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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.



6 comments:

Nancy Simpson said...

Congratulations to Poet of the Week. I love this book and I'm happy to own it. My family members get copies too.

Jessie Carty said...

Finishing line really puts out great chapbooks. I loved the reoccuring horse and wildness in the poems :)

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Thanks, Nancy and Jessie. I'm giving copies of this book to family, as well.

Oma said...

I love these poems - how wonderful to have them in print. Delighted I stopped by to read a while on this rainey afternoon. Thanks Glenda

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Congratulations to Glenda as Poet of the Week. I really enjoyed reading her poetry book. She's a wonderful poet and I love her work.

Glenda Council Beall said...

Thank you, Kay, for honoring my poetry book on your wonderful blog. With so many excellent NC poets featured, I feel out of my league, but deeply grateful for your support.