THIS BLOG IS NO LONGER OPERATIONAL. PLEASE ENJOY WHAT IS HERE, AND DO LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU WISH. NORTH CAROLINA'S NEW POET LAUREATE IS CATHY SMITH BOWERS. SHE WILL SOON HAVE HER OWN WEBSITE THROUGH THE NORTH CAROLINA ARTS COUNCIL SITE. I WILL BE SHIFTING MY ATTENTION TO HERE, WHERE I AM, (SEE SIDEBAR)USING IT TO DRAW ATTENTION TO WRITERS WHOSE WORK DESERVES ATTENTION. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT ME THERE. For a video of the installation ceremony, please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xAk6fOzaNE.
Go to http://www.yourdailypoem.com/, managed with finesse by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer, who says, "Our intent is to make visitors to Your Daily Poem aware of the joy and diversity of poetry."
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
A Temple Looming, by Lenard Moore
ISBN 978-1934999103, 80 pages, $17.00 A Temple Looming by Lenard D. Moore is a series of portraits, painstakingly rendered, that capture the nuances of the African-Americans whose lives inspired them: (www.wordtechweb.com/moore.html}
Splendid in uniform, the barrel-straight stare of his pure black face shines like a bullet.
Imagine he’d not returned from the Great War, leaving a void in his family, and in this picture.
Moore’s artistry preserves what might otherwise be lost: human lives, and their world.
“A Temple Looming is a caring look into records of our African love, our will to life. Moore is ever the guardian, watching the darkening way, listening for our song.”—Afaa M. Weaver, Editor of OBSIDIAN II
“John Milton said ‘poetry should be simple, sensuous, and impassioned.’ Cousin Lenard is surely in that tradition of prosody and hope. Read on.”—Michael S. Harper
Lenard D. Moore was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina. After graduating from high school and attending two years of college at Coastal Carolina Community College, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and had basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. He later earned a B.A. from Shaw University, and an M.A. in English and African American Literature from North Carolina A&T State University. Moore is a former Writer-in-Residence for the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County. He is the founder and executive director of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective and co-founder of the Washington Street Writers Group. He is President of the Haiku Society of America. He is the founding editor of The CAAWC Newsletter. He also is the executive chairman of the North Carolina Haiku Society. Moore has taught at Enloe High School, North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro), North Carolina State University (Raleigh) and Shaw University, and now teaches at Mount Olive College, where he is an Assistant Professor of English and directs the MOC Literary Festival and advises The Trojan Voices (former known as The Olive Branch), the MOC literary journal.e. He was also the publicity He lives with his wife in Raleigh, North Carolina. (For more about Lenard Moore go to the Wordtech site listed above.)
The woman in the photo looks like Aunt Muriel: fair-skinned, thin nose, full lips, broad brows, flat forehead, and hair long on both sides but curled at its ends. Her poised body, so full of pride in a house-cleaning world, wears a checkered cotton dress the way Aunt Muriel did. The scene is somber: she is so square to the camera, just right in time’s lilac deepening for claiming kin nearly forgotten.
I like the way you sit: sideways, legs crossed, cotton skirt tight below knobby knees, left hand on the higher knee, and right hand on the chair’s round back.
I like the way you pose: twisted around on the chair, without words; stiff, head tilted towards the left shoulder; no lines, no circles below the eyes.
I like the way you wait: wearing a straw hat ringed with white flowers like it ain’t nobody’s business; lips glossed and puckered as if they were fixed for a kiss; white shirt, matching jacket, sweet baby, as if you were kin to me.
A family of four poses, close enough to keep out light, two girls, little, wholly thin.
Mother smiles, child in lap, rests chin on daughter’s head is unearthly, could praise and sing until notes, one by one, burst plum red.
Father has his right hand on other girl’s shoulder. She leans against her sister whose hands are clasped. Mother leans toward her husband, could take wing.
The man tilts toward his wife, not fully touching; yet, a gleam in their eyes baits and burns out strife.
-------------------------- THE OLD SYCAMORE’S LIMBS
hang over the one-lane road I walk. Leaves lie scattered, wind stirred. Over the rise across the lane: a stand of longleaf pine, spaced just enough to hold ghosts behind an uneven fence.
Up the road, morning light whitewashes everything, creates a brilliant tunnel. I wonder if the road remains a bed for autumn-brown leaves on the daystar’s other side.
No animals, no houses between the pines. Mist settles everywhere. Only the sycamore is old enough to know what might have been. How its curved arms scratch the bright blue sheet of sky, wait for whatever spirit comes to enter its dark rings.
I've lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina since 1968, though I'm a native of SW Georgia. My paternal grandmother was born in the Blue Ridge, and I grew up wanting to live here. Where I am.
I've published five collections of poetry, the most recent 4 being with LSU Press, and have published poetry in magazines ranging from The Atlantic Monthly to Appalachian Heritage. But I also hike, bang pots and pans around in my kitchen, and love several dogs who leave fur all over my carpets. I write poetry because it's my way of singing back to the world both within and without.