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 1, 2009
POET OF THE WEEK: GLENDA C. BEALL
Glenda Council Beall's new chapbook, Now Might As Well Be Then, from Finishing Line Press (http://www.finishinglinepress.com/) deserves many readers. I was honored to write a blurb for it. Glenda has worked wonders for NETWEST as Program Director and deserves our thanks for supporting the literary arts in Western North Carolina. Her new book would make a wonderful Christmas gift for family members. Several in my family will have this chapbook in their stockings!
Often those "supporters" are so busy making sure other writers find what they need to become better at the writer's craft that they don't have time for their own work. That's why I'm so pleased to honor Glenda as Poet of the Week. She's a great SW Georgia girl, and, naturally, I believe those girls have a leg up when it comes to writing poetry!
Here are a few of my favorite poems from her new chapbook.
Woman in the Mirror
What happened to seventeen, when I rode my mare free as the river flows, jumped over downed trees splashed through narrow streams?
What happened to twenty when I danced in the moonlight, my slender form dressed in a gown white and shimmery as pearl?
What happened to thirty when I rode my Yamaha down fire roads, mountain trails, long black hair flying free?
What happened to those days I ask the woman in the mirror. Gone, she says, all gone, unless you remember it.
In The Dark
Lying in bed, my cheek against your shoulder, I remember a night, long ago, on your boat. I was afraid. I felt too much, too fast. But love crept over us that summer like silver fog, silent on the lake. We were never again the same.
We stepped like children through that door that led to long passages unknown, holding hands, wide-eyed, but brave. Here I am years later, listening to your soft breath and feeling your warm smooth skin. In the dark, now might as well be then.
My Father's Horse
Stickers tear my legs, bare and tan from South Georgia sun. Long black braids fly behind me as I sprint like a Derby winner down the path.
Harnessed with hames, bridle and blinders, Charlie plods down the farm road. Tired and wet from sweat, he is perfume to my nostrils.
My father swings me up. I bury my hands in tangled mane. My thighs stick to leather and damp white hair high above the ground.
I want to sing in glorious joy, but only croon a child's nonsensical words, grinning for a hundred yards between field and barn.
My father's arms are strong. His hands are gentle. The horse is all we ever share. For he has sons and I am just a daughter.
A Long Lost Year Music making was his talent taken for granted like water gushing from our well until the surgeon’s knife nicked a nerve.
The purple wreath of grief hung over us until one day above the strum of his guitar, his notes rang true ― a lovely instrument restored.
We wept with joy. His voice is who he is, has always been.
He sings to me again, that same rich baritone that won me on that first day we met. I listen with a new ear, and like a Sinatra fan, I mellow out.
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.