Monday 30 July 2018

Poetry Monday: Houses We Have Loved

It's Poetry Monday, people! The theme this week is "houses we have loved."

Join Diane, Delores and me as we pome up a storm on this topic. (Pome = write a poem) (Yes, that is a made up verb.)

You can pome too! Leave your offerings in the comments on any of our blogs, or if you post on your own blog, please drop a note in the comments so we can come along and read what you have pomed.

I know, I know. I'm starting to even bother my own self with "pome." But there's a reason for the madness. Keep reading.


I thought and thought and thought about the houses I've known/lived in/visited and, really, I don't get too excited over housing so I was having a bit of trouble choosing one to write about.

Then I thought about the "love" part instead, and realized there was only one "house" worthy of being described as a house I have loved.

One summer when I was about ten years old, I decided to make a place to read up in the branches of the big tree in front of our house. Being a reader, not a carpenter, my "treehouse" consisted of a single board about a foot and a half long nailed to a branch. (Sorry, Mr(s). Tree. I would never put a nail in a tree these days.)

That's it. That's the house I loved the most. A one-plank seat in a tree, where I could read for hours, shaded and hidden by its leaves.

I know it doesn't begin to measure up to a real house in terms of square footage, amenities, or rainproofing, but when it comes to real estate, baby, it's all about "location, location, location" -- and it had the very best.


And What A View!

It wasn't a castle or condo,
A cottage, a beach house, or shack;
It wasn't a cute little bungalow,
Or even an outhouse out back;
It wasn't a houseboat, or boathouse,
And it wasn't a big family home;
It was simply a board on a branch in a tree --
Immortalized now in a pome.

(Now I shall try very hard to never, ever use "pome" in any form again!)

Similar to the view from my one-plank house.


Did you climb trees when you were a kid? Did you have a treehouse, plain or fancy? Did you build it yourself? Is there a house you have loved, and if so, tell me about it if you feel so inclined!

Hope you have a good week, fellow readers and home dwellers and anyone else I may have missed with those categories :)

Update: Next week's theme is "motivation" . . . what moves you?? Thank you, Diane, for continuing to provide thought-provoking topics!


Elephant's Child said...

I spent a LOT of time in the fork of a tree with a succession of books. That home away from home has a piece of my heart still.

River said...

Awww, go ahead, use "pome" as much as you like.
did I climb trees? You betcha. didn't build any treehouses though, my trees usually had very broad branches where sitting was easy, with my back against the trunk and feet up on side branches or just swinging while I read books up there.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

When I was mad at my mom, I would run to the back yard and hide on “my branch” in “my tree”. Mom always knew where I was and would check on me from her view at the window. I would stay until it started to get dark and then come in and nothing would be said. She understood me very well.

Marie Smith said...

My favourite house was the one my family bought in Mt. pearl, Newfoundland in the late 1950s. It was small so my dad decided to add an extension. He wasn’t a carpenter so he learned as he built. I was his helper. He, my brother and I finished the work when my mother was in hospital.

A lot of love went into that place. Many happy memories still linger.

I love your poem. Such a great memory, high above everyone, among the leaves.

only slightly confused said...

That is so built it yourself and that was probably the best part.

Martha said...

That was fun! A place to read is the best place of all.

I've never been attached to a home as much as the memories created in it.

Red said...

I climbed hundreds of trees and did many daring dangerous antics with trees. I'm fortunate that I never had a serious accident.

37paddington said...

i love your treehouse! How completely magical! My blog is actually named for the address of the house I loved best, the place where I most fully came to know myself during my growing up years. Another house had a huge plum tree in the front yard, with a trunk that snaked along the ground for some distance before gently rising. It was the absolutely perfect climbing tree, a house all its own. Thank you for bringing that back to the forefront of memory!

Steve Reed said...

And how cool that something as simple as "a board on a branch in a tree" struck you so deeply that you still think of it as home! I climbed trees but I never had any kind of treehouse of my own. Funny how people used to nail things to trees without even thinking about it. Maybe some still do.

jenny_o said...

It's surprising what little it takes - physically - to create a home for the heart, isn't it?

jenny_o said...

Well, I just might use "pome" again, in spite of my promise :)

I think a treehouse was the kind of thing that other kids did, the kind that liked to use a hammer and nails. Readers just wanted to read!

jenny_o said...

That is a very good memory. To have an understanding mother is a real gift.

jenny_o said...

It's the love, not the four walls, that counts, isn't it?

jenny_o said...

Ha ha! Actually, the best part was reading AFTER it was "built" . . .

jenny_o said...

Exactly, Martha - it's not the physical home that causes the attachment.

jenny_o said...

Yes, you are lucky! Now it's just ladders you need to look out for :)

jenny_o said...

I've always loved the name of your blog; it sounds like it was a good place to grow up!

jenny_o said...

We didn't know the damage that nails can do, and there are plenty of people who still don't, from what I can see. Unfortunately!

It's the memories that truly make a place good, I think.

dinthebeast said...

I spent a lot of time as a kid in a place we called "the stump" which was, you guessed it, a stump. A stump of a cut down redwood tree that was then burned to try to kill and get rid of it.
Only redwood doesn't burn well, and stumps of that size are really hard to kill. When we moved in a block away from it in 1969, there was a new 100 foot tall redwood growing out of the top of the stump, which was itself about ten feet tall and probably twice that wide at the base. What the burning did was hollow the stump out, leaving a nice sized room inside, where two or three kids could comfortably fit and stay dry in all but the drenchiest of downpours.
It was right at the end of "the pipe", which was a ten-inch pipe that crossed a swamp about three feet above it, and could, with care, be crossed on foot, and provided access to a trail that led to the lower field of the junior high school.
Anyway, gotta go, my access to the web just walked out the back door.
Hopefully, I'll be back online by tomorrow or the next day...

-Doug in Oakland

e said...

No tree house, and I caused a stir the one and only time I attempted to climb a tree...

Yorkshire Pudding said...


Time ticking below
Slates rattling in high wind
Mum raking out the hearth
Oscar yawing for stinky Kit-e-Kat
Bedroom linoleum
Like the surface of an icy pond
Bare feet dissenting
Once we found a giant puffball
In a musty void
Beneath our floorboards
With classroom slates and pencil chalks
From long ago
And one Bonfire Night
I sat with Dad and Dr Baker
In the kitchen
Waiting for baked potatoes
That smelt of November
And as I remember
Tasted sweet as the earth.

jenny_o said...

Wow . . . now that was a stump! The scale is mind-boggling to me as I've never seen one in person.

You know what? I think kids have the right idea. "The stump." "The pipe." Name something just what it is. I get tired of hearing long convoluted names for new roads and buildings! Although I suppose it would get confusing pretty fast if all the roads were called "The Road" - lol

I hope you get your internet back soon!

jenny_o said...

I bet you did. Do you think you could have done it though, if you'd been left alone to try? I sure wouldn't want to climb one these days. I like my bones unbroken :)

jenny_o said...

You have created a vivid picture with these memories, YP.

Can you explain the fourth line, beginning "Oscar" because I do not understand the references and would like to.

I especially liked "Bedroom linoleum/Like the surface of an icy pond" - how many kids over the years have "skated" on their linoleum! And yes, it's chilly on the feet in November.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Oscar was out tortoise shell cat - named Oscar before we realised she was female. Her time on this earth covered my entire childhood. She mothered many litters of kittens.

I chose the word "yawed" because "miaowed" seemed too predictable and "Kit-e-Kat" was the leading brand of tinned cat food at that time. When you opened the lid the aroma was most unappetising in a fishy kind of way.

Cherie said...

A pond, a lawn a flower border
A stash to please the hoardiest hoarder
A little tank of baby fish
A favourite homecooked tasty dish
Pretty twinkling coloured lights
A star filled sky on summer nights
The things of home are much loved treasures
To fill my hours with crafting treasures.

jenny_o said...

Ah, that helped immeasurably! Thank you.

jenny_o said...

Lovely! Even reading your blog only a short while it seems to sum up what I see there :)

Thanks for contributing, Cherie.

dinthebeast said...

We're back online, thanks to Zsuzs, who got us a hotspot on eBay and linked it to her account.
It has a 10GB/mo data cap, so we have to be careful about streaming videos and the like, but I can live with that, and it only costs $40/mo, which I can afford.
In fact, when Sara did the same thing for us in 2013, the cap was 6GB/mo, and I took to reading as much text-based content as possible to stay within that narrow guideline, and that's when I started noticing all of these cool blogs run by the Bloggess' commenters, like one called "The Chicken's Consigliere", which is how I found my way here.

-Doug in Oakland

Cherie said...

Oops, that should have read 'crafting pleasures'...

Diane Henders said...

Ha! An excellent pome. :-) I'm pretty sure I'm part orangutan - I would climb anything as a child, and I spent a lot of my time in trees. I never did wise up the way you did and make myself a seat, though. Missed opportunities...

kylie said...

between being terrified of heights and a terrible climber, tree houses were not my thing. I do remember sitting on a stump in the school play ground and being so engrossed in my book that a teacher had to tell me the bell had gone and I was alone in the play ground!

I don't remember what book it was but I do remember that my best friend had been showing me her new "kissing Barbie" doll :)

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

I'm catching up, Jenny!
I love this! I'm so sorry I never even got to my 'pome' this week!
P.S. Our topic for Poetry Monday next week is: motivation. What moves you?

jenny_o said...

I'm glad you're back online! It's interesting how and why we all found our way to the blogging world. The first two blogs I read regularly were popular at the time but are now silent.

jenny_o said...

No seat because you were busy climbing! lol

jenny_o said...

You were a dedicated reader even then! I hope the teacher appreciated that fact :)

jenny_o said...

I noticed you had gone AWOL, Diane - hope all is well in your world.

"Motivation" . . . I'm on it! Your topics are one big motivator in my writing life, my friend :)