• POETRY CORNER

      Photographer Robyn Corum says: "I spent many happy childhood hours playing on a country porch."

      Photographer Robyn Corum says:
      “I spent many happy childhood hours playing on a country porch.”

      – 5/16/18

      Hosted by Kathabela Wilson

      With leisure and a special view we find ourselves “On the Porch”! Our first poet, Terri Hale French, in Alabama, suggested this theme and I quickly realized how inspiring, intriguing, and various this experience could be. All the porches of your life immediately come to mind and the fascination continues with memories, friends, family, childhood playmates and the very porch you have now. We find ourselves here, in the Southern US, with its special accents and predispositions, immersed with sweetness, anxieties, and unexpected ways of solving problems, even those that might seem non-existent. As a finale, Sandi Pray finds a hermetic refuge, an inner view from her porch, to inspire and uplift us.

      ~ Kathabela​​

      Porch photo by Peggy Hale Bilbro.

      Porch photo by Peggy Hale Bilbro.

      Terri Hale French

      When I lived in Michigan, our “porch” was more or less just cement steps, but, when I moved to the south, I realized it was a very important extension of the house. Back before air-conditioning, the porch was where the family gathered, often with neighbors—rocking, swinging, whittling, playing music or a game of checkers, drinking lemonade or sweet tea. In many rural areas you’ll still see furniture and sometimes even a refrigerator out on the porch. Much like the fireplace hearth in winter, the front porch in spring and summer, is still the heart of the home.

      asleep on the porch
      the dog’s paws paddle
      through a dream

      early retirement
      daddy whittles away
      at his worries

      not enough sugar
      in the lemonade—
      front porch gossip

      haint that a shame

      Granny’s porch was painted what she called “haint blue” on account of the house was built on top of an Indian burial ground and she didn’t want some “pissed off spirit of an injun savage” barging in the front door and scalping her in the middle of the night. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that they could just come through the back door.

      furrowed field
      arrowhead hunting
      after the rain

      The history of haint blue is said to come from the Gullah/Geechee people, a community with ties to the enslaved Africans from the sea islands off South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. According to the Gullah/Geeche culture, this shade of blue represents water, which spirits can not pass over.

      Ο Ο Ο

      Peggy Hale Bilbro

      After growing up in the West, Peggy Bilbro finds herself living in Alabama. The cultural and climatic contrasts between these two geographic areas provide her with an unending supply of inspiration. Nowadays, she spends many hours on her front porch watching the soft southern seasons roll by and remembering the crisp mountain air of her western childhood.

      sage brush
      and high mountain piñon
      aromas linger as
      worn boots line the porch
      the scent of memory

      The Between Place

      Front porch…. a transition between the world and our retreat. We sip from our wine glasses; wave at passing neighbors; absorb cool evening air; mourn with doves the end of another day; hear the wind chimes gently calling darkness down.

      balanced
      between day and night
      we leave
      the porch light off
      stopping time

      Ο Ο Ο

      Photo - Peggy Hale Bilbro.

      Photo – Peggy Hale Bilbro.

      Michael Henry Lee

      The front porch conjures up an image and time of more congenial discourse, when relaxation and dialogue were the norm. Sitting in the moment, alone, or with friends and family. My only real memories of that kind of grand wooden sanctuary was of my maternal grandmothers in Polo Missouri, population 99. Alas the nearest my current experience affords is a lovely sun room in St. Augustine, Florida.

      autumn light
      the sun settles down
      on our front porch swing

      old rockers
      still going strong
      with th​​e wind

      Ο Ο Ο

      Mary Kendall

      This certainly brought back a lot of early memories, especially of teenage years. We lived in an old house with a front porch that had one of those old metal gliders. I remember my girlfriends and I would spend hours on summer evenings in the dark listening to the radio and gossiping and sharing our thoughts.​ ​Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of those old porches. We do have a front porch here in Chapel Hill, NC with Adirondack chairs and a large back screened in porch facing our woodland garden​.

      summers spent
      shaded on the verandah
      reading book
      after book, searching
      for a life

      Ο

      darkness
      came much earlier
      in the fall, along
      with a first kiss —
      porch swing

      Ο

      summer nights
      spent on the front porch
      flashes of fireflies
      and all our lives
      ready to happen

      Ο Ο Ο

      Write something - haiga by Sandi Pray.

      Write something – haiga by Sandi Pray.

      Sandi Pray

      If I can’t be hiking in the mountains of North Carolina or along the river marshes of North Florida…I commune with them from my porch. I need to be outside, no matter the season. And I am blessed to have a porch in each world​.​

      chores undone
      an old rocker creaks
      across the porch
      as afternoon sunlight
      closes my eyes

      Ο

      Haiga by Sandi Pray

      Haiga by Sandi Pray

      Ο

      A haiga by Sandi Pray.

      A haiga by Sandi Pray.

      Ο

      on the porch

      the old cat and i
      drinking wine

      between ravens
      as mountains rise
      into distant rain

      Ο Ο Ο

      We welcome and encourage your response especially in the form of short poems. You may reply by leaving a comment below.


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      Contributor

        • Kathabela Wilson

          Kathabela Wilson is a local poet/writer/artist and musician. Her Poets Salon has become an international respected must read in the poetry world. She's the creator and host of the Pasadena-based group, “Poets on Site.”

          Colorado Boulevard is your place for enlightening events, informative news and social living for the greater Pasadena area.
          We strive to inform, educate, and work together to make a better world for all of us, locally and globally.

        • Latest posts by Kathabela Wilson

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      Comments

      1. Peggy Bilbro says:

        Thank you Kathabela, and thank you fellow poets for such evocative poems. I am honored to be included with you all.

      2. Marietta McGregor says:

        What a gorgeous theme, and so beautifully treated! Who doesn’t love a porch? I’m inspired to dust off some of my verandah bits and pieces. Thank you, Kathabela and poets!

      3. Marta Chociłowska says:

        Love the theme “on the porch” . What a lovely stuff of haibuns, tanka and haiga.
        Sandi, thank you for this:
        on the porch
        the old cat and i
        drinking wine

      4. Thank you, dear Kathabela Wilson, for inviting me to contribute. It’s a really lovely edition with such wonderful company!

      5. alexnodopaka2 says:

        Well, thanks for the inspiration as I carried away…

        My Back Porch

        looked out on the Atlantic Ocean.
        It was shaded at certain times
        of late afternoon by the Hassan Tower.

        I used to hopscotch on the geometric
        blue patterned veranda tiles waiting
        for the maid to serve us lemonade

        under the trellis of the colonnaded
        terrace. These were the grand
        old colonialist days of yesteryear.

        Three quarters of a century later, sitting
        across the world on probably a last
        back porch my vertebrae make me ache

        for those ancient gilded serpent days.

      6. radhamani Sarma says:

        Beautiful illustration for every write, how porches stir our memories ,stay long with us ,
        our select place of inspiration! Appreciation and congratulations to all the poets
        featured here.

      7. radhamani Sarma says:

        pots and creepers
        gathering farewell in porch
        until one more year
        transfers and parties tears
        embed in hearts we carry

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