Showing posts with label Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. Show all posts

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mary Ricketson on the Program to Read at CWP June 13

Coffee with the Poets will have two Netwest featured readers this month, June 13, 10:30 a.m. Mary Ricketson is also on the program Wednesday with Maren Mitchell.

Mary Ricketson’s poetry has been published in her chapbook, I Hear the River Call My Name, Lights in the Mountains, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, Freeing Jonah IV, Freeing Johah V, and Wild Goose Poetry Review, Future Cycle Press, Your Daily Poem, various magazines and blogs, and in Disorgananza, a private collection distributed among family and friends. She won the gold medal for poetry in the 2011 Cherokee County Senior Games/Silver Arts and silver medal for 2012. She won first place in the 2011 Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest national poetry contest.

Mary writes a monthly column, Woman to Woman, for The Cherokee Scout. She is a long time member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Mary says she writes to satisfy a hunger, to taste life all the way down to the last drop. She gains perspective from family and friends, her Appalachian home, and her life’s work as a counselor. Writing poetry places her in kinship with her own life.

Mary Ricketson is a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Murphy, North Carolina. She brings more than thirty years experience to her work, with twenty-five years in private practice. She is a founding board member of REACH. She has a special interest in women’s issues, victims of abuse, and family and couple relationships. She offers innovative ways to effect change in difficult life patterns, including Journey to Intuition and Neurofeedback. She is listed in Who’s Who in America.

Come out to hear Mary and Maren share their delightful poetry at Coffee with the Poets on Wednesday, June 13.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Few poems speak to our love of place and the way it can enrich and enlarge our spirits as well as Mary Ricketson's Lost in the Roar of Big Santeetlah.   When we fall in love with a place, as Mary  reveals in this poem, we want to carry that love with us, giving it away generously to the world at large.  This is how we will save our places from degradation, this is the legacy we will leave to our children.  

Mary's poem recently won the poetry contest sponsored by the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, itself a legacy of what remains of the old growth forests that once flourished in our mountains.  Only a few stands remain now.  Big Santeetlah Creek runs through this beloved landscape.  Mary's poem is a fine and appropriate way to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Kilmer Memorial Forest.  

Mary lives in Murphy and has been an active member of the Writers Network West for years.  She published a chapbook, I Hear the River Call My Name, with Finishing Line Press in 2008, which I featured on my North Carolina Laureate's Writers & Books site.  You will find out more about Mary there.

Lost in the Roar of Big Santeetlah

I cross a wooden bridge.
A stand of dark red trillium
waits for my attention.
White violets and crested dwarf iris
sit quietly at trail’s edge.  Birdsong begins.
Butterflies dance. Jack in the Pulpit presides.
River birch, pine and poplar stand tall.
Rippling water stills my thoughts.
I can taste the wind.

Soon pink lady slipper will bloom,
then purple rhododendron.
I know every season at this forest.

I fell in love here long ago,
found comfort on this path,
met parts of me I did not know,
told secrets never spoken.
Trees made promises
then asked for mine.
I fill myself with peace and hope when I am here
then give it all away when I am gone.