In which I can't sleep, and so now there is a horsaii poem to share

Yup, it's too hot to sleep. Also too hot to build goat fencing, too hot to chop firewood for winter, and too hot to even vacuum the house. It's too. dang. hot. for just about everything...except poetry.
Seems that when it's too hot to sleep, it's not too hot to think about yesterday's poem. And to wonder how I could write it again, but focus this time on a different set of origins. Here's the result.

Where I'm From, part 2

I am from boots and breeches and helmets, from beetpulp,
Coppertox, and saddle soap.

I am from a hay-sweet shed at the bottom of the hill, from a boarding barn crowded with nickers when the truck is parked, a pasture outside the kitchen window.

I am from the green alfalfa crumbs, the long timothy stalks, the bale-flattened thistles. I am from fresh-chewed grass drooled on a white shirt.

I am from cleaning paddocks by moonlight, building fences in the rain, from a quick trot up the hill and back after work.

I am from Midnight and Tonka, Mariah, Bo, Kira and Sarek.

I am from Story.
I am from the Toad, and Hana. I am from Fiddle.

I’m from dressage, from endurance, from trail riding.

I am from too dumb to be scared sometimes, and more stubborn than smart sometimes too.
From shut up and ride, and don’t worry about falling off because the ground is right there.

I am from carrot-breath as the cure for a bad day, and stall cleaning as refuge from a bad marriage. I’m from agile lips whuffling through cornstalk hair.

From the last time she fetched the bunny, and
from the first time she put her head through the stall window.

I am from portraits above the piano, on the fridge, on the desk. From paintings and photos, and scribbles in the margins of class notes.

I am the tattoo, forever trotting, that will never go away, never fade, never be left behind.

I am from horses.
Blacks and bays, spotted and greys, I am from all the pretty horses.


  1. "Hush-a-bye, Don't you cry,
    Go to sleep my little baby.
    When you wake, you will find
    All the pretty little horses."
    Love it!! One of my favorite lullabys.

    Yes: HOT! We (my visiting grandson and I) have been doing what we can in the first two hours of the day--then flaking out the rest of the day! GAAK!

  2. Evensong: I *wondered* if anyone would recognize the reference to the old lullabye!

  3. we did your poem today, but it turns out it is too hot for poetry too. or, at least, baking pies and answering your questions to make the poem. it ended in some cuss words. but that turned the whimsy to laughter.

    and you forgot your tshirt, so cruel,


    hard to get that theme out of your head, which really is your theme.

    °lytha in hot hot hot

  4. I forgot about the t-shirt!

    OMG, maybe we need a "Where I'm From part 3" (endurance) poem.

    Hmmm. Lemme think about that....

  5. I hope you have heard the Calexico version of that lullaby. It is very pretty.

  6. LOVE your poems! Not only will I write my own, I plan to have my 12th grade students write their own this coming year. :)

  7. STB Excellence: I thought it was a fun exercise, and now Lytha has got me thinking enough to do at least one (maybe two) more.

    THEN I'll go back to life on the farm, I promise!

    Meantime, I look forward to seeing yours, if you want to share it.

    Here's the citation for the original poem, which might be useful for your english classes also. (I'm a librarian--source citation is like religion for us!)

    "Where I'm From" appears in George Ella Lyon's Where I'm From, Where Poems Come From, a poetry workshop-book for teachers and students, illustrated with photographs by Robert Hoskins and published by Absey & Co, Spring, Texas, 1999.

  8. You guys are really suffering with the heat - stay as cool as you can - love the pictures and the poem!

  9. That's excellent. I have a framed poem on my desk that was written by my son for me when he was in the 4th grade. I has the "I am from" pattern.


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