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."
Saturday, April 25, 2009
FORGIVING THE DARK, by Kitty Foley
Chapel Hill Press, Inc. $17.48 To Order call 866-942-8389
Kitty Foley hails from the Chicago area. She received her MA in Literature from Middlebury College and currently lives in North Carolina. Betty Adcock describes the work in her first book as "a dance with a dizzying, colorful, scary world that can come undone, the world that only a poet of Foley's intense gifts could limn so perfectly." And John Balaban praises her poems as being "unerring in finding the right gesture or natural image to summon beauty and compassion out of quandary and pain."
Maybe the Muse
Maybe the muse would sing in the dark
where houses, ignorant of stars,
whine senseless in the wind.
And shagged crows bark
from winter branches,
batting their burial wings.
Maybe the muse would sing beyond
barrenness, charm old roots to stir,
flush an eagle from sky to sky
winging over the silhouettes of crows
while earth loosens its colors.
Maybe the muse sings already
in the sparrow on the rain gutter,
in the sooty patches of snow melting
everywhere across town in the same weather,
no one knowing quite how to hum it,
but playing it nevertheless and not the same.
At dusk by the window,
a tree’s still-glossy leaves arch
upward as if seeking bloom
in December, even as light changes.
Such light and dark played upon
our marriage, how you’d leave
with eyes closed and an open hand.
How I’d sense the tracks between
your words like prints left
after a crow has done his dance,
legible in snow.
Tonight lamplight forgives the dark…
and the ruined day.
Always I come back to you
when shadows eclipse sense.
In slower time, I see the familiar
wide hands that have shod horses.
You are scarred with kick and nails.
Hands I once held.
How strange to adore you at this distance,
almost sad, almost happy,
like the arch of leaves, a glance
of late light.
Relief at the End of November
Rain and wind knocked the rest of the leaves
down to roofs, gutters, the forest floor.
This year I’m barren as November and as honest
as the month exposing fields and woods,
and all the small, distressed gardens.
December shall be kind in comparison—
snow coming like white flowers—- a cool
feathering like trillium falling—- and ice!
—crystal that breaks without harm.
In this time of winter, no one is dying,
no one has traded love for money or theory,
no one blames anyone for not searching far enough.
Farmland goes quietly to sleep.
The rain stops. It’s still November.
A Labrador retriever romps and rolls in the dead, wet
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.