Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Friday, August 8, 2008

Bill Brown and the Solace of Poetry

Yesterday was the anniversary of Hiroshima's destruction by the atom bomb. Such horror exists beyond our everyday comprehension, as does most of war's realities. Bill Brown, one of our country's finest poets (deserving more recognition than he yet has received), served during Viet Nam. Having known war, he appreciates more than most the tenuous but precious moments of what we call daily life. His poems speak to the beauty and fragility of the natural world and the often complicated fabric of family life, finding in both the healing that enables him to keep living and writing. "The Language of Rain" comes from his new book, LATE WINTER, from Iris Press.

Perhaps the best way to remember Hiroshima is to immerse ourselves in one of Bill's poems.




THE LANGUAGE OF RAIN

How luxurious a forest after rain—
soft moss woven in the wreckage
of old wood, a gallery of lichen
on tree bark. It is winter—

beech trees cling to tattered leaves
to translate the language of rain,
to interpret wind. If you live among beech,
you keep something inside that listens

for that sound, that asks, did I hear it
when the fox stood at the mailbox,
or the day news pronounced the first
soldiers dead and flashed their pictures.

One morning I pulled a blanket around
my shoulders and sat on the porch to hear
rain and beech leaves make that sound.
What were they saying—nothing about

machinegun fire, sudden explosions,
burned-out markets, or a shoe
in the street still wearing a foot,
but something about the birth

of my neighbor’s foal and the reflection
of the mare’s eyes in the watering trough,
that between clapping leaves and scattered
rain there is a silence I long for.

5 comments:

Jessie Carty said...

Amazing!

My husband and I are hoping to return to Japan next year and Hiroshima is on our lists of places we want to honor.

Jane said...

Not only is Bill a wonderful poet, he's a wonderful teacher. A fine meditation for this August morning.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Brown is a gifted poet and a very personable soul. Have always liked his work. His The Art of Dying is a favorite of mine.

"The Language of Rain" is stunning. Thanks for the post.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Thanks, Jessie, Jane, and Sam. I will be using more of Bill's poetry over the next few months. I love his work more than I can say.

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