Sunday, May 8, 2011

I got poetry jam on your birthday card...

Rough Mother’s Day here. I don’t know why after 6 years this one is hitting me so hard, but I’m a weepy mess. That will make getting groceries later a lot of fun! However, if you’re in a place that’s celebrating Mother’s Day today I hope you’re having a fabulous one – or finding the solace you need if you’re in the same place I’m in. That said, let’s move onto more uplifting things.

The Poetry Bus has gone into a ditch somewhere and TotalFeckinEejit is no more. While we mourn the loss of both transportation and our fearless leader, a new forum has crept out from underneath the carriage (thanks NanU!). The Poetry Jam promises to be a great place to read fabulous poetry – I think we’ll have some new (what do we call ourselves now – not riders anymore – jammers? fiddlers? or, for heaven’s sake, poets?) anyway there’ll be new people participating along with our old favorites.

So, for the inaugural jam, The Watercats have asked us to write a poem about birthdays. I’m in the throes of a poetry drought, so I’m posting a poem I wrote to my cousin on the occasion of her birthday in about 1984 or 1985 when we were in college together. This is actually the second poem I’d written to her about the difficulty of getting her a birthday gift. The first one starts out this way: “You shore are a pain, you old Kim Jane.” But I decided not to share that one today. I’m a little offended by my use of what I must have thought was stereotypical mountain colloquial language – but I don’t want to clean it up just yet. Maybe later. So, here’s what you’re getting instead:

El Cheapo, El Brokeo


Now, I love to buy gifts –
You know that’s so.
But, gifts are expensive
And money don’t grow

On trees in my yard.
(Though I work very hard)
There’s not much I can do
Without hurting your feelings
So I’ll try to make you

Understand what I mean.
I guess I’ll come clean
And explain my lament –
It’s hard to buy gifts
With just 18 cents.

My cousin and me just a few years before the poem was written
 Go here to read other birthday poems. You won't be disappointed!


  1. Great poem, Dana.

    Sending you hugs today. Though I'm surrounded by my own children and one big nosed dog who appreciate me being their mom, I find myself missing my own mother intensely.

    Sorry...didn't mean to cry all over your post. Just brush those tears aside.

  2. This is one fine Mother's Day ... I am suffering from a really nasty head cold / upper lung thing! I can't taste or smell. Don't dare go near anyone. In spite of it all, I have had lovely (nasal) dialogue with kids and relatives around the country today.

    Your Poetry Jam poem is a good one, for sure! 18 cents, I almost remember those times.

    Be happy.

  3. Love the poem!
    My parents banned Mother's Day and so did I and now my children with their families - it's a huge commercial moneyfest and has little or nothing to do with appreciation. Why choose one day in the year for that?

  4. So fresh and funny and honest. What could be better? Nuthin'.

  5. Aww...I love the photo of you and your cousin. I probably would have liked the poem you decided not to post too...but the one you great! I think my Mom has been gone now for 7 1/2 yrs. Sure wish I could have a chat with her sometimes...I know you wish the same with your Mom. Hugs!

  6. Big hugs to you today! Mother's Day is bittersweet for a lot of people. You certainly aren't alone there! xo

  7. would love to see the other one!! but this was good fun.

  8. Good stuff, and loved the final line. 'Cents' is so much better than 'pence'.
    Love to you, great photograph too!

  9. Hugs to you, Dana.
    There's been many a time I'd have preferred a poem to a clunker birthday gift. Great offering!

  10. They always say its the thought that counts anyway.. :)

  11. You could have bought a street of houses for 18c in 1984, you old skinflint.
    Good lord, 27 years of writing - you must have quite a collection!

  12. Cute poem. You and your cousin look enough alike to be sisters. Two bugs in a rug!

  13. It would make a great birthday card. I have a pic of my cousin and I sitting in the same pram (we were born within a week of each other). I'll have to dig it out.

  14. I try not to dwell on Mother's day, but there are so many mothers gone from my life -some I knew well, some are just names in my family tree and I find myself wondering what they were like and lamenting the fact that I never knew them- I'm now the oldest Mom in my family. Love your Birthday poem! Since it's for Poetry Jam is it okay to say you may can it?

  15. love that photo :-) and the poem is just perfect, you gotta love a bit of colloquial mountain talkin sometimes, specially when you a young-un :-D

  16. Better than any Hallmark card on the market! Love the rhyme and the humor.

  17. Poems are ALWAYS are good gift-worth much more than 18 cents!

  18. Yes yes! Give poems, not trinkets. And what a cute picture>


Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear what you have to say!

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