this too
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
  Where I'm From
I've been waiting for the right time to begin - the special, fateful, hopeful beginning time, the day when there's something worth writing about. But when's the right time? There's only ever here and now.
Today I was instantly absorbed by Fred's invitation ( ) to his readers to write something on the lines of George Ella Lyons' poem "Where I'm From". I couldn't bear not joining in, not having a place to post my contribution. So here we are. And here's where I'm from...
I am from white sticky Milk of Magnesia when your tummy hurts
and Mr Selwyn Lloyd on the radio
and nice manners and personalised wooden serviette rings
I am from a concrete flat with cliffs of steps that I’m afraid of falling down
and high metal windows
I am from blowing dandelion clocks
and peering at the reflected yellow of buttercups under your chin
I am from domestic service and poor proud respectability
from the Moorings - like where boats tie up
from playful Grandad Harry with a wart on his neck
and round Nanny Flo who cooks the best
I am from the Protestant work ethic - God helps those who help themselves
from never a borrower or a lender be
and righteous self-despisal and despising others even more
from those are crocodile tears and you’re an ‘ardened little bugger aren’t you
I’m from the heather-covered Clee hills
and the brown flooding River Severn
from Victoria sponge, corned beef and creamed potatoes
from Auntie Elsie who died when she was twelve and I look just like her
and Midge [the dog] would do the washing up for me if you could,
wouldn’t you, not like that selfish child of mine
and I should stay out of your parents’ rows, dear, if I was you
I am from people who are dead or whom I no longer see
from a home and family long gone
no photos except those in my head
from doors into dark rooms at the top of stairs
and the echo of my mother’s complaining
that grates like jagged metal
in my mouth
So far away, so close.
So much you say I knew too--the cliff of steps, the yellow buttercup rubbed on my nose by older kids...

We are all so different, and so much the same. Thanks for this!
An auspicious beginning; and a beautiful one. I don't blog but follow a certain core of blogs for the sense of expansion and greater intimacy with experience that they convey. Your title and first entry has all the siren-calls of a good blog. You're on my list!
Hello, Jean - welcome!

I'm glad Fred's invitation caused you to take the plunge, and I'm looking forward to seeing what unfolds here. Good luck! - Andy
Happy blog-birth! What a wonderful way to start, too: I've mentally bookmarked Fred's entry on this type of poem & want to do one, too. In the meantime, yours serves as such a wonderful intro to you & your blog...thanks, and good luck as you start your journey into the blogosphere. We'll be reading... :-)

Zen Mama/aka Lorianne
Wonderful! :o)
Beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing.
I had forgotten about buttercups reflected on my chin, but we used to do that too when we were kids ;)
What a brave and beautiful way to jump into the pool.
The buttercups must hit home with all of us. Your poem is very powerful. Thank you.
Very powerful, Jean. I had no idea this is how it all started (meaning blog - but life too, I suppose!).
Jean: I had never seen this before. Happy blogday. and thanks for pointing us at it again.
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Freelance copy-editor and translator. Keen on language, literature, photography, art, music, buddhist meditation and the countryside.

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