Showing posts with label poetry chapbook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poetry chapbook. Show all posts

Thursday, July 16, 2009

NOW MIGHT AS WELL BE THEN by Glenda Council Beall

Finishing Line Press is taking pre-orders for Now Might As Well Be Then, poetry chapbook by Glenda Council Beall, Program Coordinator for Netwest since 2007.

It is the second book on the page of new releases coming out in October.

This book is dedicated to her husband, Barry Beall, who was an unofficial member of Netwest as he made many of the photos at writing events, for articles, and of members that are used in publicity today.

Like William Wordsworth, Glenda Beall was raised knowing well the "yoke of earth," how the fields, pastures and woodlands yield both beauty and terror. Her evocations of being a daughter in the deep South, growing up on a farm, riding her mare, witnessing death and tragedy, as well as joy and fruitfulness, ring absolutely true. She gives us love poems from a mature woman's perspective, too, and poems that celebrate the vistas and culture of the mountains where she now lives. Every poem pulses with detail that brings life back to us in all its varied detail and music. The "yoke of earth" is also the poet's yoke, and she bears it gladly. --- Kathryn Striping Byer, NC Poet Laureate

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Book of Days - A Chapbook by Scott Owens

I think poems from Scott Owens' Book of Days - A chapbook --- are especially appropriate for this day beginning 2009.
"Book of Days," has been published online by The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature..
Poems will be continued in future posts.

January Looks Forward and Back,
Feeds the Stove October’s Wood,
Saves the Ashes for April’s Garden

January wraps trees in sleeves
of ice, coats the ground in frost,
throws its shawl of morning mist
on field and lake and stream.
January plants sage and lavender,
costmary and mint, pulls up fingers
of crocus and daffodil,green
uds of forsythia, rose, spirea.
January’s voice is cold and coarse
–the silver moon, the blue sky,
the gray sky, the absinthe moon,
the empty trees, the trees filled
with cedar waxwings. January
wears out darkness sleeping late,
puts on morning’s half-white face,
speaks of what is bare and necessary.
It is dangerous to know the mind
of January.January is life
and death, the new born from the chest
of the old, half-formed eyes of flowers
forcing their way through tight skin
of limbs, mouths of bulbs tonguing
up through dirt,opening to earth
and sky and air of January.
February’s Air of Waiting

February, his feet by a fire,
warms the morning’s chill away,
huddles under horsehair, bearskin,
eats savory, spinach, and sweet
marjoram, cradles a book of days
in his hands,wearily scratches
in plans of days to come. Scratching
in ashes, February stokes the fire,
watches flames the color of day
speak, roar, sing their way
to dying, listens to the thick, sweet
sound of wood burning to skins
of black ash, dry, skinny
sticks, half-dead limbs scratching
against each other, green wood sweating,
snapping, spitting into the fire,
life consumed with eating away
its own body and lighting the days
of February’s interiors. Such days,
kept wrapped in thick skins
of house and cloak, await the sweet
sounds of newborn spring scratching
at windows, sun’s warmth firing
panes to melting, sweeping away
the ground’s cover of ice, sweetening
the air with labor’s harsh perfume. Today
February can only bank the fire,
gather limbs, hang skins
to dry, absently scratch
blades on whetstones, put the tools away.
Outside the world goes winter’s way,
hedges white with malignant sweetness,
limbs full of irritable scratching,wind howling
at the day,earth drinking its icy skin,
trees lit with frostian fire.
Sprout-kale, month-long day of waiting,
sweet season of keeping beneath the skin,
I will scratch my way from your consumptive fire.

March with Your Flowers Burning

Just as I had gotten things under
control again, you showed up,
with your head in the clouds,
your eyelids full of rain,
your cuffs of late snow,
your feet tracking mud,
you who refuse to be ruled,
you with your willow’s strand
of pearls, you with your fingers
sucking scilla, daffodil, crocus,
your nostrils stuffed with snot,
your cheeks puffed,
your lips dripping lullabies,
your rainbow-wicked smile,
you with your forsythia switch,
your many-voweled throat, your mind
like black ice, your hands always
open , the slap and plea, the cup
and howl, the easy lure,
the careless jangle of trees.
How could I hope to respond,
my arms grown thin, my eyes
winter-blind, my hands
unaccustomed to such change?
You were the one I dreamed of,
with your mouth full of promises,
your cheeks honey-smeared,
your hands around my balls.

Rush of April Coming In

Schizophrenic April rained the ceiling down
pulled up lamb’s ear and fennel columbine and sage
ran the radio outdoors the clouds transforming
the hills running mud my feet slippery wet
on steps sweating thick socks tracking criss
-crossed patterns of brown-yellow earth the architecture
of days sprouting green lines across the sky
running streams of water between brick beside the road
across the yard in widening pools of sunshine dripping
puddles beneath the trees cold fingers raking
the sky white gray blue or black and flowers blooming
anyway April’s cruelest joke not enough to stop
their show of colors only slightly mud-spattered
the way they clean themselves like cats in windows waiting
for mid-month to fling themselves open as mouths
to weather warming with winter’s burning away.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Glenda Barrett Publishes Poetry Chapbook

By Brenda Kay Ledford
Like peeling an apple and slicing it, Glenda Barrett gets to the core in her poetry chapbook, WHEN THE SAP RISES. Finishing Line Press in Georgetown, KY published the book.
Barrett describes with her Southern voice hardships, heartaches, health issues, family, farming and fishing. She writes the way she lives—unpretentious. There’s a reverence for the land and her ancestors. She says in her poem, “Echoes”:
…I can follow in the footsteps
of my ancestors,
people who were truthful,
who held firm to their beliefs
and rose above their hardships.
People whose voices still echo
across these Blue Ridge Mountains.
“I was born here, and I’ll die here!”
Her ancestors worked hard on the farm to feed their family. They hoed the fields in the hot sun, but loved the land. In the poem, “Southern Soil,” they proudly said, “I own this land all the way to the top of the mountain. I’ll not sell one piece of this land the longest day that I live.”
A native of Hiawassee, Georgia, Barrett recalls hoeing the cornfield as a teenager. In her imagination, she can still hear the sharp click of her hoe hitting the hard, stony ground.
Her father was a farmer. He plowed gardens for neighbors, didn’t charge a dime. When Barrett sees corn ripening and bales of hay scattered across a pasture, she thinks of him.
Barrett has fond memories of her grandma. They fished together, had picnics of Vienna Sausage and soda crackers. She recalls walking barefoot as a girl over the dirt road to her grandmother’s house. It was a place filled with unconditional love.
It’s no wonder Barrett dedicated her poetry chapbook to her grandmother, Hattie Foster. She told Barrett wonderful stories and inspired her to become a writer.
The title of her book, WHEN THE SAP RISES, came from her grandmother’s sayings. She predicted the weather by observing nature. Barrett writes in her poem, “When the Sap Rises”:
... “See those thick corn shucks.
We can be on the lookout
for a rough winter.”
One day when I visited, she said,
“In the spring of the year, when the sap
rises is a hard time for sick folks,
another time is in the fall,
when the sap goes down.”
The sap seems to rise on the cover of Barrett’s poetry chapbook. She painted an old-time house including a rock chimney, tin roof, a giant tree in the yard, a front porch, and greens in the garden. A dirt road circles the farmhouse and merges with a lavender sunset over the misty mountains. It’s serene and flows with an undercurrent of faith.
Barrett took an oil painting class at Young Harris College and received an Associate of Arts Degree in 1969. She’s painted over thirty years and her art is displayed on the online art gallery,
She also studied at North Georgia College and took creative writing under Nancy Simpson at Tri-County Community College. Barrett worked twenty years in the health care profession before she developed a neuromuscular disease.
The doctors echoed words like heredity and genetics before giving her the diagnosis. “At times, I am silent, stare into space, and retreat to a place no one else can go,” she says in her poem, “Family Ties”. It’s a place where she no longer wonders what her father thought.
Her poem, “Kindred Spirit,” describes a cardinal at the feeder. Barrett feels a deep connection with the bird because it is blind in one eye. She expresses her health issues in this verse:
…A feeling of knowing,
no matter what happens,
there will always be hope
and endless possibilities.
The moisture from my breath
leaves a circle on the windowpane,
and I watch from my scooter,
until the cardinal flies out of sight.
Barrett is recovering from a recent surgery on her foot. She’s in a scooter now, but hopes to walk soon. She finds comfort in her family and talking with friends on the telephone. She also enjoys reading and crafting poetry.
A member of North Carolina Writers’ Network-West, Barrett’s work has appeared in many magazines and five anthologies. Her poetry has been published in Kaleidoscope, Nostalgia, Wellspring, Hard Row to Hoe, Living with Loss Magazine, A Time of Singing, Mindprints Journal, Wordgathering Journal, Farming Magazine, Artists Against Domestic Violence, and Nantahala Review. She has poetry upcoming in Breath and Shadow.
According to Nancy Simpson, “Glenda Barrett gives us the most authentic Appalachian voice to rise out of the southern mountains in years. Whether she is eating an apple with a knife or if she is knee deep fishing in Owl Creek, here is a woman who is as immersed in her environment as in her daily existence. Barrett’s concerns for family and heritage go beyond what happened, for her poems celebrate life, transcend sorrow, and show the reader what was learned.”
Barrett’s books are available locally at Mary Ann’s Restaurant in Young Harris, Georgia. You may also order online at: and .
This article first appeared in the Smoky Mountain Sentinel newspaper.