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Ain't That America ... A Poem

Updated on November 3, 2015
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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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    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @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.

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @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. :-)

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 2 years ago

      nice poem

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 2 years 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!

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 2 years 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.

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      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.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years 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
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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      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.

    • craftdrawer profile image

      craftdrawer 2 years ago

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

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      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!

    • 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
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      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

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

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 3 years ago from On planet Earth

      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
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      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      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! :-)

    • 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
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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

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

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

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

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      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. :-)

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 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
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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thanks for that comment; I agree. :-)

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 4 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
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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you, Rajan. :-)

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      This is beautiful. And a lovely video.

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @RTalloni and DDE

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

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Awesome poetry and the photo is an absolute stunner.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

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

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Lady Fiddler

      Thank you for those nice words, Lady.

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Eiddwen

      Thank you, Eddy! :-)

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @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.

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 4 years ago from On planet Earth

      Beautiful Excerpt Genna :) Keep up the good works

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Wonderful Genna.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 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.

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

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

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

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 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

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 4 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!

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      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. -)

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

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

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 4 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.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 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--

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      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.

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      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.

    • profile image

      DnWW 4 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

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 4 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.

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      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. :-)

    • Genna East profile image
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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      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
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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      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.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 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.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 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

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 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

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 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

    • Genna East profile image
      Author

      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      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.

    • Genna East profile image
      Author

      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      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. :-)

    • Your Cousins profile image

      Your Cousins 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

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

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi stranger!

      Good work

      Bob

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 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.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 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.

    • profile image

      Maya 4 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?

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 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 !

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 4 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

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 4 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.

    • SilentReed profile image

      SilentReed 4 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.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Wonderful poem, full of spirit and hopefulness! :)

    • sereseus profile image

      Albin Pius 4 years ago from kerala,India

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

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

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