Monday, May 31, 2010

Days With Family

My family, from the north, visited last week. It was a wonderful week, and the little girls enjoyed our outings to the river where they collected rocks. Well, at least one did, the other little girl just liked her feet in the cool water.

The time was good for me because I was able to get all the baby kisses I needed, and I was also able to spend some time with my son. He is a chef in the city, has a pretty hectic life, and wanted to slow down and be on some high trails while they were here.

One of the days we were able to get out we packed a day pack and headed for Springer Mountain. My son wants to hike some on the Appalachian Trail, and I thought it would be a good place where he could get a taste of what it would be like. What better place to start than a climb to the plaque at the southern terminus of the 2167 mile trail. It was a good hike, making me wish I was in better shape, but I didn’t die, and that’s a good thing. It was a gorgeous day, and I could see the beautiful North Georgia Mountains curving toward the horizon.

We wanted to test out some meals, so we went to the Springer Shelter and set up our stoves for lunch, and then it was back down the rocky path to the car and home.

Every father dreams dreams of what his children will be when they grow up. I don’t remember what mine were. I guess I just prayed I wouldn’t screw up my part of the story. As I watched my Son ahead of me on the trail, I realized that he was much more than I prayed for. He is a good man, a wonderful father, provider and a faithful Christian. He has written a much better story than I could have written for him. The way it should be.


I skim the stone bowl,
Scoop the dregs away.
Watch the spring clear itself.
Remembering a time when
I could drink freely
Taste the coolness after the climb.

I watch the downhill seep
Knowing that days from now
It will join with darker waters
Down there in the world.

And so will I.

Robert W. Kimsey

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's Been a Long Month

Maybe I’m different from most bloggers, but when I started this adventure into the electronic world I was hoping for a large community to care about what I wrote and the poems I shared. I know that is true about most of you who come and sit on the porch with me, you do care, and I thank you for being my friends and readers.
It is a real shame that one of the things that has grown out of this type of sharing is that we must always be thinking about security, as we write. That’s just the way of the world I’m afraid.

For example, I can’t share with you in “real time” the events of the day. I couldn’t tell you that I am in the hospital only that I was. I couldn’t tell you that I was in Pennsylvania only that I was. If we are responsible to our families and friends we must always be reporters of what was.

Betty C. Stamper 1927-2010
My Mother passed away a week or so ago. She had been fighting Alzheimer’s and diabetes for seven years, and finally she couldn’t hold on any longer. I didn’t get to see her much, and when I went there last year and she didn’t know me I had gone through a period of mourning at that time. The creative parts of me are from her. She was a very accomplished artist, working mainly in oil. Her paintings of flowers were a major part of the service last week. Her landscapes were beautiful and full of light. In later years she had a stroke, and holding a brush was harder for her than holding a pencil, so she switched to colored pencil, and drew some remarkable portraits. She was always encouraging and proud when we talked about my time in art school and my membership in the Cincinnati Art Club.

My Mother was also a very good poet and writer, and I hope to share some of her poems with you in the future. She had lived in a number of other countries, and told colorful stories about her times there. She is survived by 3 brothers and a sister, and the other day in a local restaurant the brothers started telling stories, about the 37 flood, swimming the river in happier times, and what a tom boy my Mother was, and I knew that she was there sharing in the laughter.
I loved her, and will miss her.

Heaven’s Door

I wonder how long it is
before the dead forget
what they have left.

Cut off from us,
can they look through the keyhole,
a limited view down the corridor
they just walked that last time?

And do they crowd around,
some pushing and shoving for a look back
that’s always the same?
Dark hall, doors on each side,
the single bulb that guided them here,

while others that remember
the stories of elders
the dreams of parents,
writings in holy books
turn around,

and see their families
waving from the top of the hill.

Robert W. Kimsey