Our 200th – For Jack

Filed under: Farm,Poems — Chamberlain @ 3:13 pm
No. 198

This special posting is dedicated to Jack Cromie (5 July 1972 – 2 October 2009). Since we are reviewing important 2012 family events, it is fitting to reference a recorded concert* that was given in his memory on September 28 in Schenectady NY. The event was titled Songs for Jack. Jack’s poetry was put to music (Thomas Savoy) and was sung by baritone Jonathon Estabrooks. The Musicians of Ma’alwyck provided accompaniment. The particular poem we feature is titled “The Farm”, referring of course to Moone Athy. It is self-evident how important the farm was for Jack – as indeed it is for all of us. Here is Jack’s poem:

The Farm

I can’t speak for all Cromies – but this Cromie wants Grizelda Skinner’s farm

packs of half-feral dogs roaming the landscape, tennis into the evenings –
outrageous cheating required. Eeyore rides until horse graduation – every child
must be thrown from a horse at least once, hocus-pocus at noon every day, rides to
the pond on the back of the Dunn’s VW Bus, tough lessons about barb wire
patched up by Liza Halcomb, hotly contested capture the flag, even more hotly
contested bragging rights for fossil hunters in the creek bed

even a slight deviation will cause a tear in the time space continuum – or a tear in
my heart

which amounts to the same thing

A powerful tribute to Jack by Savoy and Estabrooks, and by Jack to the farm and the family that made it possible.

A major ‘Thank You’ is owed to Bill Cromie Sr who informed us about the concert and who took time to forward to us the wonderful concert DVD.

* Video and recordings by .mov videos, and MOUNTAINTOP STUDIOS, Petersburgh N.Y. 12138, [518] 658-9549


A Triolet from Jack

Filed under: Obituary,Poems — Chamberlain @ 3:15 pm

“Trivial” was not part of Jack Cromie’s vocabulary. Nothing he did could be described as such. Among many other pursuits he read and wrote poetry with passion. Here is an exquisite triolet*, an example of Jack’s poetry that Bill and Cynthia printed out for his memorial gathering:

cycles spinning, starry-eyed – a triolet

Only you remain constant, true
beneath the lowering sky
a spreading Red Maple of refuge
only you still remain constant, true
vital anchor in whirling seasons
broad steady and all encompassing
only you remain constant, true
beneath the lowering sky

We will reminisce about him for awhile. Add recollections and photos if you’d like. Here’s a photo from years ago….

* From Wikipedia: A triolet is a one stanza poem of eight lines. Its rhyme scheme is ABaAabAB and often all lines are in iambic tetrameter: the first, fourth and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and final lines, thereby making the initial and final couplets identical as well.

Haiku Nation

Filed under: Poems — Chamberlain @ 6:50 am

Uncle Bob Dunn, a.k.a. the Chamberlain, asked me about my favorite haiku. The fairest haiku I have ever seen?

well, Zellie McClellan is the poet!

beyond my window

leaves are laced black on a sky

going green into night

consider this my submission to this hotly contested haiku event. -Jack Cromie

George Polk Photo Addenda

Filed under: Family History,Family Places,Poems — Chamberlain @ 4:12 pm

Thanks to Aunt Alicia Withers we have three superb snapshots to accompany Hugh Law’s recent post about George Polk. Here they are:

Ocean View, Virginia

July, 1942

W.J.Polk, George Polk, Eleanor Schafly, Alicia Polk
Kay and George Polk
George and W.J. Polk

Hat tip to Aunt Alicia!

The Chamberlain

Tatum poems

Filed under: Family Updates,Poems — Chamberlain @ 8:50 am

This spring Adriana’s 3rd grade class held a poetry workshop for parents. In addition to composing a poetry book, she has performed in several class plays including Theseus and the Minotaur. She also performed Bach’s Minuet 1 for a violin recital.

Adriana is in Spain and France with my parents.Therefore I picked this poem from her book.

Marvelous Mountain
Out in the desert
Under the great Blue sky
Near my house
Towering over the yard
Amazing land of beauty
In Tucson Arizona
Never will I leave

The 3rd grade students taught their parents about the different types of poetry.Then the parents had 30 minutes to write 3 haikus. Here is one of Helene’s:

“Sonoran Monsoon”

fast moving grey clouds
pungent creosote odor
mountain thunder claps

Will’s latest big achievement is learning to ride a bike. He is very proud.He has become quite proficient at Twinkle Twinkle which he preformed for the violin recital. And he loves a good knock knock joke. This is a poem Will performed 2 years ago at a competition at the University of Arizona’s Language Fair:

“Yo Quiero Reir”, Antonio Garcia Tejeiro

Yo quiero reir.
No quiero llorar.
Yo quiero sentir
el verde del mar.

El verde del mar
y azul del cielo.
Yo quiero, yo quiero
tal vez navegar.

Sí, sí, navegar
arriba, en el cielo.
Tratar de volar
de espaldas al suelo.

Un pájaro, un pez,
yo quisiera ser
y poder cruzar
las nubes y el mar.

A final haiku from Helene:

desert marigolds
roughly yanked from sandy soil
how strong are their roots?

From: The Tatums

The Skinner Reunion – a Video Recap

Filed under: Family Events,Poems — Chamberlain @ 11:06 pm

To start, a submission for the Haiku contest of Zellie M. and Jack C. The Management is awaiting yours!

Moone Athy Magic?
A hocus pocus hodge podge ?
Ashes cast their spell…

Jack Robinson was present this past Memorial Day when the Skinner branch of the Chambers’ clan arrived from all over the map to celebrate old and create new memories at The Farm – from D.C., Virginia, Philadelphia, Santa Fe, Maine, Chicago, New York, Connecticut, and, of course, St Louis/Augusta. There were Bar-B-Q’s, fried chicken picnics, horseback rides, donkey carting, dining in Augusta, birthday celebrations, wagon rides, fishing in the pond, old movies, and of course Hocus Pocus. But, more importantly, everyone had a chance to re-connect and reminisce.

Here is a brief video which attempts to capture the spell:

Next feature: The Polk-Mahaffey Reunion

The Chamberlain

Next Page »