Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Grandma the Poet (Essay/Poetry) (repost with New Foreword)

A Younger Tim Kavi with His Grandma

New Foreword:

Today would be my maternal grandmother's 113th birthday.

I am reposting the following blog entry (an edited version) about her as a tribute.
(Originally posted here in 2008 & 2012).
I cannot tell you how much she means to me.
She was my earliest poetic influence
and taught me so much...
Happy Birthday Grandma!!

My Grandma the Poet

I never forgot her
her love was the most patient teacher

any grandson could have
and I often told her I loved her so

from as far back as I remember..
I have memories like this:

grandma would say Timmie
and was happy to see some of my first poems
scrawled in crayon
or pencil
so grandma and me would write poems at the same time
when I was little
and she was so big in my little eyes

her gentle ways taught me more about the
goddess than just about anybody
I know

I think grandma was a goddess

she would write poems by the hours
on sheets of typing and notebook paper college ruled
and writing tablets

all handwritten in very large letters

I was high enough to peek over the arm of the chair
to watch what she was doing

if I was good and asked real nice
grandma would read me some
out loud

she had a way with words

these were lyrics and fine ballads

born in 1900 on a homestead she was a country girl
grandpa was a sharecropper, migrant worker
later, a factory worker
they seemed poor
but rich in so many ways

but we were so happy

grandma liked reading romance magazines
in that rocking chair
songs of home, heart, romance

and her and grandpa were married for more than 50 years

you know grandma taught me
a lot

and every once in awhile
when I write a poem now
I think grandma sees it

I hold it up to her just like I used to and you know what?

she grins

and that still makes me pretty damned happy.

here's an excerpt from one of
grandma's poems:

Tomorrow's End
by Lura Newland 

My wonderful kids
How I love you so
I must know if there is a place
For me, or a home to go.

I won't need many extras
Just a bed at nite
A place to love my grandchildren
And my poetry to write.

Could I have a chair by a window
With the sun shining in
That would make me so happy
As my eyes grow dim.

I'd be all settled in comfort
Shielded from the cold
What a glorious feeling to know
Then I am growing old...

This Poet's Note: grandmothers can be terribly important. As you can tell, mine was extremely important to me. The poet "gene" certainly runs in my grandma, my mother, and both my daughters write prose that inspires and moves me across all time. I am also pleased to announce that my publisher TiLu Press will be publishing a collection of my Grandma's poems--- Poems From the Heartland--next year on her birthday, Feb 23, 2014!~~TK


  1. Grannas r indeed Goddess sent from heaven to give us endless love and a loving mom..i too love my granna..ur granna will be very proud of u&hope all grandsons r like u..true& pure love never dies.GOD LOVE U

    1. Thank you, Adhi! You are right, I really do recognize that all grandmas are goddesses! To me this means they are very special women with unique qualities that no one else in our lives can possess. The archetypes are that they are wise, kind, and loving, and you know there are truisms behind at least some archetypes. I was very lucky and blessed to have the special grandma(s) that I had. I shall never forget their love. I have also has some very special 'adopted' grandmas here in China!~~TK