Poetry Friday, July 19, 2019

This week's Poetry Friday roundup is hosted by Carol at Carol's Corner. Go over and admire the yellow lab service puppy she is training. Her poem, I Will Love You Well, will break your heart a bit. Make sure to check out the links to other participants sharing poetry today.

I finished reading salt. by nayyirah waheed. I wish, almost more than anything, that I could write like this.
She has a gift for parsing out significant truths in so few words. Look at this poem here:

good + girl

-- rope

salt. overwhelms with this kind of stark profundity. If you have not yet read it, you should.

My library copy had page after page of dog ears that I assume were marked because someone appreciated the poem on that page. It was a special treat for me to see if I too would be blown away by it. Mostly I was.

Meanwhile, I am still slogging away on my memoir project from 1958, when my family joined other relatives on an adventure into the Pine Valley region in Northern British Columbia. I'm committed to sharing a bit every week to keep me going. I just hope to get some kind of drafts out there. I appreciate feedback on the construction of the poetry and ideas and questions about what information might be missing.

In many ways, life in the bush was hard, but it wasn't all there was. Laughter, love, and playful teasing were ubiquitous. Life was full of fun, and for us kids, a freedom most children today can't imagine! 


reclaimed by the forest
we youngsters ran wild,
transformed into
untamed creatures

barefoot mobs
careened between trees,
terrorizing our domain,

upended rocks
revealed concealed critters,
minuscule and

tag and hide and seek
tossed rocks into the river
to reach the farthest
make the biggest splash

admiring the older ones who
searching for the perfect flat stone
skipped as many times as possible
across the water

carousing from cabin to cabin
younger ones trailed after
older ones
jumped on beds
built forts out of bedding
disturbed babies
till one adult after another
lost patience
and chased us along

a whisper of umber cloud,
the distant rumble
of loaded logging truck

sent us into a tizzy

here and there
from all directions
we came running

chasing after it, we
disappeared into dust blooms
rolled in the powdered earth
exploded into laughter
gazing at one another’s
dirt brown faces

my only responsibility was
keeping my two younger sisters,
rae and zoe, safe

maybe danger
stalking us
from dark shadows

i knew only comfort and mirth
in that green world
of wood smoke,
fresh pine
and rich earth

Here are links to previous Pine Valley poems. 




Ready and Willing 



Diaper Duty

Skunk Trouble



Bath Time


  1. I love reading about the joy they were able to find in the midst of hardships. Loving this story, Cheriee.

    1. Thanks Kimberly. I think we always make the most of where we are, don't we?

  2. 'revealed concealed critters' = delightful! Also very clever; the way your final verse settled the excitement into a warm resolution.

  3. The tone of this poem is total KID....but also clearly a reflection with, "my only responsibility..." I love the getting chased out by adults, the umber cloud the powdered earth....all perfect details. This poem is outstanding.

    1. Thank you Linda. I think there are aspects to childhood experiences that never change. I've watched my own children and now, grandchildren, engage in the same kinds of play that I did.

  4. I didn't have quite the huge forest, but my cousins and I had that freedom you've shown so well, Cheriee, the running into the woods, playing by a river, in and out of people's houses. Your images show such joy!

    1. Thank you Linda. I was hoping to capture that. All I need is a whiff of pine and I am back there in that setting.

  5. Paulette McNeal wonderful childhood days poured out very well on paper. Thanks for the picture journey.. I can hear the laughter, the running feet!

  6. What a joyful poem! I love how you portray the freedom and fun you and the other children found in the forest.

    1. Thank you Kay. I was hoping to capture those feelings.

  7. This poem was so full of life and childhood fun in in
    that green world
    of wood smoke,
    fresh pine
    and rich earth

    Love these last lines, Cheriee.