Finding My Voice

Finding My Voice

Finding My Voice – by Wild Thing

I am proud to share with you, the announcement of my first book: Finding My Voice. It’s a Collection of what I consider to be my best poems, paired with some of my photos that have been digitally altered by me.

It’s printed on white paper and the art is full color that has a slight gloss to it. It was my goal to create something unique that would be at home on your bookshelf or your coffee table.

The poetry is some works that have appeared here as well as some that is new. It is my hope that you enjoy it as much as I did putting it together for you.

Get your copy today: Finding My Voice by Wild Thing

Wild Thing

Happy Mother’s Day Grandma

My Grandmother - photographer Unknown

My Grandmother as Young Woman – Photographer Unknown

Thank you …
Because of you
Grandma
I know strength
That a woman
Can stand alone

My grandmother was a remarkable woman. She was named Margaret. I don’t ever remember hearing anyone call her by her given name except Aunt Melitta, (you remember her) and she called Grandma, Marge. Grandma hated that name. Grandma never corrected her, but would make a face behind Aunt Melitta’s back sometimes to me. A lady never corrected others in public.

Her mother died when she was quite young. We don’t know a great deal about her life then because she didn’t talk about it a great deal. We know that for a time, she lived with an Aunt. We don’t know where my great grandfather was that he left his children with this woman, we just know that he did.

As my grandmother got older, they moved back with her father. She was then responsible for her younger brothers and sister. At night, she played piano at the local theater to make money. She also attended a woman’s college to become a teacher and taught school for a while.

She loved to dance and would go dancing every Saturday night. She had a favorite dance partner. His name was Buford. I remember her telling me about him. I couldn’t stop laughing because I thought that was the funniest name I had ever heard. Please forgive my silliness, but I was only about 11 or 12 when I first heard about Buford. I was to hear that story many times to come and I promise I never laughed like I did the first time.

Grandma met my grandfather at one of those dances. He became her dance partner and I guess Buford as well as her other dance partners fell along the wayside. I’m only guessing, but it sounded like Grandpa filled her dance card up so no one else could put their names on it. He was tall and lanky, he towered over her. All 5’ of her. I remember her telling me she was all legs and feet! She wore a size 5 shoe.

I don’t know anything about the early years of her marriage. She never spoke of it. I know that she had lost 2 babies, because she gave birth to 9 children; seven grew to adulthood. Only 4 remain. My mother, a sister and a brother have passed over to her. My mom and her sister to cancer, my uncle in a tragic motorcycle accident.

What I do know, is that my Grandpa was an alcoholic. When he drank, he was a mean man and became abusive. Eventually, my Grandma divorced him. In those days, there were no such things as child support let alone divorce. It was unheard of. At least we were told they were divorced. In doing our family tree we could find no public documents to support this. Perhaps they were just legally separated. Our family never talks about that. I think this is because my Grandma never talked about it. She was, until the day she passed, a highly private woman.

Back to her history though. Throughout the years of her marriage, she worked full time. She had to, with my grandfather’s drinking, they needed the income. Being a woman, her earnings were meager and barely supported this large family. My mother tells how they ate farina for breakfast, lunch and dinner some days. During this time, the house was clean, laundry done and all without today’s modern conveniences. Photos of my grandmother back then show a tired woman. Aging fast due to the constant toil of work and raising 7 active children.

Though dirt poor, (and I’m not exaggerating) my mother and her siblings have told stories of their growing up that were for the most part, of high spirited and innovative children. Who played with each other and made up games. They even put on a yearly play at Christmas time with each having a role. My mom had spoken of other kids making fun of them for their poverty, and of resenting the local bar owner’s children always having more than they did however, so the effect of her father’s drinking lasted well into her adult years as she never touched a drop. But, as usual, I digress.

I remember my Grandma’s right arm being crooked at the elbow. As a child, I never thought about it. That’s just how her arm was. As I grew older, around 12-14 years old, of course, I asked about it. This is when I found how just how abusive my grandfather could be. He had thrown her down a flight of steps and broken her arm when drunk. The doctor he brought to the house, was a “friend”, also an alcoholic and apparently was drunk at the time. He set her arm wrong and it healed that way. It was at this time that he moved out as well.

It was only after I was even older, maybe 16 and spending a weekend with her, that I thought as I watched her mix up some cookie dough, that the healing of her arm must have been painful and that my grandfather called his “friend” to fix her arm to cover up a crime. To take her to the hospital that was just kitty corner from where they lived would have been faster than his going to get the “friend”.  I’m sure that even in the 1950’s she could have pressed assault charges on him. He was a big man by that time. Tipping the scales at 300 pounds and my tiny grandmother a possible 100 pounds.

My mom was the first of her siblings to get married, so I was the first grandchild. We lived in an apartment upstairs of my Grandma. I spent the first six years of my life running downstairs to her apartment where she lived with two of my aunts. With the rest of the family in and out all the time.

It was during this time, that my Grandma influenced me most, although I can honestly say, that she influenced me all my life up until she passed in 1991. She worked at St. Teresa’s College, in Winona, Minnesota, as a switchboard operator by then. It was a female college of fine arts. She would take me there to see plays, concerts and various other types of performances. It is here that I learned about world culture as it attracted students from all over the world. In fact, the day my sister was born, I spent the entire day on campus being passed from student to student while Grandma worked.

Grandma would invite people from the college over to her house so I would also frequently be present at those gatherings as well. Her youngest daughter graduated from St. Teresa’s because she could attend tuition free due to Grandma being an employee there. (It was planned that I would attend there too when old enough. When the time came, the college was in budgetary crisis and free tuitions were no longer offered.) Diversity was all around me.

Grandma’s politics naturally were to the left. Again, I learned my lessons at her knee. She adored John F. Kennedy and I’m telling you now, would have fell victim to Bill Clinton’s charisma. When Jimmy Carter arrived in Winona on August 18th, 1979, on the Delta Queen, I drove Grandma down to the levee so she could see him. Her most prized possession was a signed letter by him thanking her for her letter to him. It was signed too, not one of those stamped letters they send out now.

She followed politics avidly. She was a feminist without knowing she was one. If you’d have told her she was, I think she might have been offended. She was also, a man’s woman. You know the kind. Was always more at home with men, they gravitated to her as well. Up until the day she passed.

Yes, my grandmother was a groundbreaker. Strong, resilient and faced adversity stoically without saying a word. There were tradeoffs which goes without saying. As any working mother will say. She would say that was the way it was. Grandma wasn’t one to live in the past much.

I could write about her all day. In writing about her this morning, I’ve discovered, that it is her that I “take after”, more so than my mom. So, this year, thank you Mom, I love and miss you … and a special thank you Grandma, who I love and miss. You both have made me who I am.

Wild Thing ©May 14, 2017

 

 

Never-Ending Game

Memories - digital art by Wild Thing

It’s the 16th inning
We’ve stretched twice
Bears arrive late
As though it’s
Just begun

Mrs O’Leary’s Cow
Sips “tea” delicately
In her beautiful
Rose chintz china
With a goat
Named Murphy

They give
Color commentary
Their finest brogue
A bit slurred
And funny too

(Sure an’
They’re on
Their 4th “teapot”
Ye know)

Sailor Jack
His dog Bingo
Sell candied
Popcorn and peanuts
To sleepy children

Fans still cheer
As if we’re
Just starting
While #14
Yells from
Right foul pole
“Let’s play two!”

On the field
43 k’s so far
And counting
Bats and records
Starting to break

Leo “The Lip”
Argues with Joe
Behind the plate
Kicks dirt then
Storms away

Players left stranded
Like wallflowers
The Babe claps
Organ music plays us
Into the 17th inning

As Jack Brickhouse
Pours more “tea”
Into rose chintz cups

Wild Thing @May8, 2017

Promises*

autumn-burdocksm

Autumn Burdock – photo by Wild Thing

A promise given
Received
With joy
Gently placed
In a basket
To be savored
Until its arrival
With expectation
Hopeful days
Pass
It never comes

Another promise
Arrives
In the basket
It goes
Believing again
Only to see
It curls up
Like the other

Soon the basket
Fills with
Withered promises
It’s put away
With the pain
Of being forgotten

More promises
Arrive
Like butterflies
Beautiful
Then flutter away

Leaving behind
Wistful
Knowledge
That it will
Never happen
Which is
Better than
Expectation
Unfulfilled

Wild Thing ©February 18, 2017

*This poem was written for the Prompt 2.17 for the Writing Rebels.
It must suck to have promises made that are never kept. I mean we all know what it’s like, but to be an entire race of people? I think of Standing rock … being Black … Hispanic … all the broken promises made to them & then I am ashamed to bemoan any that have been broken to me. Anyway, I tried to capture that feeling & don’t think I came very close to it … but for what it’s worth. This was my attempt.

The Cletis Shoppe

. . . dawn in her eyes
rose on blue
CL Stump

If you like the above poem by my friend Cletis L Stump, you can now
purchase it on T-shirts, tote bags, coffee mugs etc. in his new store,
The Cletis Shoppe!

There is something for everyone here. Baseball fans, dog lovers, fitness
and health, children, funny to whimsical to name just a few! All in
various colors and sizes!

Left leaning politics? That is also here on the various products he offers.
He even does personalized work as you will see when browsing through
his shoppe.

Take some time today to stroll through his online store! Just click on the
link below now and browse to your heart’s content.

The Cletis Shoppe

Save

We’re Okay

DSCN4296a

Widow’s Walk – photo by Wild Thing

Storm has past
Leaving a strange
Green light
Branches . . . twigs
Fallen to the ground

Distant rumble
Echoes back
As a taunt
Perhaps a threat
It could come back

Unknown paper
Straggles by
Unable to walk
A straight line
Dizzy from its ride

Homes dark
No light
Shines from within
Each looking
Like a death mask

People stand
Outside dazed
Taking stock
Clean up, repairs
Counting their blessings

Here, there
Cell phone
To the ear
“Yes, we’re ok,
It only stormed here.”

Wild Thing ©2016

Written for Prompt #51

Writing Rebelsm

No Regrets

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No Regrets – photo by Wild Thing

They say
The saddest words
Are “It might
Have been.”

What does
That bring but
Heartache and regret

It only makes
Returning
Harder to face

Why question Fate
And tempt
Her fickle temper

She could make
You regret asking
What might have been

Wild Thing ©2016

Written for Prompt #50
Writing Rebelsm

Enjoy A Simpler Time

Her BookDiva Write up.jpg

One thing that so many people miss out on when they don’t give independent authors a look are hidden gems like this book: Small Town USA by Karen Louise Ray.

I loved Small Town USA by Karen Louise Ray, It took me back to a simpler time when all you had to worry about was your mother calling you by all three of your names. Her delightful poems of growing up in Any Small Town, USA will take you back to a softer time.

If anyone who reads this doesn’t find a hidden memory here I’d be surprised. The poem that hit me the hardest was the poem about her dad and his lunch pail.

It brought back a special memory I have of my Dad that I have just written about. It wasn’t the only one to trigger a memory, but it was the one that stood out. Others made me laugh out loud & some brought a tightness to my throat. All of them have a nostalgic charm.

Take the time to sit down with this lovely book and be prepared to time travel. Smell, feel, taste, hear, and touch your childhood in a lovely, tender way through Ms Ray’s sweetly written words. To purchase this beautiful book click here on Small Town USA and it will take you to Amazon where you can purchase this delightful book and relive your childhood.

Wild Thing

Magick in Words

Her Books

Truthfully, I don’t know where to start to describe this author! If you aren’t following her blog, or are one of her Writing Rebels, or following her on Twitter, or reading her monthly submissions at Downtown LA Life online magazine, well then you are missing out. BUT, you can get a glimpse of her talent and energy! She writes for herself and with a passion for what she is writing. She shares of herself unstintingly in her poetry/prose in a way that touches you. Truly there is magick in her words!

Go to Amazon and get one of her books. Just click on the word Amazon wherever you see it in this posting and it will open in a new window to her author page at Amazon where you can pick up one of her books. Remember … to buy one of her books, just click on Amazon .

Not sure you want to go to Amazon ? Well, why not go to her blog, Annie’s Muse and read a bit there. You can get a taste of her writing there. Some biting, some humorous, some wistful, haunting and some just takes to another plane. No matter what, the passion of Texas is there beating in her heart.

She also shares her writing at Downtown LA Life Online Magazin in not one but two features! One she shares her delicious recipes from her life growing up with a surprising twist to them and in the other is always a wonderful short story either of fiction or from her life. When from her life, you may laugh, but you also may cry. Annie gets it right each time.

Oh I’m not done yet! Are you a writer? Do you ever find yourself in a rut, blocked, needing a push? Then you need to join Annie’s Writing Rebels! That’s right … this busy woman also has a blog where you can each week on Sunday, find a prompt to write to. Annie’s prompts are challenging and stretch your writing muscles!

It is here that I must interject and just say that without Annie having done this, I would not have found my voice and probably would have given up on writing all together. I was floundering in the micropoetry world and had figured I might as well hang it up. Annie began her Writing Rebels and despite my absolute fear at my even attempting to produce anything nearly credible as writing to this zealous author was daunting.

Her encouragement and kind words kept me coming back and helped me grow. Without her I would have left writing behind me. Now I’m not great, not even close and I’m pretty sure she cringes at most of my submissions, but like photography, writing takes practice AND you have to love what you’re writing about. So come join the rest of us Writing Rebels at Writing Outside the Lines

Now … if this hasn’t made you want to go to Amazon and buy one of Annie’s books, then I don’t know what else would make you!

Wild Thing

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For The Love of Reading

Books

Are you a reader? I mean a REAL reader! Someone who loves any genre … from the sensual to the dramatic to poetic? Then you must visit my friend @CletisStump ‘s author page at Amazon where you can purchase his poetry books and his Novels.

I have read each and every one of them and can tell you that each one of them are worth reading! I find that as an author, he has carefully sifted through his words and chosen exactly how he wants you, the reader, to feel.

His novels are more than they seem, there is a universal philosophical thread running through them that has stood the test of time. The Turner Chronicles looks to be a part of a series and I for one am hoping so. I want to find out what happens next for the Turner family.

His poetry books are micropoetry at its very best. No extra words are there to cloud or confuse you. They get right to the heart of the matter. I don’t think that I can even properly say enough about the writing without sounding cliche except to get them and read them.

If you would like to sample his poetry, you can go to his tumblr blog Late Night Footfalls to read his poetry. Not only is his poetry there, but he also features other poets as well. The poems there are coupled with beautiful images. There is no other place on the internet that I know of like Late Night Footfalls I know you will enjoy it and it will definitely make you want to read more of his writing.

So hit the link here to go to Amazon to purchase his books today. After reading one, you’ll definitely want to get the rest.

Wild Thing

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