On words, and love.

Words can be powerful.

I learned this at a young age from my Grandfather. As a young man in WWII, he served as a Marine in Carlson’s Raiders, the first US Special Forces mission. He never spoke about that time, but we all gained insight into the intensity of his life behind enemy lines through his poetry.

Words can be powerful.

Grandpa’s poems were short, but haunting. I remember reading his broad scrawl on yellowed paper, tracing the lines of his words that had been written somewhere in the South Pacific  – imagining him there. I read his poems over and over and thought about how he must have needed to create those strings of words and phrases to make sense of the hell of war, and to express those things about which he could not speak. I took note of this, and when things didn’t make sense for me, I too would write.

And I learned that for me, too, words could be powerful.

When my grandparents passed away, I was given a CD filled with scanned family photographs, as well as scanned images of many of my grandfather’s old poems. I stumbled on it when I was cleaning my desk this week, and began reading them. Most of them were the familiar war poems that I have read hundreds of times, but there was one I had never seen before.

This one was simply titled Marji – my grandmother’s name.

among human roses
you stood – i saw you
a rainbow of charm
youth and personality
so lovely, so sweet
a perfect specimen
of femininity
to the trade wind
your silken hair surrendered
while a stream
of enchanting smiles
left thy moist lips
enslaving my inner soul
god must have been selfish
creating you
a woman, an angel too
virtues – you have them
little left for other
women to wear

Words can be powerful.

His words captured a tenderness that wasn’t always apparent in his gruff exterior. They conjured my Grandmother – the graceful one who God selfishly cloaked in more than one woman’s share of virtues – in a way that made me miss her intensely.

Words can be powerful.

They can connect us to people that we can’t see or touch. They can move us or inspire us. They aren’t enough, but they can pack a punch. This week, for me, they reminded me of an example of lifelong love to learn from, and a woman I want to be more like.

Bob & Marji Farmer circa 1957

I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus, but more of my words may be finding there way onto this blog…we’ll see.


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One response to “On words, and love.”

  1. Jerrie says :

    Hi love this post Jenna, it made me think of all those poems that I need to get into the computer. I want to make a booklet out of them so we will always have them as the originals continue to fade. I think of my wonderful Mom and Dad every day and thank God for the time I had with them and all the things they taught me. You and Cheryl both have Grandpa Bob’s talent for poetry. What a great gift you have to share.

    I love reading your blogs!! Miss you and send you love and hugs.
    Aunt Jerrie

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