Horses and buggies can be found clopping up and down the roads of Kishacoquillas Valley in Central Pennsylvania. Big Valley lies between the towns of Lewistown and Huntingdon. It is the home of a great number of Amish and Mennonite Farmers, who, along with many others farm, this beautiful valley. People there refer to their home as Big Valley. It is the home of many of my ancestors on both sides of my family. It is one of the most beautiful places in the country. These are a few of the sights you might see on a visit there.
Back in the days of the hand cranked Victrola these old 78 rpm records brought music to folks with limited access to the larger world. Radio stations broadcast songs of A.P. Carter, Sarah, and Mother Maybell, across the airwaves from Bristol Virginia/Tennessee, into mountain homes with battery powered radios. The records, like the one above, were recorded live and cut onto a metal disc that was then used to press the vinyl records. Classical and Jazz records were a hit as well. I still don’t understand how a scratching needle can make beautiful music!
We have come a long way from 78 rpms of my childhood. Digital sound is amazing as it comes from many devices manufactured today. Interestingly the old 45 rpm and 33 1/3 rpm players are not making a comeback with the younger generation! There is something magical about putting a record on, watching it spin and listening to the music come pouring out! The old ways weren’t so bad after all!
Music coming from a horn
Flappers dance to Swing
Photo from Robert’s Books in Lincoln City, Oregon – Dwight L. Roth
Today at d’Verse, Peter asked us to consider beginnings… the beginning line of our poem. He noted that the beginning line of a poem makes a person either want to continue reading or pass it by. I have reworked a poem that had a generic beginning and attempted to make it more enticing!
I have a friend of my family who grew up in my home community in Pennsylvania. When my two brothers and I visited there a couple of years ago, we drove past the farm where her grandfather once lived, and was passed down through the generations. It was still in good condition, although the trees had grown quite large over time. The little white barn and tile silo were still there. On the hill above the farm, sat a little brethren church. Tombstones in the cemetery contained the names of many of her friends and family members. I took a few photos while we were there.
We had a few warmer days the past two weeks that allowed me to paint, so I decided to paint the farm picture and send it to her in Virginia. I had two good shots, one close and one far away. Not being able to decide which one to paint, I decided to paint them both at the same time. This was the first I tried painting two at once. They are on 11 x 14 canvas board. I hope she will enjoy them.
“…so close that your sea rises with my heat.” – C.Perez
Our love crescendos, turning us into liquid.
Oceans of your love crash and swell, then ebb
into calm retreat, painting the canvas bare…
Flowing across the layers of my electrocuted mind;
Covering all the shards of hurt from the past
with the joy of this glorious present moment in time;
Leaving only love’s fading footprints on the sand.
Our love grows in weeded beds of flowers sweet
with honey bees’ favorite blossoms, filled with nectar…
Without the taint of poisonous words that sting and dig
deep into the soul, leaving scars blight and spoil.
You. my love, are life’s precious fruit no longer forbidden
in the garden of beauty and perfection, delectable as
fresh peaches graced with rich sweet cream
Feeling you here in this moment, in this time of uncertainty,
Calms my storm of chaos that sit churning just off shore.
You are here now…
“so close your sea rises with my heat.” – C.Perez
Photo: Dwight L. Roth
We are doing Poetics at d’Verse this evening that deal with endings! She gave us six ending lines from poems of various poets. We had to choose one, and take the ending line of that poem, to continue the thought of the poem, in the same manner as the original poem. I chose ending line of the poem, C.Perez ~ Love in a Time of Climate Change to write my poem. Hopefully it is close to what she is asking us to do. We are to use the ending line as an epigraph (between the title and the body of the poem). Or at the end… I did both.
During this time of Covid-19, I have had my down times just like many of you. But, what I find helps more than anything else is to create purpose in my life. Being isolated gives me much time for creativity. It lifts my spirit and brings me joy. This past year I have self-published a hundred page book of poems I have written for my daily blog on Word Press. I also wrote and illustrated a children’s book about Rocky the Owl, and passed it out to friends who have little ones. Now that the days are warmer, I have been painting again. There is not time to sit and wait for the grim reaper. There are things to do that take my mind of the sand in the hour glass!
The sand in the hour glass runs faster at the end
I feel it shifting and settling into that narrow space
People for centuries tried to flip the glass to no avail
In the span of time and antiquity
our few minutes goes quickly
So make them count // those last few grains
settling into the final drop // becoming sand once more
Tell your stories // write your poems // sing your songs
Fill your days with creativity // joy // and wonder
For the sand in the hour glass runs faster at the end
This is a painting I finished last week of the City View Dairy Farms in the community where I grew up in Pennsylvania. I posted it on the community Facebook page where it was appreciated with hundreds of likes and comments and memories from people who no longer live there, but have great memories of getting milk there. It gave me great joy to see so many find it meaningful.