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.




Monday, January 21, 2013

A CELEBRATION OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR AND THE MUSIC OF THE DEEP SOUTH




Growing up in the deep South, I heard a lot of story-telling, on front porches, on the party-line, in kitchens, in beauty shops.   But the singing I heard (outside of church, I mean) was sung by our black neighbors and farm workers.  Background music, I grew up thinking of it, but when my friend, poet doris davenport, scolded me, saying, "We are tired of being background music for white people," I realized she was right, and more important, that I was wrong in thinking of that singing as "background music."  It was, as Evie Shockley sings in her poem, "a background in music. " 
On this day when we celebrate the life and words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I remember those voices, how their songs wove their way into my deepest self without my knowing it, and how I am still trying to learn how to harmonize with them.  


   Legato

.”..we sang everything there was to say.”
doris
                                             ---Evie Shockley

---a background in music  (from the new black, Wesleyan U.P.)


Evie












When the bell 
rang out noontime,
they lounged under oak trees
and drank from a mason jar
sweet tea    the taste
of a lemon slice lingering
at stovetops
and wash basins
cradles
and deathbeds
their voices kept
rising and falling 
like wind riffling 
cotton fields  
folding sheets
scrubbing floors,
spinning mayhaw juice
into a red thread
they were all the time
 singing
but we didn't listen
because it was backdrop
to what we sang
back ground
and ground back into
darkest leaf mold
that covered 
the root of our other
life     theirs
with which we never learned
how to harmonize.


Pembroke Magazine, 2012



With Doll, Patsy, and Lois, at a wedding celebration for Lois's son. 





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