled heart,
And I know that God is here
And has been from the start.
The proof is all around me
As I look upon the sod,
A harvest of life protruding
Indeed a gift from God.  

April is the month to celebrate our favorite poems and their authors. These are just a few of mine, along with some pretty plates that inspire me. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Story Songs

Story Songs

I love driving along the back roads listening to the radio, don’t you? It gives us a chance to connect with ourselves and those sharing the world around us. In just a few phrases, I can be 13 again with a hopeful airlessness of looking at each day through rose-colored glasses. Driving in the country allows me to take the opportunity and turn the volume up. Not for the music or sounds a guitar makes- which is nice, but.... Seriously, it’s all about the lyrics painting a picture attached to the melody coming from the speakers. I don't want to miss a word. For a few minutes I'm looking through the artist’s mind and able to see the story as it unfolds.

Some songs hit close to home. This one reminds me of sunny weekends, juggling kids and coolers while working to clear off the property what would become home. Hot afternoons would turn into cool evening and standing around the firepit. I wish I could experience those times again. But thankfully, with this song, I can.

The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert:

'You can't go home again, but I just had to come here one last time.'

And others are just plain fun.

This one always cracks me up. It's about a bad marriage, a low-down rotten husband named Earl, and two very good friends, Mary Ann and Wanda, and the lengths they go to protect each.

Goodbye Earl: Dixie Chicks:

'Ain't it dark? Wrapped up in that tarp, Earl.'

Have You Seen My Wife Mr. Jones by The Bee Gees

I didn't know what this song was until I heard it several times. Written by Barry and Robin Gibb. The song recounts the story of a miner trapped in a cave-in. He's showing a photo of his wife to another miner while they wait to be rescued. 'Have you seen my wife, Mr. Jones.'

Diary by Bread
This song shows why you should never read anyone elses diary.

'I found her diary underneath a tree. Her words began to stick and tears to flow.'

((Big sigh………….)) There’s just something to be said about listening to life from someone else’s perspective.

Do you have a favorite story song?