Where I'm From

My Vistage chair Mike suggested to our group members that we write our own "Where I'm From" poems. Apparently, the first such poem was generated by George Ella Lyon who took the format to a group of writers and then watched the format spread from there. Read Lyon's original Where' I'm From and more about the format.

Here is my own attempt at writing, in list-poem form, Where I'm From.

Where I'm From

I am from schnitzel, wiener würschten, semmel rolls, real butter, Gösser and “Prosit!”

I am from the old farmhouse that migrated from out-in-the-country to down-the-street from the busy factory. From the train whistles and grinding machinery. From cars rushing down the one-way street after the shift change. From the little Indiana city that lost its way when Big American Auto let its people go.

I am from the clover, the cedars, the maples, the cherry and the apple.

I’m from big hugs and strong fingernails gently rubbing my scalp. I am from Tex, otherwise known as Thekla, and her soldier Tom. From the Buscheks and the Turners.

I am from the land of the Sound of Music. Of castles and Alps and trips down the Autobahn to feel rough whiskers and hear foreign words.

I am from the belief in holding it all in. And taking everyone in. No matter what.

I am from dynamite-comes-in-small-packages and you'll always be the baby.

I am from Captain Kirk, Spock and Bones, from Monty-Python – Run Away! – and from Doctor Demento in the dark of night.

I am from pulpit-pounding turned gentle, intelligent leadership. From believing I would forever live in hell to knowing in my heart that my soul will go on and on in ways I can’t imagine in this lifetime.

I am from ET leaving to follow his dreams and Mom driving us around to follow ET.

I am from feeling the notes on the page, my fingers on the silver, my feet on the hot pavement, the brother- and sisterhood of 150 instrumental voices together singing a story that moves.

I am from the Herron School of Art – the old one – with its dusty halls, unbearable heat, amazing graffiti and motley crew of creators. I’m from hanging out with squids…and parties at Purdue.

I am from the spirit of trying it…of college and business without a clue.

I am from a union with Mr. Long Hair who brought with him hard rock and football and auto-racing. And an understanding of me that no one else possibly can possess.

I am from Dr. Bob who opened my mind and soul and healed my body. An amazing physician who will live forever in my heart. My God, do I miss him!

I am from two little people who teach me how to be a better person every single day. One who is clearly an old soul and one who is ambitiously wise.

I am from Motherhood without a Mother.

I am from chaos outside and in. A mind that won’t be still.

I am from books. And books. And books. And books. Books about people, life and Spirit.

I am from NWN and brown boxes and a mentor who pushed me to the edge and stood ready to catch me if I fell.

I am from an insatiable need to create. And an equally compelling urge to bring healing into the lives of ordinary people. Who are actually quite extraordinary.

I am from my cards and symbols and the colors that people make.

I am from a humbling list of men and women whom I feel honored to call friend.