Poetry Friday July 26, 2019

This week's Poetry Friday roundup is hosted by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. Go there to learn how to "Steal Like An Artist." Then admire her poem, A Teaspoon and a Bit of String. Make sure to check out the links to other participants sharing poetry today.

The end is in sight for this draft of my memoir project from 1958. I think I have three or four more poems to go. Whew! 
I was five when my family joined other relatives on an adventure into the Pine River region of Northern British Columbia. This means my memories are somewhat sketchy and usually loaded with emotion. I've been able to fill in many blanks based on conversations with those who are still with us.
I'm committed to sharing a bit every week 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.


brave and bold
heady and ready
to stretch my horizons
I ventured
off into the forest

it let me in
a sly smile
revealing a deer path
illuminated by
streaks of sunlight
that pierced through crevices
in the towering pines

dark shadows
from the understory
scrutinized me
while I crept on
a silent mouse
heart pounding with
frissons of
and fear

did bears lurk there?

in the distance,
the crack
of industry

drawing closer
I crept to the edge
of a clearing

came upon Les,
one of Walter’s boys
an older cousin,
might have been 12,
chopping fire wood

I watched
the elegance
of his body
as his arms
stretching over head
swung the ax
forcefully down,
rending open the
block of wood
perched on a stump

a crack as it split,
fragments flying into the air

he bent over,
grabbed up the larger chunk
placed it carefully

swung again,
splintering the wood
into smaller
and smaller
of kindling

pausing to collect them,
he looked up

noticed me

he hollered,

Hey! You!
What are you doing here?
Git on home!
It’s not safe wandering
around by yourself!

for a second
I hesitated

wanted to ask if
he would
take me back

then turning
I raced back
the way I came

tumbling home
safe and sound
into my mother's arms

Here are links to previous Pine Valley poems. 
Ready and Willing
Diaper Duty
Skunk Trouble
Bath Time



  1. This tiny memory, yet still so fresh in your mind, Cheriee. I have a few like that, the startling of something unexpected. Great details, love about the boy chopping wood & adore "while I crept on
    a silent mouse". Congratulations for all the poems written.

  2. Ooooh that sly smile and dark shadows of the understory had me worrying about a sinister outcome. There is just so much to love in this poem. So many little treasures! Well done.

  3. How the forest lets you in....brilliant. Why is it not safe? I think there are two poems here. I'm not sure how I would tease them apart. But, there's definitely the alluring woods and the sinister implication by the cousin.

  4. I agree with Linda. You could make this poem into two scenes, one in the forest alone somewhat frightened but mostly comfortable and in awe, and the other the cousin's reprimand. But also they work well together here, yet I find the ending comes too soon. The beginning is slow and steady while the end is a race to mother. I love the idea of memoir in verse and told myself I was going to try it, but I haven't yet.

  5. One of your real talents, Cheriee, is making me feel like I'm right there with you. I never feel distanced from what you're writing. It's a gift.

  6. I found myself creeping along with you through the forest - your details evoke so much emotion and draw me into the scene.

  7. There are some great comments here for you, Cheriee. I reread your poem to see how Linda and Margaret saw the break. I certainly understand their viewpoints. I love the 2nd part of your poem when you watch the boy start chopping. It was an intense feeling that you delivered well to us. I understand your dilemma of staying versus being running home with a humiliated heart. Good luck on the revisions and the ending chapers.

  8. Thank you for taking us along on this adventure. I don't think I realized previously that you were actually with your family on this adventure. I guess I thought it came from stories from family. It's been a fascinating read!

  9. What a strong memory! You captured it perfectly -- I was just as mesmerized as you were!

  10. Your word choice is spot on in this poem! I love how you use words in unexpected ways, like crevices here:
    "streaks of sunlight
    that pierced through crevices
    in the towering pines"
    You really pull the reader right into this scene! I felt your "frissons" of fear , little mouse, and jerked from the startling chop of the ax and those wood splinters flying. Well done!

  11. Ah such a telling Cheriee, I also felt as if I was there with you as the memory unfolded–and your ending is perfect!