America’s Story

Eagle at Banner Mt.Flag of the U.S.A.cropped-dsc_0436.jpg

America’s Story

Do you see upon the canvas
in that painting on the wall,
how our country won its freedom,
why our soldiers stand so tall?

Do you see the purple mountains
high above the golden grains
posing there in modest beauty,
background for the wind-swept plains?

Purple mountains in the distance,
rising high beyond the hills,
hiding dust of my ancestors
where the ancient river spills.

Eagles’ wings spread wide in splendor
blending with the twilight sky,
in this land where freedom’s arrow
silenced every battle cry.

In the distant purple mountains
ranging inland from the sea,
kinfolk battled one another
in the war that set men free.

On beaches claimed at Normandy
in the battle of the brave,
truly dedicated soldiers
fought with courage to their graves.

Others lived to tell the story
why America stands tall . . .
their account depicted boldly
in that painting on the wall.

Our flag raised on Iwo Jima
island in Pacific’s blue,
symbol that our battle ended
successfully in World War II.

North Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq
and the clouds of Desert Storm
bring back thoughts of Nagasaki,
and the dropping of The Bomb.

The message on the canvas
speaks in clear and native tongue–
and all who understand the language
are true daughters and true sons.

Purple mountains in the distance
standing tall in majesty–
a symbol that America
is still the land of liberty.

© 2015 Freeda Baker Nichols

It’a a Writer’s Life–Page 7–I Didn’t Plan to Become a Poet

Becoming a poet just sort of happened to me.  I dabbled in poetry, but my dream was to become a writer.  A cousin of mine, Mary Harper Sowell,  who was an accomplished poet invited me to a meeting of Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas. “You need to know who the poets are,” she told me. I attended a  meeting and I met some very fine poets from Arkansas, and as time went by, I met  poets from other places, as well. I learned about poetry. I learned poems are not easy to write. They require a form or a pattern.  They do not come into a poet’s mind as a finished product.  They enter a poet’s mind one word, one main idea, one thought at a time.                                               

Mary Harper Sowell, my cousin–the accomplished poet and teacher–has passed away. Results of her teaching can still be seen in my work as I continue to create poems using methods she taught.  She encouraged beginning poets.

She taught me how to write a sonnet.  The following is a sonnet that won a place in The Arkansas Poet Laureate Award given in honor of Arkansas Poet Laureate, Peggy Vining at Ozark Creative Writers’ Conference at Eureka Springs Arkansas in 2009.

Safeguarding Baby Owls

The eagles fly from dawn until quite late
above the Copper Mountain’s winter site–
a scene no painter tries to duplicate
of aspen trees beneath the snow of white.
The screeching owls, like helpless refugees
who fear the consequence of evil hands,
still build their nests inside the redwood trees.
So brave, the tall tree, like a sentry, stands.
If I could choose two types of trees to keep
from chainsaw’s teeth and jaws of mulch machine,
I’d save the aspens on the rocky steep,
and redwoods–place where screeching owls convene.
   The eagles then could fly from Aspen Park
   to redwoods guarding baby owls at dark.

c Copyright 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols