Ain't That America ... A Poem

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I didn't think I would write any more poetry for Hubpages. I don't know the kind of poetry they support or their requirements in terms of length. It's rather confusing. But the other day, a friend asked me what I thought freedom in America meant. I told him that I'd have to get back to him. Then I remembered a road trip I took years ago. This is what I came up with.




From Jersey to Frisco, we roamed.

The days were sinewed and lithe,

Bright as a diamond sun

And no less perfect.

Night followed us like a friend...

Where tomorrow was just a word

And the guileless streams

Of light and rain

Fell straight as pins.

In the roundness of that moment to moment,

Sight and sound became touch,

The gathering of smile and sorrow,

Unmeasured.

Over thousands of miles

Breath joined breath --

Both stranger and friend --

Curious, hopeful and boundless.

Such...is freedom.




'Pink Houses' - John Mellencamp



© Copyright 2013 Genna East All rights reserved.

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Comments 64 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Genna, I really like this poem, and great song choice to accompany it.


sereseus profile image

sereseus 3 years ago from kerala,India

Truly remarkable Geena.... I am your humble fan if you will have me...:)


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Wonderful poem, full of spirit and hopefulness! :)


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 3 years ago from Philippines

Not just in America, but freedom lovers anywhere else in the world would like to feel the "guileless rays of light and rain", hopeful and unfettered. The poem's message is understood by all men of goodwill. Thank you for sharing.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Genna your timing on this is perfect as we approach the 4th of July. Your words carry an echo as you traveled through this country that was open spaces and clean hearts. Each in our own way traveled those highways together from Jersey to Frisco. Many of us wish we could travel those American highways again. This is a real prize this morning.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

Excellent poetry and more excellent sense of what America really IS, at least as I've known it these many years.

I hope you never relinquish sharing your poetry with us, your fans! Just WRITE and share!! Hugs, your faithful fan - Nellieanna


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Genna this is such a beautiful written poem and great spirit of america within your poem and a great way to start off July . Well done !


Maya 3 years ago

I loved this.

In the roundness of that moment to moment

Sight and sound became touch,

The gathering of smile and sorrow

Unmeasured.

There was no beginning or end where you could touch the country and its residents and the happiness and sorrow of one were not more important than another’s. Beautiful words Geen. It makes me want to be young again and do a cross-country road trip.

You’re not writing more poetry at Hub Pages?


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

This was beautiful Genna. I think it could easily be put to music as an anthem of what freedom really is. "The gathering of smile and sorrow

Unmeasured." You said it beautifully.

Voted up, awesome, and interesting.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

What you came up with, Genna, is exceptional poetry and the perfect video to accompany it. Thank you for this treat.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico

Hi stranger!

Good work

Bob


Your Cousins profile image

Your Cousins 3 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Interesting poem. I especially like the line "Night followed us like a friend." Keep writing!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hello Susan.

Thank you; I’m happy you enjoyed the poem and video. Good to see you. I know that July 1st is your special day – Canada Day. I hope this holiday has brought you much enjoyment.

Hi Sereseus;

It’s so nice to meet you. I look forward to reading your hubs as well. Thank you for the visit and kind words.

Hello SGBrown;

Thank you…that was my intention, so I’m happy it was interpreted that way. Your comment gave me a big smile, and that is a wonderful gift. Good wishes for a happy 4th. :-)


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hi Silent Reed;

That is so true. Freedom means many things, but you pointed out what makes it so special and so worthwhile. Thank you.

Hi Mike;

I know what you mean about traveling the roads again. I wasn’t interested in seeing cities – except for New Orleans… I had to see it, and really loved it. But the small towns and outlying areas were my favorites. And the fields of Iowa and Nebraska, the big sky country of Montana and also the part of the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona. Through all of the diversity out there, there is still a common thread, and that’s what I wanted to write about. Thank you for those thoughtful comments, Mike. Happy 4th! :-)

Hi Nellieanna.

What a lovely comment; thank you! I never met an on American who -- if we were visiting their lands or towns, and were honest and respectful of who they were -- were not incredibly honest, straightforward and kind in return. That is what impressed me about tour trip. Good to see you. I am one of your devoted fans, my friend. Hugs. :-) Good wishes for an enjoyable July 4th.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Genna,

This brings tears to my eyes...inspiring, meaningful and poignant.

Voted UP and UABI with the perfect song. Love, Maria


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

I loved your poetry Genna. I would love to take a cross-country drive through America again. I wonder if i would enjoy as much as i did in the early eighties? I think people still want the same things, freedom leading the pack. The video is beautiful. Thank you...Hugs


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Dearest Genna,

This is superb poetry and so beautiful as to freedom. The song and video are just perfect.

Voted up ++++ and sharing

God bless you and God bless America, Faith Reaper


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. Love the pic and the video. Enjoyed this. I'm with Faith. God bless America. Passing this on.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hello Kash;

Thank you. It’s funny, I wasn’t thinking about the 4th, but you are right. It’s always good to see you, my New England friend. Hope you enjoy a wonderful 4th. :-)

Hi Maya;

Yes, that’s what I meant in the poem; thank you, my friend. We read or see quite a bit about or country through the media, or television. But when we actually visit these areas and our neighbors, that’s when sight and sound become touch. And when we understand and reach out to others. Happy 4th! :-)

Hello Mary;

It’s always so good to see you. I appreciate your thoughtful comments to the poem. I hope you and your family have an enjoyable 4th of July.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Good morning Drjb;

Thank you! And Happy 4th of July to you and everyone in South Florida -- one of my favorite places; Tampa, Marco Island, Naples, and more. :-)

Hello Bob;

And hi back to you! :-) Good to see you. Thank you for the nice comment.

Hi YourCousins;

Thank you. I’m pleased you enjoyed the poem and video. I hope that everyone in Atlanta enjoys the upcoming holiday. I’ve been to your city; it’s a young town, full of interesting and wonderful people.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hello Maria;

Thank you for those beautiful thoughts. Pennsy is such a gorgeous state -- breathtaking. I spent my teen years in NW Jersey, and have friends in Bangor PA. Despite all of our problems in this country, we still have such possibilities. Best wishes for a Happy 4th of July, my friend. Sending love back.

Hi Ruby;

I’m not sure if I would enjoy it as much as I did when we took our trip. We look at the world a little differently; perhaps with more wisdom, but also with more caution. I wouldn’t have missed our trip for the world, and think I might compare a new trip to the old, too much. I remember what our parents told us when we said that we would go where the spirit took us: “Are you crazy? We want you to call us every day.” Lol. But I’m sure many parents have the same reservations – regardless of our age. Thanks for those nice comments. Hugs, my friend, and Happy 4th, in this diverse land of freedom. :-)

Hello Faith;

Thank you, dear Faith. Your beautiful comments always bring a smile and a warm heart. Happy 4th. :-)

Hi Rasma;

It’s so good to see you, Gypsy. Thank you for those lovely thoughts and comments. God bless everyone. :-)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

Thank you, Genna. My roots are very much in small-town and very rural America. There 'went with' that and those days a pervading sense of what I just call 'decency'. It wasn't something one thought to 'DO', but it was how it was, something that was just part of life. One sees it becoming more and more rare.


DnWW 3 years ago

What I really liked about your poem was the plainness of the words mixed with metaphor. Written without an ounce of pretense and your down to earthness in the ‘guileless streams of light and rain fell straight as pins.’ The subtlety in that line floored me it was so good. Excellent job, dear lady.

Dana


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hi Nellieanna;

Good to see you again. I loved the small towns the best. And you phrased it so well…I know what you mean. “It wasn't something one thought to 'DO', but it was how it was, something that was just part of life.” I think it is fading somehow, and this makes me very sad. Part of me wants to shut my eyes, tap the heels of my ruby slippers together and wish for Kansas again. :-) Thank you for the understanding comment.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hello Dana;

Thank you for stopping by, and for your continued support and encouragement. You’re pretty close on that line, Dana. Very perceptive. I am happy that you liked it.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 years ago from California

Well I for one, hope that you will keep publishing your work--whether here or elsewhere--your work is always a bright spot for me--beautifully done Genna--


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 3 years ago

From majestic mountains,

To fields of corn,

This is where,

Sweet dreams are formed.

Ribbons of asphalt,

From town to town,

Take us to other dreams,

Profound.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hi Audrey. Such lovely comments from one of my favorite poets. Your work is a bright spot for me as well. Thank you. :-)


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hello Micky.

Good to see you. I like your poem…these are words written by someone who has seen this remarkable country of ours. Thank you. -)


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 3 years ago from West Virginia

Genna, voted up, awesome, beautiful, and shared. Well said, you did great! You can certainly add poetry to your portfolio, very, very good!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

Its a shame poetry as well written as this one has to be written only when the thought comes to you.. Im glad you shared it bless you and keep on writing them!!! Frank


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you, Lyric. I'm pleased you liked it.

Frank, I appreciate those encouraging words. Thank you! :-)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I'm glad you decided to write more poetry. The world needs more beauty like this poem. Well done my friend. I have crossed the country four times by car and I never grow tired of the people and sites that make up this country.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Wonderful Genna.

Eddy.


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 3 years ago from Somewhere in the West

Beautiful Excerpt Genna :) Keep up the good works


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Billybuc

Thank you, Billy. That’s so nice to hear. This country has so much to offer. I know that we’ve fallen on hard times and things are not what they used to be, but I truly believe that we still have such possibilities.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Eiddwen

Thank you, Eddy! :-)


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Lady Fiddler

Thank you for those nice words, Lady.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

I enjoyed this thought-provoking read. Glad you shared it here!


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Awesome poetry and the photo is an absolute stunner.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@RTalloni and DDE

Thank you! I appreciate your comments, and the visit. Good to see you. :-)


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

This is beautiful. And a lovely video.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you, Rajan. :-)


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Both stranger and friend --

Curious, hopeful and boundless.

Such...is freedom.

This seems to sum up what I thought was he "American Dream"


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thanks for that comment; I agree. :-)


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 3 years ago from Minnesota

Your poem gave me goosebumps. What a wonderful way to answer the question. I really like that picture of the the road trip. Great addition to a powerful poem.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you. I think that freedom has a different meaning, depending on who we ask. This was the best way I could describe what it means to me. So good to see you. :-)


Anna Haven profile image

Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

Flowing and conveying a real sense of tangible freedom. Nicely penned.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hi Anna. Thank you for that thoughtful comment. :-)


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

Very good poetry and that highway reminds me of Georgia! Well traveling it years ago any way. ^


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hi Jackie...

The roads have changed over the years...I'm not sure I'd want to do this trip today. Thanks for that comment. Have a great week! :-)


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 2 years ago from Somewhere in the West

Deep words Genna America has come form far, but seems as though they are going backward just about now and heading in the wrong direction. May God someone how have mercy and show them the light.

Have a splendid afternoon


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

I agree...we seem to have lost much. Thank you for the visit and very perceptive comments. It's good to see you.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Genna. A comment led me back to this poetry, and as I read through the introduction I had a question. Are you writing poetry that is not being published? That, to me, would me a crime.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hi Mike. Yes, I do, but I don't publish on HP. Thanks so much for that supportive comment. It's always good to see you!


craftdrawer profile image

craftdrawer 24 months ago

Well written I wish I could create beautiful poems as well as you do.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 23 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

I'm so sorry I am late in responding. I didn't receive the e-mail notification for some reason. Thank you for that wonderful and encouraging comment. And my very best to you and yours during this beautiful holiday season.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas

This poem is both heartwarming and poignant, Genna. Your poetry and song choice remind me of a trip I made across country in an eighteen wheeler. Wow. Now you've given me another idea for a hub.

"Of light and rain,

Fell straight as pins."

I love that.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 13 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you, Peg. What a wonderful way to see this amazing country. A good friend of mine did the same with her husband when he was running a hauling business. The stories you could both tell. :-) Good to see you; I appreciate your visit and comments.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 13 months ago

You must never think of abandoning talent such as that which is gifted to you in words my dear Genna. As for this delight, I followed your travels and like you amazed by every turn of highway and byway. Is America great, I've traveled your country from one end to the other numbers of times in my past and my breath was taken away often. We are a true melting pot of color, habits, stages of life and friendships. People never fail to amaze my inspirations.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 13 months ago from Taos, NM

I love your poem and I hope you keep writing poetry. This is so well done. Freedom is a road trip across America. What you can learn from a trip like that!


sujaya venkatesh profile image

sujaya venkatesh 13 months ago

nice poem


Genna East profile image

Genna East 13 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Saddlerider

Hi Ken. I want to thank you for writing such encouraging comments. Coming from one of my favorite poets, that is quite a compliment. You will always inspire me to keep writing. This country is boundless; I love Canada as well. I can't imagine traveling from coast to coast to see everything other than by car. I took a train once, cross country, and we could only see the backsides of towns whenever we stopped. Driving is the real deal, my friend. :-)


Genna East profile image

Genna East 13 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Suzettenaples

Thank you. I so agree; I can only imagine the stories many here who have crisscrossed this great land could tell. Good to see you. :-)

@sujaya Venkatesh

Thank you, Sujaya. I am pleased you found it interesting.

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