BANNER MOUNTAIN GIRL #24 In the springtime

copy-cropped-cropped-homeplace.jpg                                    (Homeplace from a painting by Yvonne Baker Hall)

As I remember Banner Mountain in the springtime, I think of how the apple blossoms and plum blossoms greeted me as I returned from school. I might not have noticed the fresh blooms in the orchard as I left the house to walk up the trail to the Banner School. But always on my return, the orchard welcomed me back home from a day of “readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmetic” and playing with my friends.

Yvonne & Freeda Baker

Yvonne & Freeda Baker

Yvonne and I at the homeplace, standing between the daffodils and the lilac bush. With two years difference in our ages, we were inseparable. Mama said that when I started to school that Yvonne was very lonely. She’d go outside and call for our dog, named Rusty. “Here, Rust! Here, Rust!” In a couple of years, though, Yvonne joined me on the walk to school. As time went by, Rust met his fate although I don’t recall when or how he died. Another dog named Fuzzy came into our lives, and he was allowed to go with us to school. He waited around for us until school was out and he hurried along as we headed back home.  At the close of school for the summer when certificates were given to those completing the eighth grade, Fuzzy received a certificate, too. I don’t know how much Fuzzy learned but he was well-behaved and friendly to all.

The lilacs, the daffodils, and the orchard’s pink and white blooms were such a pleasant sight–the memory of which I still cherish from long-ago spring-times on Banner Mountain. ~~Freeda Baker Nichols

Bluebird

the bluebird flies purposefully

The Baker Sonnet

I have created a new sonnet form, the Baker Sonnet,  and I’m introducing it in the Poetry Day Contests 2016 with Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas. The Baker Nichols Award contest for this year is open to PRA members only. Some awards are open to Arkansas residents and some are open to all poets.  Information on the contests may be seen here. Entries are not to be sent before June 1, 2016 and must be postmarked by August 15, 2016.

The Baker Sonnet form is fourteen lines of iambic pentameter and concludes with a couplet which may or may not be indented. The rhyme scheme is a-B-b-c-a-a-b-c-d-c-d-B-e-e. Note the repetition of lines two and twelve.

No Longer Mine

The rain falls damp onto the grass tonight.
My heart is sad because your love is gone.
The barren ground is cold where sun once shone.
The moon and stars no longer gleam above.
Somehow they hide their shine of silver light.
The darkest sky becomes my dreadful plight
as I begin to spend my time alone.
How can I go through life without your love?
Another holds you spellbound by her charms
as I give up the goals that I dreamed of.
I wait with aching heart and empty arms.
My heart is sad because your love is gone.
Once, I believed your promises were true.
My heart now breaks each time I think of you.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

Note: My poem example here is a work-in-progress. How does a poet know when a poem is ready for the printed page?

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Messaging, then and now . . .

DSC_0471Early spring mornings are memory makers. From the first chill of cool, fresh air as I step down the lane to the mailbox, I am excited and looking forward to opening the box. And no, there’s not anything of interest in there. A couple of bills and a magazine. No checks or letters from editors, today. No cards or letters from friends.

Actually, texting, messaging, phone and Facebook are the means of communication nowadays. My memory is beginning to fade about how wonderful it was to open an envelope, unfold a letter to find the ink-written or pencil-written words from a dear friend. I hope I never forget the immeasurable joy of having had that experience.

Communication still happens, perhaps stronger than ever, judging by the many cell phones turned on in public places at any given time. Mine included.
–Freeda Baker Nichols