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LJI 10 Week 7: Grassroots

This is my entry for Week 7 of LJ Idol, Season 10 (therealljidol). This week's topic is "Where I'm From.


Always the green. Low-hipped hills
ripe for farming. At times
a blue-gray river would wend through.
My DNA calls out to river loam. My
people plant themselves in valley,
filled with fertile hillocks. Always.

First, the mild damp of Ullster
the lakes and forests of Suwalki
Hessia's hilly lands along the Rhine
herb gardens of Berkshire.

From there to:
Virginia's winding Shenandoah Valley
mountain rivers of Schuylkill County,
Chester County's temperate, rich soil.

Always the trees, be they pine or sassafras.
Always the harvest, of wheat or coal.
Always the water: brook or uncharted lake.

Whether Buchanan, Weaver or Eutsler,
whether Suchoki, Praznoski, Gwiazdowski,
whether Yoder, Hampton or Hinkle,
whether Pennock, Mendenhall or Marshall,
something in them called out
for earth and water. Perhaps our very
clay demanded it, our saturated selves.

To be somewhere the eye could fall on green,
above coal slag or cobblestone; the spirit
to swim free in a groundswell of home.

- January 31, 2017


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 1st, 2017 01:03 am (UTC)
So beautifully written! It really spoke to me, reminded me a lot of where I've come from. It's a different bit of green, Catskill Mountain NY, but still the same green surrounding me. Thank you for sharing this!
Feb. 1st, 2017 02:41 am (UTC)
The Catskills are lovely. I could see myself there, too.

For a short time, my sister lived in Leesburg, Virginia, and I was tickled to see how much that landscape reminded me of Central Pennsylvania, where we grew up.
Feb. 1st, 2017 01:31 am (UTC)
An ode to fertile land! I liked the listings, names that roll off the tongue!
Feb. 1st, 2017 09:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I deliberately picked the place names that were more poetic, as "Frackville" didn't seem to work as well.
Feb. 1st, 2017 02:41 am (UTC)
This was a beautiful poem. I enjoyed following the places your family has been.
Feb. 1st, 2017 09:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Lately, my sense of where I'm from has expanded.
Feb. 1st, 2017 03:58 am (UTC)
Quite evocative and quietly powerful.
Feb. 1st, 2017 09:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!
Feb. 1st, 2017 05:34 am (UTC)
Nicely done! I really enjoyed this! I have always had to leave 'in the green' too! And preferably near water! I went out west to the deserts of southern California and Nevada, and really discovered then that I was more a river and lake person. Hugs and peace.
Feb. 1st, 2017 09:40 pm (UTC)
I felt the same way when I visited my brother in Colorado, like, "This is pretty, but I need something wet nearby."
Feb. 1st, 2017 05:59 am (UTC)
I come from the green of Oregon, and my ancestors from Wales, so there is some similarity here. :)

I remember the pangs of homesickness I once felt while watching a TV show scene filmed in a forest near Vancouver, B.C. The greenish-yellow light in the woods was so uniquely "home," and something I hadn't done more than visit for almost two decades by then.
Feb. 1st, 2017 09:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, there is nothing that quite compares to sunlight through the trees. I feel renewed whenever I'm amongst them.
Feb. 1st, 2017 07:36 am (UTC)
Green has a different kind of calming effect for me. This was great tribute. Loved the flow!
Feb. 1st, 2017 09:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I do love the calming quality of green.
Feb. 1st, 2017 03:00 pm (UTC)
Beautifully written! The last stanza is gorgeous.
Feb. 1st, 2017 09:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much. That's my favorite, too.
Feb. 1st, 2017 10:04 pm (UTC)
This is beautifully written. I can *so* relate to the DNA river. I have one of those, too.
Feb. 1st, 2017 11:34 pm (UTC)
"always the harvest" just that piece of a phrase is now stuck in my brain. This is a lovely, meditative poem.
Feb. 2nd, 2017 03:03 pm (UTC)
So well written! I especially liked "My DNA calls out to river loam" and the last stanza.
Feb. 2nd, 2017 08:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is lovely. :)
Feb. 4th, 2017 02:19 am (UTC)
Nice poem a lovely ode ....

Edited at 2017-02-04 02:20 am (UTC)
Feb. 4th, 2017 04:47 pm (UTC)

How wonderful to be so in touch with your heritage, to know where you're from, where your roots and your blood have been.

Feb. 4th, 2017 09:42 pm (UTC)
Being amidst the concrete jungles, I yearn for some green. Nicely done.
Feb. 5th, 2017 06:26 am (UTC)
Gorgeous! On par with Frost and his ilk!
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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