Thursday, January 19, 2012

There I stood

Surrounded by stones of white

Simple, yet so powerful

In the seemingly endless rows

Some so old they are nearly gray,

The newest ones so white they shine.

I find yours, my heart in my throat,

And with shaking hands,

I read the stone.

So stark, simple, but full

Of all you had become.

I sit and I talk to you.

Of old news, and things

I never got a chance to say.

I turn my head,

Through eyes blurred,

I see hundreds of stones,

Thousands, so many,

So young. So new.

Monday, June 7, 2010

cool summer night

How hot it was, remember?

That night we couldn't sleep.

I opened the window

And the sound of leaves

Rustled by wind

Came rushing through.

So cool it felt,

So glorious!

I got you both from

Your tiny beds,

And, you being the oldest,

I laid you down first,

and, then,you, being the youngest,

I kept in the middle,

I, at the end,

so you wouldn't slip away.

crossways, we were

on the bed,

the cooling breeze washing over us,

Again, and again, as the curtain blew in,

And the breeze lulled you to sleep.

I watched the stars,

I watched you, and I watched you,

so happy to see you breathe.

such contentment,

Such absolute peace!

A precious time, I hold

Forever, a memory, so sweet, so pure,

To relive that night

with you, and you, safe and sound,

close, so very, very close,

This is must be heaven, I think.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I think of you

I think of you

Always, everyday.

So silly it seems,

But there are times

I catch a glimpse,

A fleeting knowledge

Of your presence.

I turn my head

Quickly, obsessively,

But you are gone.

If you were ever there.

Light grey eyes,

So full of life,

Of humor, wisdom, secrets,

Sparkle through my dreams.

Yet, always, I awaken

Disappointed, alone,

With grief, and sadness, and

A feeling of something taken.

Something wrenched from

My very soul.

Yes, I think of you


My precious boy.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


In darkness.

Springing upright

To emptiness,

I cry.

"I heard you!"

Not a whine.

But almost.

"I know I did!

Let me see

You now

Just this once..."


Falling and falling,

Darkness abounds.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I am Appalachia

I am a child, barefoot and free, running through green cornfields on a hot July day.

I am the white flour, hand-prints on my mother's apron.

I am the wild morning glory, dipped in early morning mountain mist.

I am Orphie, and Bertha, and Esba, mountain women, strong, caring, worn.

I am the plow that tills the earth, the seeds planted for fall harvest.

I am the old men, shouting in glory, sitting in a small church, 'the Amen Corner'.

I am Appalachia, the song of my forebears, the shadow of my heritage.

I am faded photographs, lost and forgotten in a dusty dresser drawer.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thanksgiving ditty

The turkey bird is on the table
The feast about to begin
Jesus lord, I'm so glad it's done
Cooking should be a sin.

The potato's mashed, the gravy mixed
The celery and carrot sticks
The cranberry sauce and stuffing too
This time the tatties don't taste like glue.

The yams are sweet, with marshmallow fluff
The rolls, the salad, and a bunch more stuff
I hope they like this celebration
Me, I'm looking for rest and salvation.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day
But don't work yourself into a frazzle
It will all be over within the hour
The yearly meal prepared to dazzle

Even great Aunt Myrtle that hates everything....

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I lift my eyes and long for green hills
Ever reaching, far, off into the horizon.
There I am reborn, renewed.
Set me down among the trails,
Meanandering through pine and oak
And sweet sugar maple, covered in honeysuckle vine.

I will walk the paths of my fathers,
Breath clean mountain air.
Stopping by a swift-moving creek,
I listen to the water-music
Play over smooth-washed stones,
As my father's father did.

Let me see the sweet red breast of the cardinal
Land on the snow covered pine,
In the total silence of a winter snow-fall.
Let me glimpse the trickle of white, fall
Ever so silent, to a branch below.
The stillness is magical, ethereal.
I walk where my father walked before me.

Who was my father that walked here first?
Did he slip silently through the undergrowth,
Brown skin, a quiver on his back, a warrior,
Strong, proud, giving back as much as he took away?
Was he a farmer, with flaming red hair,
Tilling the soil, with borrowed mule, cursing the rocks,
The rain, and too much sun, carving a living
On the side of a hill?

Was he covered in dust from deep in the hill,
Coughing up blackness, rising at dawn,
Working till dusk, raising his family
From the Company store?
He was strong, to survive in these hills.
He was determined to survive in these hills.
He made music, long into the night,
The music was free, and soothed his soul.
The mountains cried for the music.
They cry for feet to climb the trails
Again, and yes, again, where my father walked.

Always he walked through hills covered in trees
Of green, full of crysle clear streams,
And winter snowfalls, silent and deep.
There, just now, from the corner of my eye,
A shadow, a glimpse, the brush that moves without wind,
Here where my fathers walked before me.