Friday, July 8, 2011

Where I am from ... a Floyd First project

I am from tag soap and Robin Hood flour

I am from RC Cola and Moon Pies

The fragrance of the general store at the head of the holler

The pot-bellied stove with it stable of whittlers

Spinning tall tales, spitting ambure into rusted cans

I am from poverty and want, egg money and wood fired cooking stove, ashes on the floor that are swept through the cracks in the poplar flooring planks

I am from under the house playing with chickens and pups

Searching for Doodle Bugs to call from their pits

I am from Floyd Charles, Lula Marie and Carrie June

I am sturdy stock, strong of back and will

I am bathed in Moonshine, reared in slate piles,

Coal mine grit rubs thin places in my ruddy skin

I am from turning plows pulled by Mules

I lay down in seep water from a mine to cool myself in the heat of summer’s blazing sun

I am from Brown’s Mule and Day’s Work plug tobacco

I am slave to Buffalo roll-your-owns and kitchen matches struck on the rivets of my bibbed overalls

I am from long ago and far away, Appalachia was my prison

I have long roots that suckled survival from rocky hillsides

I was captive of family story tellers sharing family sins

Son of Hard-Shelled Baptists and Holy Rollers

Cursed, confused, needy and loved

I am from woods, streams and tobacco fields

I am from proud, angry, desperate dreamers,

longing for victuals and the basic necessities of life

I am from gravel roads and dry creek bed trails that only lead deeper into isolated ignorance

I am from mountains and branch of Sheep Shoals creek,

Walnut Gap and Pepper town ridge

I am from hunger and weariness, Kerosene and blasting caps,

Rock fences and triple strand barbed wire strung tree to tree that Blue Birds perch on and sing as I sit and ponder

I am from tick and chigger, bedbug and White-faced Hornet

I am friend to June Bug, foe to Wasps

I am from the banks of the Kentucky River, Jackson and Booneville, Owsley County, Ervin and Revina

Horse-shoe curve bars my way to Manchester and beyond

I am from Bluegrass and horse farms, miles of pasture and meandering creeks full of sucker and bream

I feed on Rabbit, Squirrel, Whistle Pig and Possum

Taters, Maters, buttermilk and cornbread

I come from scorn and ridicule, Jokes of in-breeding and questionable lineage

I am Hillbilly, Hayseed, Hick and Redneck, pick-up trucks with gun racks and Fox tail on the aerial

I am from hangings and feuds, Rebel Flags and cold long-necks

I am from thick skinned blood lines, hard and tested,

Proven and standing tall

I am from limestone slopes and hardwood forest, Cumberland Falls and Grassy Creek

I am from hard hands and soft laps, rock candy and molasses cakes

I am old and wise, weathered and bent

I am from smoke house and barn, solitude and quiet

Freshly mown hay and hog lots perfume the evening breeze

I am happy, content and glad to be from where I came


  1. Holy crap, Clarence, this is wonderful. I'm going to have to copy and reread often to let it soak in. Amazing, beautiful, just stunning.


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