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My Birthday Cookbook by Lee Anne Swinger

Check out some of Lee Anne’s famous recipes. Some created, some borrowed, some handed down from friends and family. All good eating! Help celebrate Lee Anne’s birthday in 2015, our first without her. All proceeds will be donated to breast cancer research. Bon Appétit (best said with a glass of champagne in hand!)

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

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Poetry Collection


Memories of Our Farm


The Barnyard


Grandpa gone away

tractor quiet and lonely

rusting in the field 

Gram has moved to town

no eggs to gather in apron

all the hens vanished 

Weathered cyprus barn

leaning precariously

mice left; loft quiet 

Long rope with great knot

dangles out loft opening

lonely wind banging 

Sun baked pig wallow

behind the barnyard empty

no sows or piglets 

Echoes of heifers

bawling for silent mamas

so long ago 

Chewing Jersey; doleful eyes

empty milk pails on a wall

stool knocked over

No racing around barnyard

cousins, nieces, nephews

silence resonates .


The Old Red Pickup Truck


Old broken down truck

all tolerant; ever strong

faithfully serving

Fenders scratched and bent

rusted through; sorely dented

tires flat to the ground

Shattered side mirrors

trees scraped, brushed and bruised

two broken headlights 

Youngsters learning turns

in ditch over and over

tractor must pull out

Brakes worn down; clutch shot

unseen irrigation pipes

crushed and mangled flat 

Trysts never revealed

secrets certain to the end

red truck ever mute.





Diapers all done

endless miles walked, rocked and jiggled

now all forgotten 

Put away high chair

no more new babies and cribs

all over and done

Laughter peals in night

evoking sweet memories

of each special one

Oldest laughing loud

perhaps suffering inside

giving and loving 

A boy’s sweet smile

almost never doing wrong

fraught to be hero

Mayhem; two shy girls

garnered attention; brings smiles

ever excelling 

One boy not easy

special, smart while struggling

to be a cousin

All grown and gone

down to family youngest

gregarious; bold 

All destined to achieve

from these tiny little seeds

cousins forever.  


The Fields



Dry fields; crisp winds

harvest waiting patiently

a years’ work ending 

Will it be worth it?

What happens if it falls short?

Worry won’t help 

No matter today

all that is there is waiting

waiting will soon end. 


The Persimmon Tree


Fall is here you know

when persimmons drop to ground

dull orange hiding 

An exotic fruit

special soft peachy texture

 fragrant like autumn

Strong when unripe

novice will pucker and frown

let them fall to ground 

Like hunting colored eggs

brown dusty leaves, weeds and grass

a joy most never know.


The Old Farmhouse


Warm and cozy smells

wood burning inside the house

what difference now? 

Wind whistling through walls

gray-blue sky on the outside

what difference then? 

One house with many

three generations or more

happiness, security 

Different likes, needs

what differences has house seen

mothers at the stove 

Roots and constancy

memories in all the walls

pride and family 

Fuss and fight, love hate

chores unending all year round

warm snug feather bed 

Wintry nights musing

mothers before the fire

worry for morrow 

Others have all gone

some are scarcely remembered

many in our hearts 

Our people soon

all leave and remembered little

gone to a new home 

No matter, the old farmhouse

will still be standing or not

the memories live.




Gram is like a tree

arms reaching toward heaven

stretched up to the sky 

Roots deep in the ground

skinned knees, broken limbs, scratched arms

bending in the wind 

Standing tall in peace

tranquil, shelter in a storm

family linchpin 

Always looking up

to catch glimpse of hereafter

fleeting wish for all time.





Crops done; year over

 blue birds fly away; flowers die

the smell of fall starts 

Corn stalks plowed under

wheat stubble burned off neatly

bean fields turned over 

Season is finished

a time for moving away

the work is ending.

 By Sue Swinger-Ellbogen