In the early 80’s, I returned to school (Virginia Commonwealth University) to earn my BFA, and as an elective took a writing class……wrote some poems for class projects and later in the 1990’s while living at Virginia Beach for a class given by Lyn Hunter, at our Episcopal church, for those interested in writing…..three that I am listing were published in a Journal for Virginia poets; one received 4th place mention in Poet Society of Virginia….so here goes!
And the last one “My Amen” has gone far and wide…..was read in Europe, one of the Baltic countries, by a friend at a Genealogical convention….
This little poem was inspired by my memories of being so happy finding a pencil stub with which to draw a picture …….but the child in this poem is a boy! I love little boys…(and big boys)…had three brothers and 4 tow-headed sons.!
………a bit of crayon
a pencil stub……….
The Artist finds a scrap of paper on which to
A Sunset, a Rainbow, a Flower in Bloom…
Or the Magnificent Oak in the front yard?
He steadies his hand, squints his eyes,
Takes a deep breath and carefully draws a
Lyn asked the class at Eastern Shore Chapel to take an inanimate object in the classroom and make it come alive…! This was my offering:
INVITATION IN BRASS
The door knob tastes of adventure,
With a tantalizing scent of places unknown,
Feeling like a golden treasure in my hand,
Cool, yet hot as a trumpet’s blast
Heralding a forgotten dream.
The next poem of rhymed couplets was an assignment at VCU….. I imagined myself as a Southern Belle…the inspiration came from a faded photo of a young woman….…:.
Papa gives me ‘most anything I fancy.
Once when second-cousin Mary Nancy
Came to visit all the way from Olde Town,
She was driving her new caramel brown
Rig embellished with real silk tassels
And leather seats the color of Uncle Russell’s
Favorite Port. Well, Papa went right
Out and bought me a marvelous sight
To behold---the very latest in Horseless
Carriages! Obviously, Papa was making it a
Another time, when I was studying the ancient
Classics, Papa asked Cousin John and Aunt
To escort me to the Grecian Isles, and, as a
(as Papa was wont to do without compromise)
He tucked in an introduction to the famous
Dr. Clarence Soames, No 2 on the Who-who’s
When Papa and Mama went to New York City for
Little Herbert’s christening, my throat was sore
From exposure to inclement weather and I
Had to stay behind. Papa thought he would buy
Me a ruby ring from Tiffany’s, even though
Garnets would do. Persistent-like, he went
ahead and bought
It anyway, remarking to Mama (as though he
were addressing the world)
“I want only the best for my little girl.”
My coming-out gown had lace imported from
And Papa ordered extra. He said it was for
another dancing dress.
Really, Papa had something else in mind.
A gentleman, a Southern beau, was part of his
That lace is lying fallow in the bottom of my
Crammed and packed with the finest, and
certainly the best
Papa couldn’t buy me everything I fancied.
The next poem is a bit naughty….depending on your imagination!
..entered in the Cenie H. Moon category of the ’98-’99 Poetry Contest, The Poetry Society of Virginia….I love the title…to brag a bit! Took 4th place.
….the inspiration is my secret!!!!!!!!!!!!.
ICE CREAM SUNDAE MELT
There I was….
Laced and corseted with Mammy’s foot
At the small of my back, than a tugging
Conforming my innards to Pappy’s thinking
That I might not waste myself being me.
Me, mine, pronouns discarded early on
In favor of you and yours, his and hers.
Then along came someone promising love;
That ice cream concoction of whipped cream,
Slathered with caramel and cherries piled on top
Sliding down the slope of the Promised Land.
I bought his line, this Moses. The years I gave
Him tightened the Yoke for he branded me
With the iron of yet another’s will.
So, here I am…
Someone new has come along. He scorches
My eyes looking for the Me in faded blue.
The taste of the shrouded wildness
Is on my tongue and in my nose. There is
A slow heat, and than a boiling down to the
Small of my back erasing Mammy’s footprint.
The following poem was selected as a Foreword in a historical novel for young people….the author of the novel, Murphy Gordon, heard the poem read at a DAR meeting in California…he was a guest…he contacted me for permission to use “My Amen” in his novel “ Lucy Kilgrew” and I was happy to do so…
This poem won 2nd place in National DAR Heritage competition in 1999. At that time, I was a member of the Adam Thoroughgood Chapter, NSDAR, Virginia Beach, VA.
You who haunt my house, disturb my dreams,
tug at my soul,
I sense you beside me in my mirror, reflecting,
Ghostly figures in gray and sunlit silver.
You beckon me and bid my soul to give you credence.
My heart is filled and swells with your persistence.
What of these shadows that make me and all of mine
What we are, cradling our past and shaping
Is my daughter’s shining face the legacy of
the English woman
Smiling back at me? Is there a Celtic lilt in her
Rejoicing, glorifying, imitating, inspiring her to dance
The music of harpists, flutists, that only her soul
Can hear and only her spirit can understand,
\ embracing that
Wild song from afar? Is my son’s love of
this fragile earth
The gift of those of you who roamed our
Or his canoe trip down the James as exciting as that
of the young sun-bronzed brave I see now and
Is our love of freedom born of stuff from twelve
When a score of Dutchmen waved goodbye to friend
For adventure or death, bestowing on us the
legacy of discovery?
I hear your footsteps on the march of the Revolution
Beating in unison for valor and honor. I hear the
dull clank of the
Loosening of chains of slavery, I hear your
And eagerly skip to your lively tune…
I will not suppress you, my Ghosts of the Past..
You rise with me in the morning, kneel beside
my bed in
Evening prayer and guide this pen as I write.
You tantalize me with glimpses of another time
and with your promises
Of wondrous tomorrows! Hold my hand,
give me your vision
And walk with me into those tomorrows. Amen