Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day Poem, by Edgar Guest

    I saw this photo on Facebook today and I thought it was such a good reminder that I want to pass it on. Although I have published some stories and poems by non-class members before, I have never posted something by a published writer. I decided to make an exception on this holiday weekend and pay appropriate tribute to those who have fought for our freedoms. I hope you are inspired by this Edgar Guest poem. Would you like to share your own memories of loved ones who paid the ultimate price for our Freedom? If so, please use the comment section to share your story.

These did not pass in selfishness;
they died for all mankind;
They died to build a better world
for all who stay behind;
And we who hold their memory dear,
and bring them flowers today,
Should consecrate ourselves once more
to live and die as they.

They were defenders of the faith
and guardians of the truth;
That you and I might live and love,
they gladly gave their youth;
And we who set this day apart
to honor them who sleep
Should pledge ourselves to hold the faith
they gave their lives to keep.

If tears are all we shed for them,
then they have died in vain;
If flowers are all we bring them,
forgotten they remain;
If by their courage we ourselves
to courage are not led,
Then needlessly these graves have closed
above our heroes dead.

To symbolize our love with flowers
is not enough to do;
We must be brave as they were brave,
and true as they were true.
They died to build a better world,
and we who mourn today
Should consecrate ourselves once more
to live and die as they.

Monday, May 21, 2012

For Julie and me-to help us remember the stuff we are made of, by Charlotte Boquist

Do you know what you are made of? This is a powerful tribute to the women in Charlotte’s family. It is a reminder that we are connected to the past and the future in ways we seldom understand.

 (Looking back so we can look forward)

These women whose genes we bear,
A common thread will soon appear,
Determined looks, a musical ear,
Their belief in God carried them through.

These women whose genes we bear,
All had courage beyond compare,
Standing tall, beside their men,
Clearing the unbroken dry ground,
Of its sagebrush and cactus.
Together they turned the hard rocky earth,
And harvested crops to see them through.

These women whose genes we bear,
Were survivors, following their men,
Though not always in agreement,
Were steadfast and determined to the end.

These women whose genes we bear,
Were cooks for the family and crew,
Baking many loaves of bread and pots of stew,
Washing and ironing, all by hand,
They had babies, though not all survived.

These women whose genes we bear,
Had an artistic side,
With needle and thread,
With pen and paper,
 With paint and canvas.
They left behind their creations for us to treasure,
As we remember these women whose genes we bear.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Birthday, by Yolanda Adele

Do you have any special memories of your birthday? Does the date of your day have any national or international significance? Here is Yolanda’s story of how her entry into the world coincided with New Hope for the future.

          When I was a child my mother told me that on the day I was born people everywhere were dancing and hugging, and singing in the streets. There was great excitement and relief.

It wasn’t until I was older that I learned that on my birthday, May 8, 1945, V-E Day was declared -- Victory in Europe, after Germany surrendered unconditionally, thus, bringing World War II to an end.

The legendary radio broadcaster Edward R. Murrow reported from London: “As you walk down the street you hear singing that comes from open windows; sometimes it’s a chorus, sometimes just a single voice raised in song…Many women are wearing flags in their hats; some are even draped in flags….London is celebrating today….The scars of war are all about.”

I’m glad to have been born on such a hopeful and joyous day.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Prairie Girl by annette skarin

Here is Annette’s insightful description of the girl she used to be. Have you considered using an old photo as a writing prompt? This poem seems simple and straight forward, yet it captures so much of the child’s personality through Annette’s choice of details. Take special note of the “claustrophobic feet.” We will meet them again in another poem within the next week or so.

Colorless 50’s photo

a child

hermetically sealed

Fading small against Junoesque


Cradling basket-less

Moses doll

Softly smiling

sideways glancing

Plaid, pleated prairie dress

disguising tom-girl legs

Honeyed tidy braided hair

feigning sweet, demure

Clydesdale heavy, clunky shoes

claustrophobic feet

Drenching in sweet prairie grass

Chomping at the bit

Shoes shed, running free

little mare, flying braids

Captured in pure innocence

Bursting out mercurial

Spirited, lively

prairie girl