STOP at the intersection
of North Cliff and North Main . . .
from there the mountains rise
into blue to graying sky
on an afternoon in spring.
Breezes shake tree limbs
gently like hand-held
cardboard fans cooling
faces of church go-ers
on hot days in Arkansas’ past.
As I shred old copies of my writing, I sometimes come across a note that makes me stop and think. Like this note within a folder, marked CADRON– “Writing is no longer fun. I work at it but I do not enjoy it. I seem to have lost something in the shuffle of life.
Today I must start the novel. First, I will give it a name. ALONG THE CADRON
THE CADRON CREEK
AS THE CADRON DRIFTS
THE CADRON DRIFTS EASTWARD
EASTWARD FLOWS THE CADRON
EASTWARD DRIFTS THE CADRON
The Cadron Drifts Eastward
The Cadron drifts westward
with its secret and song.
Two hearts wait patiently
yet ever so long.
One will claim ownership,
the other must leave
desolate and destined
forever to grieve.”
Banner Mountain Girl—Part Four
The Egg and I
I have a special memory of walking barefoot in the dust on Banner Mountain–a remembrance of carefree childhood days. No time was more exciting than when the peddler came. Sometimes, the egg in my hand was still warm when I took it from the hen’s nest and ran and skipped down the road to where the peddler was. I traded the egg to him for bubble gum. Sweet. Juicy. Bubble gum.
The peddler was a man by the name of Sampson Hooten. I have been told that he had a yellow mare with a white star in her forehead. Many years later, his son told me this. I don’t claim ever knowing the peddler’s name and I don’t recall what he looked like. The only thing I remember about that experience is the warm egg and the taste of bubble gum. From that memory, I wrote this poem after I became a full-fledged poet. (Note: The peddler’s name in the poem is changed to match the rhyme)
Eggs for Bubble Gum
I traded eggs still warm for bubble gum
and always gave my baby sister some.
We blew big bubbles, like balloons of pink,
until they burst and stuck upon our cheeks.
We both blew bubbles quickly as a blink.
I liked the gum I got from Peddler Weeks
and always gave my baby sister some.
I traded eggs still warm for bubble gum.
Dated 1 Oct. 77 “I like the story, “Violets from Portugal,” by Helene Carpenter but I can’t write like that–not yet anyway, perhaps not ever. But I want to, how very much I want to write about my inner feelings concerning life and situations in my own life. The desire to write has been part of me for a long time.”
My earliest memory of wanting to write was when I was about nine years old and I wrote a poem about my mother. It was a short rhymed verse. I still have the original copy tucked away somewhere in my files on a sheet from a Big Chief tablet. I suppose it will be an important item if I ever become famous.
Another entry in my journal:
Dated 19 Feb. 79 Quoting my daughter Tracy, “Mom, you shouldn’t want fame.”
My reply in the journal: “Fame, though, for my writing would mean I have accomplished the goal and fulfilled the desire to write. Fame for itself is probably not rewarding, but fame as proof of success is nothing more than an exclamation mark after an exclamatory sentence. Hurray. Hurray! Quite necessary for emphasis, I’m afraid.”
Setting my sail on a shimmering sea,
I invited you to skim with me.
Away from the shore to never-never land,
together we swept, hand in hand.
One day my hand unclasped your own,
I drifted then on the sea alone.
My heart became a desert trail
like waves of water, behind the sail,
which opened, then closed a shimmering plane
without you there to whisper my name.
I listen for your voice above the ocean’s roar.
If I could summon you back once more!
But I hear nothing and feel no breeze
to carry me over the shimmering seas,
which mirror your face in a puzzle-like shade
as I reflect on the error I’ve made.
How could I have been so blind
as to leave unlocked the door of my mind,
through which you escaped on the shimmering sea?
Oh, precious love, still sail with me.