Last updated: December 08. 2013 12:01PM - 1037 Views

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Neil Carpathios


Contributing Columnist


They say that the essence of a home never quite fades, even when we relocate to a new place. In fact, the feeling of a hometown can smolder inside the heart like a burning coal. The singer and songwriter, Tom Waits, says: “I never knew my hometown until I stayed away too long.” Sometimes distance can even intensify one’s love of home.


Brenda Bramblette writes that she attended Shawnee State University from 1988-1991. In 1991 she moved to Atlanta to pursue her career. She says that she does keep in touch with friends and family and returns to Portsmouth often. Her poetry has won some awards and she is listed in the Who’s Who of Poetry registry. I’m happy to learn that she reads this column online and still composes poems with regularity.


Here is a poem that I would classify as a love song to her hometown of Portsmouth:


Down in the Valley


Down in the valley in the hills


The Ohio River feels peaceful and tranquil


Quiet beauty, peaceful and still


On the banks and bottoms


Ones will come to think and heal


Down in the valley and in the hills


Many come and many go


Land of our Indians so long ago


Generations we will never know


Setting on the banks of the Ohio


Lovers laugh, children play


Families gather on sunny days


Reminiscing of the good ole days


Down in the valley in the hills.


This place of quiet beauty and hills—how nicely Brenda Bramblette weaves with words her sense of home.


Address poem submissions and correspondence to: ncarpathios@shawnee.edu or Neil Carpathios, Shawnee State University, Dept. of English & Humanities, 940 Second Street, Portsmouth, OH 45662. (740-351-3478).

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