Monday, April 3, 2006




I am from deep Irish Roots, from  the distilleries of Wild Turkey and Guinness Beer, fields of bluegrass and burrens of limestone.

I am from rolling hills and Appalachian mountains. Where the air is smitten with the smell of sour mash, the rivers flow backwards, and  horses run in fields of chicory and goldenrod.

I am from golden tobacco, brilliant white washed fences and county roads lined with rock walls, magnolia trees and white crosses.

I am from worn rosary beads and reckless drinkers. From Burkes and Henry’s to Mollie and Catherine.

I am from the compassionate and the brilliant. The honored and the abandoned.

From the rag bag man and the IRA. From the  River Liffey to the East River.

I am from  women gifted with the sight and men with revolution pounding in their blood.

I’m from the place of famine, crumbling castles,  and rocks thrown in civil disobedience. I am from the emerald where the air is heavy with watery mist and the land ends at cliffs of doom. I am from the place of leprechauns and ghosts.

From scoundrels and saints.

I am from two distinct places, the present and the past. The past lives , mounted behind glass, preserved for future generations the pictures of ancient families, guns and wedding dresses, Hurling sticks and archaic uniforms.

Those who bravely came before us, to give us the freedoms and opportunities they could only dream of.


I found this exercise at Cynthia's and had a grand time with it. She found it here.


oceanmrc said...

Beautifully done.

ally123130585918 said...

Lovley words ~ Ally

yakima127 said...

It is nice to see someone who knows exactly who they are!  Jae

tc01hm said...

Fun exercise and wonderful post!

mosie1944 said...

I loved this, and by the time I finished mine, I had defined myself quite well.  Go check my entry.  I feel like a real poet now!

suzypwr said...

That was great!


my78novata said...

ah I thought you were gonna say boondocks since i played taht song in my jouranl. lol Im getting ready to post some pics of renfro valley and camp sites since we are going there in june for two conecerts one being little big town and the ohter Josh gracin

artloner said...

This is why I love ya' like I do...   ;)


readmereadyou said...

And you write like a true Irish story teller and I love the way you do.
Did I tell you I have a "thing" for Irish men? That twinkle in the eye gets me every time......the reason I have two kids by my Irish husband who is now sitting on that great Blarney Stone somewhere in the sky having a cold one. ; )


indigosunmoon said...

I loved yours! I posted mine tonight too!

lightyears2venus said...

Sheer poetry, so evocative. 'where the air is heavy with watery mist and the land ends at cliffs of doom.'  And that last line such a moving tribute. So many Americans don't have that deep, deep sense of an ancestral homeland they weren't born in; I guess you have those unforgiveable parents of yours to blame (lol)--another gift they bestowed!    Thanks for the link.

lisaram1955 said...

This is lovely!  It makes poets of us all.  I saw Cynthia's and Wil's, and I plan on doing one too.  Stay tuned...  Lisa  :-]  

lightyears2venus said...

I tracked this back through many blogs, even googled it & read more blogs, partly because a fellow teacher had given the exercise to me (a terror-stricken social studies teacher assigned, God help me, a lit class) back in the mid-90s.  As George Ella Lyon, the author of the original poem, herself said ( it was a journey of 'windows into so many souls' and 'the process was too rich and too much fun to give up after only one.' It has been used not only in schools throughout the U.S., but family reunions, juvenile detention centers, even a refugee camp in Sudan.
Wouldn't it make a wonderful collection?   Then one link ( had a juicy tidbit YOU will love (drum roll).  George Ella was born in Harlan County and is 'one of Kentucky's brightest and best children's authors.'  How's that for a circle?

mtrib2 said...

I enjoyed your writing exercise.    mark

krobbie67 said...

I didn't realize you were still posting over here. I followed the link from Lisa's "Better Terms." This was beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
:-) ---Robbie

helmswondermom said...

I really, really like this one.

delela1 said...

Loved reading this, flowing with the essence of you, and your forebearer's.  Brilliant and a lovely read.  Captivating.  :)

sassydee50 said...

TY for sharing this and sparking some great writing! I wrote a poem about where I'm from re. Easter. I may have to do this one too. I am enjoying reading them so much I might start printing them out! Sassy Deb ;-)

onemoretina said...

I loved this !  Beautifully done, and what an artistic way to share something about yourself.  I think I am going to take a crack at it, too ... although I doubt that mine will be as touching as yours.  Thanks for sharing.  Tina