It could be syrup,
from bushes of berry bunches.
It could be the dressing from the fridge.
(Red, crusting
it dries from the air.)
It could be the acrylic paint,
the colorful palette
holds more than the typical
as it holds a broad spectrum.

It could be life and loathing,
from experience and despair.
It could be save-it-alls or none-at-
from pricking pistons and plastic veins.
It could be gasoline that circulates through a
pumping piston
and ignites a charge inside myself.

It could be the culmination of regret,
simple yet misunderstood.
From many moments of self doubt and
the momentum that was lost from restrain.
On top of the tile was a tool
placed at the end,
as a finishing touch
to the canvas of the floor.

It could be spilled relief
expanding in contrast
shared with all things living

**Inspired by "Where I'm from" by George Ella Lyon
I am from swing sets
From mud pies and a pumpkin patch
I am from the lake at the cabin
(teal, reflecting
the sun's radiance and warmth)
I am from the driveway hoop
The weeping willows
Where imagination ran away
Like Mustangs free

I am from cigarettes and screaming
From hiding in stillness
I'm from the ignorant and shallow
From never-good-enough and do-it-again
I'm from a bastard with a
Cracked soul
And the strength to forgive

I am from firewood and creaking shack
Pine needles and trimmed grass
From the dim glow of the dying sunlight
As I laid myself to sleep alone
The pen was my escape
Flowing over every page
My best friend
A world of its own

I am a champion --
Bruised but not defeated --
And I will carry on

**Inspired by "Where I'm from" by George Ella Lyon
Inside you are birds,
Chirping with fear and delight.
Inside you is the filth over black drapes
(Grey, clinging
it tasted like death.)
Inside you is the blue grass
the Minnesota Dandelions
whose golden tops you collect
as if they were unknown.

Inside you is bread and seagulls,
from Duluth and Lutsen.
Inside you is mostly flannel and worn
from relatives and strangers.
Inside you are the lines Et tu,
and hope you can save yourself.

Inside you are leaves and seeds,
scattered amongst the yard,
on the patio broken from the
the fence you shut to keep them out.
In the fire was an empty box
gasping dark thoughts,
a hand of found faces
to threaten within your dreams.

Inside you are those moments --
sprouting, fading, holding --
never far from the house.

**Inspired by "Where I'm from" by George Ella Lyon
I am made out of clay,
Forming into shapes and sizes.
I am made from discipline.
(Perseverance, passion
insulating potential.)
I am made out of sound,
the calming harmonies
whose cool waves wash over me
always revealing the unknown.

I am made out of authors,
and words etched into stone.
I am made out of scrapes and broken
out of gates and mysterious thrones.
I am made out of stop and start and fight
and heart
and several remedies for myself.

I am made out of affable province
that showed me how to roam here
and there keeping balance and wisdom
as my iniquities fell by the wayside.
In my closet was a chest
Spitting out trophies,
a parcel of plaguing memories
to cast away my inhibitions.

I fall not far from this mirror --
reflecting the past, present, future --
reasons for being here, or anywhere.

**Inspired by "Where I'm from" by George Ella Lyon
I belong to music,
enriching my spirit from within.
I belong to words echoing from every angle
(peaceful, cascading
like a tropical waterfall)
I belong to innocent children,
footsteps pounding
up and down the stairs,
distant laughs from a bedroom a far.

I belong to a dock with traffic in the rear
fish jumping lines spinning.
I belong to crisp air engulfing my lungs
endless dirt roads to rejuvenate my soul.
I belong to uncertainty of life through imbalance
and stress
with hope to can find a cure.

I belong to pain and agony
spilled through windshields and gray metal bars
over open caskets filled with tears
lost hope
and my wife holds me while I lay my head to res.
While minutes feel like hours
days turn to months,
sorrow sobbing pleas
sent to Heaven with hurt.

Now I belong to God --
holding, loving, embracing --
the old, new me.

**Inspired by "Where I'm from" by George Ella Lyon
I am from the Grand Staff,
from treble clef and bass clef.
I am from the strings wound tightly on a guitar,
(Bronze, glossed
like tired eyes)
I am from the keys on a piano,
the sharps and flats
that make the scales odd and interesting,
genuine but not unknown.

I'm from sand and waves,
from salt water and fresh water.
I'm from breezy plains and calm neighborhoods,
from urban city and rural town.
I'm from streets and hills
and home
where I can be myself.

I'm from generosity and ignorance,
love and care.
From snack-time with Grandma
long road trips with dad.
At the cabin was a boat which we'd take at night
to look at the sky and share of our dreams.

I am from memories --
most of them forgotten --
defining my being.

**Inspired by "Where I'm from" by George Ella Lyon
This is my note,
my pencil and looseleaf paper.
This is my dust on the shelves.
(gray, still, it feels like sand.)
This is my cool breeze,
the Seattle wind
whose ocean rimmed scent I long for
as if I had once known.

This is my soda and coffee cup,
my Christ and Clause.
This is my all-in-one and hand-me-down,
my warm up and cool off.
This is my thou shalt not curse
with a cottomouth tongue
and three persons I can't conceive as one.

This is my Douglas County,
college football and iced cakes.
This is my inheritance passed down
from my grandfather
the loss my mother sent me away with.
In my closet is a metaphor
for lost second chances,
a blur of faded lines
to focus on when I'm ready.

This is my era -- too broad for me to impact --
segment -- pushed in betwen the lines.

**Inspired by "Where I'm from" by George Ella Lyon

I am one,
made of many.
I am the sum of parts,
so beautiful,
yet seemingly insignificant.

I am connected to these parts,
and they,
to themselves.
I am the space between them,
of which there seems so much.

I am the light,
and the dark.
I am the visible,
and the invisible,
and unheard.
I am adored,
and I am ignored.

I am omniscient,
but can never truly understand,
my self,
my part,
the whole,
the one,
as long as I remain ignorant.

**Inspired by "Where I'm from" by George Ella Lyon

I’m going for respect,
For recognition and family upbringing.
A place where everybody knows my name.
(Home, away
from my physical home).
I’m going far from Minneapolis Minnesota,
Land of 10,000 lakes
who’ve raised and taught me everything
now I can teacj the next.

I’m going fully suited up,
boots laced and tied.
Going to a place where no man has gone be-
Head high and 10 toes down
following down the pathe of still waters towards
my future.
holding presents I received in the

I’m going carrying the name Jackson,
Heavy on my right shoulder.
Leaning hard to the left so I wont
praying that God will protect me against my
because I can handle my enemies.
Away I go,
avoiding falling asleep because I
might drift beneath my dreams.

I’m going to leave now –
Leave me to myself –
Tell you about my goals later.

**Inspired by "Where I'm from" By George Ella Lyon