I am participating in #SOL19. Thanks to the twowritingteachersblog team for sponsoring this wonderful event!
I have always loved reading and writing poems. When I was growing up, I was often in trouble and sent to my room to reflect on my behavior. Fortunately, I had my own desk filled with pens and writing paper and a wonderful guitar my grandparents had bought for me as a birthday present. I wrote many poems, sometimes turning them into songs I could play on my beautiful guitar.
This poem was written because of my family’s love for Maine and all of its treasures, my gratitude and friendship with publisher friends at Stenhouse in Portland, and my love for Gerald Stern’s poem, “Saying the First Words.” My sister and brother-in-law now have a cottage near Farmington, and my husband and I visit in August. We make a quick stop in Portland to visit our friend, Chandra. There, a harbor tour of lighthouses and a stop at a tiny pub where they serve incredible clam chowder. Hopefully, this year we will catch up with Paula Bourque, too. Often, we stay at the Kawanhee Inn in Weld. It has a huge screened-in porch that overlooks the beautiful pine trees and Webb Lake. Dinner is served here, so you can watch the sun spread its colors across the sky and sink behind the mountains. Here are some photos from Portland:
I used Stern’s poem as my mentor text to write. I first read Stern’s poem in a poetry course offered by the Pennsylvania Writing & Literature Project. The facilitator was Julia Blumenreich. Please follow this link to see Stern’s wonderful poem:
Imagining a Different Life
I could live like that!
Maine’s majesty of the wild outdoors calls my name:
Inspiring me to rise early to read the entries of my guests in our inn’s journal,
Basking in the freedom of wide-open spaces,
Drawing deep breaths of piney air;
Marveling at my view of the White Mountains.
I would pick blueberries full-to-popping
And stir them into a muffin batter in the purple-early dawn
To serve guests and family members staying at the inn.
My backyard and the lake, an art gallery for everyone to enjoy.
In winter the fireplaces crickles and crackles, inviting storytelling
As guests return from skiing or trekking through fields on snowshoes.
Fall brings a pageantry of brilliant color to the inn!
I would hike in the cool-warm days of September over hill and gully,
Moose, deer, even eagles hidden in the tall grasses and high in the pines.
Returning to freshen up and greet my dinner guests as they prepare for a feast:
Lobster bisque, beef bourguignon, homemade blueberry pie.
And just when you think you’ve taken in all the beauty that Maine has to offer,
The great outdoors of Maine will startle you with another photo op…
Yes, I could live like that!