Journal Notes–1980

Spring is beginning to appear in lovely shades of yellow, pink, purple, white, red, green and a blend of many other shades — all spread out nicely under rays of gold and skies of blue. The tiny, blue flowers are up, a nice surprise of spring. Where have they been all winter? Lying dormant, deep under ground? DSC_0128
Many worthwhile stories are being written and I am writing none of them.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

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Banner Mountain Girl # 69

From my journal: “It is raining very hard. The sky is dark and heavy with clouds full of water. It is a day in which I am usually lonely, but today my heart is filled with joy that is lasting over into this dark and rainy day.”

I am a writer and I must write. Often, I wonder what is new to write? Even if, like Hemingway, I should begin with one true sentence, how would I complete a work that I haven’t even thought about? It’s amazing how sometimes my words and phrases tumble over each other to crowd the page, and other times, the page remains blank because a long, dry spell has control of my sub-conscious. Writer’s block is for real from time to time in a writer’s life. And it’s to be expected. As far as I can tell, there’s no quick cure for it.

Journal entry: “I have no creative thoughts but I feel compelled to write something. Drove out to Banner Mountain. Enjoyed the peacefulness of the woods. I always like to go back there.”

Going back to Banner Mountain is like going back home–the place I left at the age of barely nineteen. On an autumn day following our wedding and honeymoon, my husband and I loaded our wedding gifts into the car he had borrowed from an Air Force buddy and we began our journey in life together. A couple of days later, we arrived at Smoky Hill Air Force Base out on the Kansas plains–the countryside so different from my beloved Banner Mountain, with its woodlands, its songbirds, goldfinch on hoeand its kind and gentle people. I would meet other wonderful people as we followed my husband’s military career. I would live in other states in the United States and in one foreign country before my husband retired. After his retirement we moved back to Arkansas, back to the Ozarks to live not very far from Banner Mountain.  © Freeda Baker Nichols

Banner Mt.

 

Banner Mountain Girl # 67 from my journal . . .

from my journal . . .

Dark clouds were forming in the west but Kimberly still sat quietly in the sand. As the waves rushed toward the shore, touched it, spraying a fine mist over her, she dug her toes into the warm grains of sand, recalling Whitman’s words the night they met.

“Look, Kimberly. Over there, above the shimmering sea.”

She followed the direction that he pointed and she saw the harvest moon, silver and bright, and she thrilled to the rich tone of Whitman’s voice as he said, “I’ll give you that moon.”

She wanted to laugh with him, but she couldn’t. Something prevented her from feeling the joy that was so much a part of Whitman. He was a penniless poet and yet he seemed to be happier than she and Tony.

She was engaged to Tony. He offered her love, security, and wealth.

“I’m sorry, Whitman,” she had replied that night. “I can’t accept the moon. I’m engaged to Tony.”

“Ah, yes,” Whitman said.

She had laughed and he had laughed and the joy she felt was much greater than any feeling she had shared with Tony.

She ended her engagement with Tony and after time went by, he met and married Sarah.

Kimberly saw Whitman almost every day and she expected him to propose to her but there was no mention of marriage although he claimed to love her dearly.

So dearly that he gave her the stars along with the moon and that made her happy in a way that Tony never had.

Time passed and Tony and Sarah had a child, a little girl and people said that Tony adored the baby and that they were a happy family.

Whitman wrote poetry and he continued to be penniless but his poetry spoke of love and laughter, the moon, the stars and the sea.

Kimberly waited and she cried when Whitman wasn’t with her.

One day he said, “It’s over.” And he kissed her gently and said goodbye. He left and her heart felt like crushed velvet in an old-time dime store.

“Don’t go! It’s soon!” Kimberly cried.

The dark clouds hovered closer. And herpexels-photo-556666.jpeg heart declared, “The pain that’s in goodbye cries, ‘Look up, Whitman, see the dark and brooding sky? Where, Whitman, where is the silver moon?'”

© Freeda Baker Nichols

 

Banner Mountain Girl # 63– Along the River – page 107

Along the River

Along the River

I brushed my hair the way I
always do and dressed in clothes
I wear to church and . . . funerals.
I attended a reception for the debut
of an anthology of contemporary
Arkansas poetry. I shook hands with
people—each person present was
strikingly different from the others.
Each one had arrived into this life
in much the same way–from his or her
mother’s womb. Some had been born
again, into a spiritual life, while others,
perhaps, hadn’t accepted God’s Grace.
My elbow didn’t touch another’s elbow
and yet . . . that’s why I was there.
I signed my autograph for the first
time and for a few more times.
A heart-felt poem, created long ago,
was brought to life on page 107
to live or die within the realm
of perception. And I became a poet
“Along the River.”

© Freeda Baker Nichols

Heart's Secret

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banner Mountain Girl # 49 “from my diary”

1 November 1977– The rain drips and pours relief upon a dry, parched earth. It comes down steadily all day and all night. The brown leaves are soaked and lie heavily upon the ground. The roar of the rain sounds across the silence of the room, loud and then softer it falls, almost hushed, as it drips upon the leaves.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

Fallen Leaves

Banner Mountain Girl # 48 — “A poem begins . . .”

“A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness . . . It finds the thought and the thought finds the words.”–Robert Frost

At the age of nine, I had not heard of Robert Frost when I wrote my first poem, there at Banner Mountain in the two room schoolhouse. But my first poem was about love for my mother. My words rhymed, and I’m sure I was following the teacher’s instructions when I penned my first masterpiece onto the page of that Big Chief tablet.

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But it would be many years before I set foot on my journey into writing and poetry. And now, I continue with writing and poetry because they are my destiny. The journey is still adventurous and lovely, sometimes frustrating but always satisfying. I agree with the quote by Robert Frost on how a poem begins. He created masterpieces!

~ Freeda Baker Nichols