Sunday, July 23, 2006

Where I am from

I nicked this from Jean at this too and Mary at A Breath of Air, who in turn stole it from Fragments From Floyd.

The idea is to write your own version of George Ella Lyon's poem "Where I'm From". Go on, you know you want to.


Where I'm From

I am from space lego
bmx bikes and Evel Knievel
and elastoplasts ripped off quickly to get it over with

I am from velcro on my sneakers
and diet cola and The Milkybar Kid
semi-skimmed milk and sugar on my cereal
cold baked beans and banana sandwiches

I'm from Crosby, Stills and Nash
Pink Floyd and Aztec Camera
my father's records
from live music is always the ticket
and this song is my favourite (apart from all my other favourites)

I'm from self-built homes
no door handles and unpainted skirtings
hand-prints in concrete and my own toolkit
I'm from neighbours called auntie and uncle
and calling for friends to come out to play
but not feeling sure that they wanted to

I'm from bunkbeds, tidying up for visitors and being on your best behaviour
from church twice on sunday
jesus loves you
and reciting the books of the bible

I'm from The Famous Five and The BFG
Jabberwocky and climbing trees but coming down in time to watch
The Monkees, Record Breakers and Starsky and Hutch

I am from hamsters and goldfish and a nervous cat
from packing and moving and starting again
new schools and girls can play football too
from do your best and no-one likes a show off
you are older and you should know better
and there is no reason to get angry (ever)

I am from distance and separation
from 400 miles in a Ford Cortina (MEL 396 W)
from grannies that baked and grampas that teased
and isn't your accent funny

I am from betweens
lists and boxes
of photographs piled up and dog eared
my mother's round handwriting on the back


Blogger Mary said...

I like this very much, Stray.

Goodness it brings back memories - amazing how these listed objects can stir up the emotions, the food as much as anything, strangely enough ... the semi-skimmed milk!

And calling on friends ... so poignant.

And the way you have ended it is lovely ... the suddeness really works. I can practically see your mother's handwriting in my mind's eye.

23 July, 2006 22:12  
Blogger Stray said...

thanks Mary :) I really enjoyed yours when I first read it, and have been thinking about doing my own ever since. Yours was the first I read - even before the George Ella Lyon version - so, like the U2 cover of Dylan's "All along the watchtower", yours feels to me like the original.

Funnily enough, the milk came from nowhere for me too ... I guess it lacks drama but was a touchstone of some kind.

My mum's handwriting is like a primary school teacher's ... circles and sticks, easy to read, comforting. The notes never said much - just "France, 1982" or "3rd Birthday", always in blue biro.

Hope you're well, nice to see you, xx

23 July, 2006 22:26  
Blogger Daisy-Winifred said...

I wonder if that sense of "calling for friends to come out to play but not feeling sure they wanted too" is something which is always place we come from.

I've thought about this idea since I first saw it at Fragments From Floyd but save the Wooden Tops with the biggest spotty dog in the world and my stiff legged take off of said dog where I'm from comes and goes in focus and never steady enough to write a poem about.

I get sense of beginnings from your poem but also sense that strtching and going beyond is very much there too.

25 July, 2006 08:31  
Blogger Brenda said...

This could turn into a ballad, or even a film! It's like a scrapbook of Proustian remembrances sparked by simple images - that I'd have to quote the whole poem to list.

This is silly, but if you have a video camera, even just a medley of images with a voice over would be great.

A memento, something to submit to short film contests, a gift for your mother.

I don't recall reading Jean's or Mary's, but now I'll have to go searching...


25 July, 2006 12:22  

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