Heron Clan: May 2, 2021

Sunday Afternoon Poetry Reading Selections

My Mother's Hometown

My Mother

Had a hometown 

She often spoke about,

Cable cars and inclined trains

And floods along the river,

A dog in the park,

An airport you fly up to,

And Presbyterian churches and well to do houses,

A fear of abandonment,

If doctrines weren’t followed.

They will throw us out.

Well be living on the street,

If you don’t behave, now 

Don’t speak at the table,

Until you are asked.

A four year old child

Sitting crossed ankled

and sullen.

Grandpa would ask,


Tell me how was your day,

Speak clearly and quickly, 

Don’t ask to get down. 


The town was hard working

With a steel mill and such,

All down below the hills

At the end of the mountain.

She tried to fit in, this premature child,

Born full term, a month early, 

So her mother said.

Her father a dandy from an immigrant crowd, 

Not part of her life never fully around. 

She left as soon as she properly could. 

Married to a dentist army bound.

Get out, get away,

From the shame and the failings,

To find 100 years later 

A shame closely shared

The grandfather who kept order 

Of a household with 6 children 

Was doing his best to

Hide a secret of his own. 

A baby boy born without a father

in the late 19th century,

An unwed mother 

No one spoke about.

My Mother had a hometown.

paper mill warrior

Leo worked in a papermill

outside of Portland.

The east coast one.

A protrait of the man

written by a man 

that could have a portrait 

written of him,


But today he told us of 


and rolls and rolls of paper 

to the inside horizon.

Year and Years Days and Days

Driving down a road so many times

If it were dirt, instead of


the ruts would rub

the underside of the carriage of the car or wagon

(or buns of the warrior worker as he walked)

But he drove

So no one saw

the path worn through the years

On the asphalt.

There should be a path 

After 30 years.

31 years to be closer to exact, that

I myself drove the pavement.

Not to  paper, but to work

I thought a priveldge to do,

Until the words redundant

Non income producing


They put me in became



Filled easily by keepers,

of books,

Who pushed the numbers around

to look like incomes.

No more pavement worn job 

No party cake

To say good bye

Just a road I don't go down


Grey Highlights on Wood

Sun dots the oak canals of

His skin. 

The branches wander,

Speaking to their neighbor,

They are all up in the Elm’s height,

Who is busy reaching for the sky. 

Hello the sun, pokes through,

Coloring the trunk in grey highlights,

The brown gone ashen with age,

With time, 

A long time stood, with small

Flowering beings at its base

Sheltered from the

Hello sun.

Picking up light from the

Sideway rays of late

Afternoon in June,

His skin feels the

Newness fading to summer

As July stills the breezes to heat,

But now, new sun and the coolness of Spring,

Highlight the canals of his skin. 



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