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  • I tried Lynnderella’s “Where I’m From” exercise. I love the concept. You’ll see why I shy away from poetry. Mine has no rhyme or meter or whatever it is that good poetry is supposed to have. Of course, it also never ends. So, this is Part One of who knows how many parts, of “Where I’m From”, for what it’s worth.

    I am from newspapers rolled up and sacked before the sun,
    Delivering the news before the world awakes;
    Good news and bad news on the doorstep on time
    Fantasies played out as I make the rounds – “strike three!”
    House to house, door to door, through wind and rain and snow and sleet

    I am from tunnels and bridges, (always a bridge, man!)
    Always a bridge to get from here to there,
    Tunnels through ever present hills opening out to
    Rivers , ever-flowing, taking me home,
    Running together to a golden triangle of memories and dreams

    I am from Steel Mills belching smoke and smog and dark skies
    Iron willed, the Iron City with no pity, never say die,
    Beers and tears and laughter and cheers
    Clowning and mascoting, making them laugh, breaking up
    The tension, while crying inside, the tears the clown must always hide

    I am from the crack of the bat and the break of the nose
    From blood that flows and comfort that knows that
    Big boys don’t cry, big boys don’t cry, choking it back
    Chin up, suck it up, move on, and play through
    The pain and confusion and chaos and love – always the love, and the laughter…

    I am from brothers and sisters and cousins and friends
    Always around yet alone, a world inside and a dream ‘round the bend
    And far away, in those distant hills, dreams of mid-night run-aways
    Chasing the dreams and the schemes to the holy land yonder
    Somewhere over the rainbow, with Inky and Satchmo and secret friends and caves

    I am from fishing and sports and hiking and play
    From finding the key to the universe in right field
    From Forbes Field and tunnels and players and dreams
    Fields of dreams, halls of fame and balls and green
    Grass and dirt and hurt and hits and runs - and fun

    I am from musical soundtracks and scores and folk songs
    Jets and Sharks and Roundtables and Knights
    Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan,Judy,Bobby, Frankie and Dionne
    There’s a place for us, a place called Camelot, somewhere
    Where Maria, Tony, Guenevere and Lancelot live, love and die

    I am from incense and beeswax candle smells and robes
    Serving mass and wine and wafers, so holy;
    From belt whippings on bare behinds for laughing through mass
    Father embarassed, the choir singer shamed by sons so bad
    Could never live up to the Holy Brother Choir Singing Dad

    I am from bed-wetting and getting on top of that shame
    From mother recovering and caring and knowing
    A brief time of connection before addiction took me too, to
    Where she’d come from, somewhere over the rainbow
    Tripping over wizards and munchkins and witches, good and bad

    I am from choking on smoke ‘n’ catching on fire, getting
    Blown out of a dark hole on a holy ship of fools
    Determined to learn, to never go back there
    Nuking the past, mastering nuclear physics and reactor theory and
    Material principles, scientific certainties and spiritual doubts

    I am from mountaintop experiences on top of the world
    CapeBreton Island and the Bay of Fundy high tides
    Guantanomo Bay, war games and beer and outside movies
    Mastering softball and tolerance and secrets of Don Juan, a
    Friend of the Devil and spiraling back down
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