Sunday, September 09, 2012


In 1991 I received a message from God to start writing poems.  It had something to do with a little quote from Norman Vincent Peale that spoke to me in a special way.  I realize my atheist friends are probably going to totally write me off for saying this, as well as certain of my Christian friends.  Call me schizophrenic if you like.  I really don't care, I just want you to know about the "poet" phase of my life, and that's how it started.  
So I wrote poems about anything and everything:  My cows, my children, my grandchildren, my husband.  I made up poems about the pastor's weekly sermon.  
Cliff thought I needed a word processor, so we bought one even though we could ill afford it.  It really did help me write poems.  I faithfully printed each one off, and it's a good thing I did.  When I got my first computer, it didn't like the floppy disks from the word processor.  I couldn't transfer them.    
All those poems in the picture, which make a stack about six inches high, are only on paper.    
When granddaughter Monica was born and we went to the hospital to see her for the first time, I wrote a poem.  I promise you, every word is true.

Monica knew me; it showed in her eyes.
We met and she showed not a trace of surprise.
Laugh if you wish to, it's really OK.  
She knows I'm her grandma; that's all I can say.  
Monica knew me.  We're old friends by now.
I cannot explain, for I do not know how:
She laid in my arms like it's where she belonged
And went right to sleep when I sang her a song.

And then there was the time in March of 1994 that my mom and I went to north Missouri to see some relatives:  

Yesterday my mom and I went up to see my aunt,
And when I said my morning prayers, I prayed for God to grant
Our safety as we traveled and good fellowship for all.
He heard my prayer, and any aggravations were quite small.

We played some cards.  My expertise is not what it should be,
So Mother tried to take the deck and shuffle cards for me.
It bothered Uncle Lloyd when I played my hand all wrong;
But yet, for all my failings, we somehow got along.  

When Uncle Leo came, and later, Uncle Carl, too,
We spoke of politicians and expressed our points of view.
Gerald kidded Mother about her Toyota trucks
(And Dee and I conversed about how varmints will kill ducks).  

As usual, my aunts and uncles fussed about who'd pay
For dinner (don't they always disagree in that same way?)
Mother, like she does each time, complained to one and all
Because she visits them, and yet they never come to call.  

Then right there in the middle of this family situation,
I gleaned a very useful piece of gardening information:
I've not had a decent crop of sweet corn for three years...
The moles come through before it sprouts, and it all disappears!

Uncle Leo told me that my crop would be just fine
If I'd mix up my seed corn with a little turpentine.
I was doubtful till I saw the nod of Gerald's head.
"I used to mix it with my field-corn seed," my cousin said.  

This year I'll have sweet corn, I'm as sure as I can be.
The moles may come to visit, but I'll have the victory. 
Here's a thing I'm learning as I get along in years:  
There's always something to be learned if I'll unplug my ears!

Now I will admit this is a pretty pathetic example of poetry writing, but when I read it I remember that day with a smile, a day spent with aunts and uncles who have all gone over to the other side.  I don't care who burns that pile of mediocre poems when I'm gone, but they are worth a fortune to me these days.  Oh, the memories.  
Speaking of really awful poems, there was the Christmas granddaughter Natalie called us from Carthage.  The poem is bad, but the memories are wonderful:  

We planned on staying home to rest:
It sounded so sublime.
I was tired and somewhat stressed
From working overtime.
Our five-year-old granddaughter called...
They had a Christmas tree.
Her voice imploring, so enthralled,
She made appeal to me.

"Come and see our Christmas tree
And all the lights in town!
You and Grandpa need to see!
Please hurry.  Come on down."
It takes three hours to make that trip
But I could find no reason
Why we should not pack up our grip:
(It IS the Christmas season!)

We ate our lunch, got in the car, 
And started on our way.
It really wasn't all that far
On such a lovely day.
Our two granddaughters greeted us
With kisses, hugs, and smiles,
And suddenly it seemed no fuss
To drive two hundred miles.  

Sometime, years and miles away,
When Natalie is grown,
We'll think back to the sunny day
When she called on the phone.  
We will remember pure delight
That shone from two girls' eyes.
And we will know our choice was right.
We'll know we seized a prize.  


Sandisan said...

Poems are emotional...yours bring up intense family memories and that;s good. You write well and your poetry reflects that, you tell a story with each one. I made a poetry blog just to put it all in, have had trouble doing too much writing since I lost my Joe. Writing can help and I want to start again...

Jon said...

I love your poetry - - it comes from the heart. Judging from the photo, you're written more poems than I have!
Have you ever attempted to get any of them published?

Lisa said...

Wow, you are a wonderful writer, that's so awesome, hugs Lisa

Donna said...

Jon, I self-published a book with a few of my favorite poems.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Your poems are wonderful and after reading those I'd say they are a great way to look back and see what you were thinking and feeling at the time.

Amy said...

Dammit, Donna! ....getting me all emotional with that last poem....