"Southern Illinois Poetry" is dedicated to the past: to the small rural communities with their mud roads, coal oil lights and horse drawn vehicles, and to the small trading posts and town where supplies were brought in by rail. This book is dedicated to the honest, hard working families who built their own homes, church and school; cleared the land, planted gardens and crops, cured their meat, made molasses, threshed grain and made their bread.
These poems are dedicated to the beautiful virgin forest and clear running streams who knew no pollution. It is my hope that generations to come will read "Southern Illinois Poetry" and know we passed this way.
John L Gwaltney
John Lastle Gwaltney was born August 18, 1917, on a farm near the small town of Broughton, Illinois. He grew up with a special love for the land, farm animals, and the surrounding wildlife.
He started writing at an early age and published "Back Country Poems" in 1964. He has appeared on several television stations and has written for magazines and newspapers.
"southern Illinois Poetry" is an attempt to share with readers among other things, the excitement of his fishing spot, a trip to the molasses mill, and butchering day on the farm.
Saddened by the erosion of his rural community, he writes of farm auctions and of empty farm homes being torn down and the land plowed.
Always aware of a higher power, he deals quietly with the subject of death. His vivid descriptions could come only from a man who is at peace with his surroundings. At age 67 he still resides in the home in which he was born.
John L Gwaltney Aug. 18 1917 June 23 1993
|All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Copyright 1985, John L. Gwaltney|
|Broughton History||Saturday in Broughton 1928|
|Christmas Long ago||Christmas trip to Grandfather's|
|Back Roads Christmas||Christmas Old and New|
|Douglass Community||North Fork|
|THE BARLOW KNIFE||GRANDMA|
|SHAWNEETOWN||THE GREAT STORM OF 1925|
|BROUGHTON HOMECOMING 1982||MY WORLD|
|Charlie Birger||L & N R. R.|
|EMPTY FARMHOUSE||The Candle|
|Butchering Day||Sorghum Molasses|
|The Kildeer||Farmer's Prayer|
|The Wild Flowers||My Slingshot|
|The Auction||My Wife|
|Foot Washing||Old Frank|
|A Stroll With My Grandson||Farm Auction|
|The Coon Hunter||Coon Hunter Prayer|
|Hunting Tonight||April & Snowy Wintertime|
|Audie Ray||To the Children|
|GOLDEN AUTUMN||THE DOLLY|
|SILENT LOVE||ONE LOST|
|ME AND BLUE||HALLOWEEN|
|MY BOOK & Our Home|
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids