6 entries categorized "poetry"

If Once You Have Slept On An Island

image from www.flickr.com 
"If once you have slept on an island

You'll never be quite the same;

You may look as you looked the day before

And go by the same old name.

You may bustle about the street or shop;

You may sit at home and sew,

But you'll see blue water and wheeling gulls

Wherever your feet may go."

~ Rachel Fields, as quoted by Cynthia

(in this book)


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My Pittypats & Tippytoes

While searching for some poetry for our 9yo to read and learn this year, I found a lovely poem by Eugene Field (a favorite poet of ours), called Pittypat & Tippytoe.  I hope you like it as much as I do:

Pittypat and Tippytoe
by Eugene Field (1850-1895)

All day long they come and go---
Pittypat and Tippytoe;
   Footprints up and down the hall,
  Playthings scattered on the floor,
   Finger-marks along the wall,
  Tell-tale smudges on the door---
By these presents you shall know
Pittypat and Tippytoe.

How they riot at their play!
And a dozen times a day
   In they troop, demanding bread---
  Only buttered bread will do,
   And the butter must be spread
  Inches thick with sugar too!
And I never can say "No,
Pittypat and Tippytoe!"

Sometimes there are griefs to soothe,
Sometimes ruffled brows to smooth;
   For (I much regret to say)
  Tippytoe and Pittypat
   Sometimes interrupt their play
  With an internecine spat;
Fie, for shame! to quarrel so---
Pittypat and Tippytoe!

Oh the thousand worrying things
Every day recurrent brings!
   Hands to scrub and hair to brush,
  Search for playthings gone amiss,
   Many a wee complaint to hush,
  Many a little bump to kiss;
Life seems one vain, fleeting show
To Pittypat and Tippytoe!

And when day is at an end,
There are little duds to mend;
   Little frocks are strangely torn,
  Little shoes great holes reveal,
   Little hose, but one day worn,
  Rudely yawn at toe and heel!
Who but you could work such woe,
Pittypat and Tippytoe?

But when comes this thought to me:
"Some there are that childless be,"
   Stealing to their little beds,
  With a love I cannot speak,
   Tenderly I stroke their heads---
  Fondly kiss each velvet cheek.
God help those who do not know
A Pittypat or Tippytoe!

On the floor and down the hall,
Rudely smutched upon the wall,
   There are proofs in every kind
  Of the havoc they have wrought,
   And upon my heart you 'd find
  Just such trade-marks, if you sought;
Oh, how glad I am 't is so,
Pittypat and Tippytoe!

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Where Are You From?

(note:  This post is in reference to my blog post, Where I'm From, posted on May 12, 2008)

"If you don't know where you're from, you'll have a hard time saying where you're going."  ~ Wendell Berry

If you'd like to create your own Where I'm From poem, go to this link to see a template that  may help you out.  The original Where I'm From poem, by George Ella Lyon is here

I created mine on Mother's Day and emailed it to my mom along with a recent photo of me with one of my daughters.  She IMed me back, "You just made me boo-hoo!"  :) 

It was good for me, in a bubble bath way, to spend an afternoon thinking about where I'm from, as I'm from no place in particular.  My family is scattered, has always been, and there is no particular geographic location to call "home."  Well, I'd call where I am now with the little family I created "home," but I mean, when someone - usually someone who notices I don't have a Southern accent - asks me where I'm from, I usually stutter and mumble.  What to say?

After writing Where I'm From, I found that I am from someplace after all, and I like where I'm from.  Tortillas and grits and solar panels and all!

(a Great Blue Heron, shot with my Nikon D40 by my friend, Angelle Price)

Where I'm From


I am from homemade tortillas on a wood stove, from rice and beans, a Coca-Cola treat, solar panels and handmade pine furniture.

I am from cupboards of every color, a woven bamboo floor, screen windows, majestic sunsets over a mountain valley and a smooth-flowing river in the backyard.

I am from orchids in trees, bamboo rustling, banana leaves formed into cups for spring water, citrus blossoms scenting  the air, flowering bushes as high as a house, and God, God everywhere in His creation.

I am from American patriotism and prayers before meals, from Esther and Jean and Barbara.

I am from the poor who love to live rich and the frugal hard workers who freeze and garden, save and store. I am from loud singers, arguments in a station wagon, and kneading bread by hand.

From The Rabbit and the Hare when I am scared and Sunday School songs I’m never too old to hear.

I am from cross-legged worship outdoors and fancy handsewn Easter dresses in pews. Centuries-old hymns and modern praise songs.  Dolly Parton and Bon Jovi.

I'm from the Dogwood Festival, the South Pacific and the Deep South, canned peaches in sugary syrup, pineapple straight from the garden, and organic eggs from happy hens covered in buttery grits.

From the farmer who married his hand-quilting, home-canning sweetheart and the fun-loving, Bible-loving missionary who married a quiet girl with a love for hydrangeas. 

I am from a creek by a lake, the Highlands and the sea. I am from modern conveniences and an outhouse in the jungle.  A Kitchen Aid powered by a generator, kerosene lanterns, candles and central air-conditioning.

I am also from my now:  four happy children, full days, a good man, and still… God, God everywhere in His creation.

Lori McAlister Seaborg

A Poem for a Little Guy

Our Little Guy got the sweetest look on his face today when I read Eugene Field's (1850-1895) poem, The Night Wind, to him.  You might like it, too:

Have you ever heard the wind go "Yooooo"?
   'T is a pitiful sound to hear!
It seems to chill you through and through
   With a strange and speechless fear.
'T is the voice of the night that broods outside
   When folk should be asleep,
And many and many 's the time I 've cried
To the darkness brooding far and wide
   Over the land and the deep:
"Whom do you want, O lonely night,
   That you wail the long hours through?"
And the night would say in its ghostly way:

"Yoooooooo!          Yoooooooo!        Yoooooooo!”

My mother told me long ago

(When I was a little tad)

That when the night went wailing so,

   Somebody had been bad;

And then, when I was snug in bed,

   Whither I had been sent,

With the blankets pulled up round my head,

I 'd think of what my mother 'd said,   

And wonder what boy she meant!

And "Who's been bad to-day?"

I'd ask    Of the wind that hoarsely blew,

And the voice would say in its meaningful way:

               "Yoooooooo!                Yoooooooo!                Yoooooooo!"

That this was true I must allow---   

You 'll not believe it, though!

Yes, though I 'm quite a model now,   

I was not always so.

And if you doubt what things I say,   

Suppose you make the test;

Suppose, when you 've been bad some day

And up to bed are sent away   

From mother and the rest---

Suppose you ask, "Who has been bad?"   

And then you 'll hear what 's true;

For the wind will moan in its ruefullest tone: 

"Yoooooooo!                Yoooooooo!                Yoooooooo!"

One of my favorite things about schooling our kids is getting to be the first person to introduce them to old poetry or art or hymns or whatever else is cool and old at the same time.

I love the looks on their faces when they see their first Leonardo da Vinci sketch or hear their first Eugene Field poem.  And I'm glad this little guy "got it" when I read the above poem to him.

"The wind is saying 'You,' " he said with a twinkle in his eye.

"No, it's saying, 'You,'" I answered.

family, back yard, spring, fire 099