–roots and branches
roots and branches (2012)
by Stephen Godfrey
This 25-poem collection is a nostalgic medley of sepia memories made vivid through Godfrey’s warm and enthusiastic recollections of “Gramma and Grampa,” out-houses in winter, battles with wasps, “Red Man” and all things country and true to the spirit. Thirty-eight pages.
(A browse upon Pages 32 and 34):
From “Noonday Chiggers”
on the return trip, dined
on my arms. the aroma of
a young sapling stirred their
carnivorous instincts to further
ravage me; torture me; itch
me plum near death.
the price has been paid for
sunshine and fresh air; chigger
the audacity of it all!
“I Remember the Old Ways”
I remember long ago in my childhood, in West Virginia,
Simple ways; the old ways of the mountain people.
A vivid impression of taking a bath in a rain-tub
With hot water heated on a Wood Cooking Stove.
I remember ventures to the Out-House in mid-winter,
With the infamous Sears Catalog.
You could read it and use it at the same time,
While contemplating the deeper things of life.
I remember my Grampa and Uncles
Sitting on the front porch in rocking chairs with “Red Man,”
Rocking and spitting with pin-point accuracy
For hours; talking about whatever pleased.
I remember the family around the Piano
For hours singing beloved Hymns.
The faces were all aglow and beaming.
It was a time of happiness and completeness.
Those days are gone, except in the mind’s eye.
The memories linger of a different time and place.
(roots and branches is also available through Amazon.com.)