HOMELAND....part 1

I saw a plate on a car from New England today and
it got me thinking of my homeland back East, far from
me now, where I was grown.....immersed in the traditions
of forefathers, ways of thinking things over, now
considered stiff and formal.

I've been through changes richly personal in this land
of the sand where the sun rules our lives;
I entered a metamorphosis of spirit, altered throughout the
meandering makeup of my character, and somewhat
evolved my bodily appearance as well....I hardly wore
hats till I came to live here.
I miss my homeland....sweet New England.

HOMELAND....part 2

I'm remembering the sweet salt smell of the wind off the chilly waves of the
Atlantic...a day trip to an island in the harbor-mouth of New England...the
taste of clean fresh oysters and the clitter-clack of favorite restaurants....
the feel of the winter, bitter in its cold unfeeling grasp....the sight of the falling
of leaves spreading like a quilt lush visions across all the edges and corners of
fields and woods; an October warning of the bleakness to come and how
deeply our beds will be buried.
I miss my homeland....sweet New England.

Springtime would arch its back and emerge from a disappearing mist of ice
and snow, thick smelling clothing and slippery careful footsteps while looking
down from stiff, unsure legs as I walked....the melting white snow giving way
to pavement grass and muddy streets...slow-moving streams of seasonal
afterbirth; change was not always pretty but necessary in a land that is known
for and thrives on the inevitability of change.
I miss my homeland...sweet New England.

HOMELAND....part 3

There are no window box gardens here and the ever-gasping traffic of the
buslines, so much a part of the biology of a city, here seems intrusive,
insufficient, dragon-like, an enemy of the air...for back where the sun rises
I would embrace and accept it like one tolerates an old, miserable person
who smokes cigarettes in your home...stench still evident deep in the night.
I miss that homeland...sweet New England.

Here I fight to avoid the heat, and back home I captured it as a vital
but expensive friend; the steel pipe-kicking hot steam making its way north
three floors; I am mesmerized in the sands by the eternal drone of cooling
machines, leaving little time for any real least the steam pipes
banged variety ! Tough old winds howling against the windows screamed
in animistic pain while I played with my cats and my colds...I put up with
her icy breath and she put up with me!
I miss my homeland....sweet New England.

HOMELAND....part 4

Flying low in my dreams over housetops and small green mountains maybe
Maine but probably Vermont, I envision each detail of my life there...
every trip through the trees, every windy splash upon a cold rock shore as
I sat wondering then where I'd be now.
I miss my homeland....sweet New England.

What now stands dominant as a Yankee mom are the calm blue-stone
cemeteries so well made back there, where I'd find the stillness, and the
quiet geometry of natural beauty, the serene behavior of my departed but
ever-present clean of litter and so safe a place I would
dream of my mortality, and my ecstasy at loving life too much....a
thousand brown chipmunks flitter my thoughts searching for
gems of nourishment to last their little lives...for I had much to spare!
I miss my homeland....sweet New England.

HOMELAND....part 5

I worshipped the emotions of growth and change within me with each
new spirit soaring to places of exploration at a change in
temperature; a thrill of luscious victory enhanced my whimsical anger when
as a child of ten I finally caught the horse in the snow...deep enough to
drown the memory of failure...and got him in for the night.
I miss that blessed homeland...sweet New England.

Now beneath this vast and obnoxious spotlight where whatever
changes that occur are never apparent enough for me, where and how far
I wonder can these minute movements take me? The progress of self-
discovery is slow must tread the waters of experience to keep
the soul alive in the seasons of the spirit; the Motherland my home is a
long-lost best friend who will someday write back, existing in the shadow
of the setting sun.
I miss my homeland...sweet New England.

Russell J. Sether

Poem Copyright ; 1998 Russell J. Sether. All Rights Reserved.

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Copyright ; 1998 Elisa Terranova. All Rights Reserved.