Appalachia I Am From

I Am Of The Mountains

Today’s guest poem was written by Kenneth Roper.

Full Moon

I Am Of The Mountains written by Kenneth Roper.

I am from fields of
broom sage, pickin’ berries, and Liquor trails. From hot days of hoeing
corn and sunburns, seining minnows and catching lizards.

I am from “Dinner
On The Ground”, Church Revivals with Gospel Singing Groups, and tall Mountains that seem to reach the sky. I am from Mae and
Harley, with five brothers to watch over me. Some went off to war but
came home to loving arms.

I am from yellow
cherries, apricots and rabbit tobacco that filled a corn cob pipe; from possum hunting and persimmons that longed for a kiss from
the coming Frost.

I am from the Cleanout
where we use to play, of teaberries, buckberries, and a honey

I am from the
Moonshiners who sometimes forgot the basic law, “Your Rights End
Where Mine Begins.”

I am from White Walnut
Trees, Gensing, and Yellow Root, from hurrying home after a
bus ride from school to Squirrel hunt under my favorite Hickory

I am from Trim Cove and
the Twin Falls where I swung on grape-vines as a kid, and
still enjoy the rush of Mountain waters.

I am from a time of
close-knit neighbors and family who was excited when you came to visit,
and you left with some of their canned bounty.

I am from the time when
God’s Promise is Everlasting, and the Church House was
standing room only, from the time of sitting on the porch after supper,
listening to the many sounds of the Nightingale and a
lonely Whippoorwill calling for a mate.


I hope you enjoyed Kenneth’s poem as much as I did! My favorite line was the one about his brothers watching over him. I’ve always felt lucky to be sandwiched between Steve and Paul. A brother on either side to watch over me.


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  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    August 30, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    My favorite line is “I am from the time when God’s Promise is Everlasting, and the Church House was standing room only…” and I especially like the way he said “God’s Promise IS Everlasting” instead of “was Everlasting” showing God and His promises still stand ready for hearts that will receive Him.
    We so desperately need those days to come again because they’re full of the lessons we all need to survive tough times.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Oh, the wonderful pictures and feelings that this poem evoked. Judith

  • Reply
    August 23, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    This is great! I’ve been enjoying all of these. They are so different and yet all of them help us to see each other and feel each other’s heart strings.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    August 23, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Keep the poems coming!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 23, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Ken-I want to know about more yellow cherries and apricots. We had cherries but they were red and grew from a pervasive little tree. Are you referring to ground cherries that looked like little yellow tomatoes but were strangely sweet? And the apricots you speak of, did they grow beside and across the gravel road? Did they look like a green egg and were more tempting to stomp on to hear them pop than to wait for them to ripen enough to eat? Did they started as a pretty purple flower? Sometimes we waited two or three days for the fruit to mature enough to make the signature popping sound. Sometimes we would have to move the vine out of the way so the mailboy wouldn’t run over it. We also called it a maypop.
    I think I know what you call a teaberry. It grew on the tops of ridges among the leaves. The fruit was almost white. It had a minty sort of taste, kind of like the leaves of the mother plant smelled if you picked and rubbed them between your hands.
    I am a tough old buzzard who can endure almost anything, but reading what you wrote today made me a bleary eyed kid again. Thanks and pass me a Kleenex please. I think I’ve got gnat in my eye.

  • Reply
    Lonnie L. Dockery
    August 23, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    That’s great Ken! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Stella Burt
    August 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    What a poem brought back lots of memories of my own childhood

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 23, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I have been enjoying all the poems, Kenneth yours is wonderful, thank you for sharing it.

  • Reply
    Julie Hughes
    August 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Kenneth, thank you for sharing. I remember dinner on the grounds. It was a great event. Best of all, everyone had their favorite dishes these ladies faithfully made each year. It seemed like they were making them especially for me!

  • Reply
    Ellen Tolbert
    August 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    I loved the poem …Grandma’s talent lives on. I am so proud to be your niece.

  • Reply
    August 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Mr. Roper I have always wanted to live in the high country and your poem just increases this feeling! I wish we could have been kids together. I bet we would have been fishing buddies and close friends. Your poem is superb!!!!!

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    August 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Yet another wonderful poem; thanks Kenneth for sharing.

  • Reply
    Judy Smith
    August 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Tipper…I am thoroughly enjoying the “Where I’m From” poems. I am from Minnesota and have been working on mine ever since you had yours posted. Keep them coming, please.

  • Reply
    August 23, 2013 at 11:20 am

    So blessed to be related to my uncle Kenneth. His oldest brother was my grandpa. And papa bud loved taking me back to his home. I loved hearing about his stories growing up. Such a beautiful place. Love you uncle Kenneth.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 23, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Ken-It’s hard to believe we grew up in such close proximity and had such similar lives without being related in some way. In our area it isn’t whether we are kin but in how many ways. So far I have been unsuccessful in discovering our relationship. Your poem today caused me to redouble my efforts. Was Doshia Cochran your great grandmother?

  • Reply
    August 23, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Kenneth’s poem, as the others, beautifully share a view of their lives. I wonder how well my imagination matches up to the real thing?

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    August 23, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Good job Kenneth. Been a while since I heard “white walnut”. Jack Hall, who was the legendary carver at the Folk School, said that was another name for “butternut”.

  • Reply
    August 23, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Nice written! I am really enjoying learning about living in Appalachia.

  • Reply
    sandy küng
    August 23, 2013 at 8:11 am

    loved the post from my uncle. he is a good and special man. we all love him and are proud to name him ours. sandyk

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 23, 2013 at 7:34 am

    I love Ken’s poem too, Tipper. His poem completely defines the title, ” Of The Mountains”. The mountains are my heart and soul too.

  • Reply
    August 23, 2013 at 5:54 am

    These poems should be in a book. Each one different but right from the heart. I have faint memories of “dinner on the ground.” Once there stood an old schoolhouse/church with these gatherings of spreads on the ground covered with country food. Nearby an old cemetery with folks who had lived on the mountain. Only the cemetery remains, but after 100 years these gatherings are still held once a year. I’m not sure why I quit going. Thanks, Kenneth, for reviving that old memory.

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