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.




Showing posts with label Poet Laureate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poet Laureate. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

MY LAST DAY AS NC'S POET LAUREATE



(Dancing to the Music!)


My term as North Carolina's Poet Laureate officially ends at midnight tonight. The four years I've spent trying to represent our state's writers and readers have been full to overflowing. And no wonder. North Carolina is brimful with writers, as we all know, but even better, it is full of people who want to be a part of this literary community, people who work hard to keep it alive. I've tried to do my job as best as I could, but I leave frustrated by what remains to be done and how difficult these tasks become in the wake of our financial crisis. How long before we have another Laureate? Who knows. I hope it's not more than a year. In the meantime, I will continue to keep this blog going, and as always, I welcome your comments, suggestions, and your own poems and prose.

One of my good friends, Newt Smith, of the WCU English Department, spends his last day as a WCU employee today, too. I was asked to write a retirement poem for him, so I'm posting it today, one of my last "assignments," one that I enjoyed to the max! Newt and I worked together for a number of years in the English Department. The "cubicle" I mention in the poem does not refer to the laureateship! It refers to the tiny, tiny office I occupied for years as Poet-in-Residence at WCU. "Retard" is a play on how folks in the mountains pronounce certain words like stairs and retired. I have always thought "climbing the stars" sounded so much more poetic than climbing the stairs!

The doris in the poem is my friend doris davenport, whose work has been featured on both my blogs. Look her up.

As for Ghost Dogs, I didn't make that up. There are books about these manifestations, several of which have been published by Blair Publishers in Winston-Salem. Here is a brief description of Ghost Dogs of the South. (Blair)

Dog ghosts (dogs that have become ghosts), ghost dogs (humans who return as ghosts in the shape of dogs), dogs that see ghosts, dogs that are afraid of ghosts--all make an appearance in these twenty stories that illuminate the shadow side of man's best friend.

So, you can see this last occasional poem pulled in a lot of material. Why shouldn't a poem cast as wide a net as it wants? Spread its roots as deeply as it needs to spread them?



(Yellow Retro Roots, by Cindy Davis)




(Newt)


Retard

For Newt

Once I heard a woman,
when asked in downtown Sylva
how her husband was doing,
say, “Why, honey, he’s
retard.” I knew what she meant
and your neighbor Mildred when she said,
“I’m going to climb up the stars.”
That’s called climbing the Retard Track,

not the Tenure Track. Just imagine,
Newt, now you too can
climb up the stars. Or
spend all day doing
The Dawg, as our friend doris
calls it. I saw her do it
at Wordfest, at the Smoky Mountains
Bookfair, after Obama
won. (She sent me a jpg.) If you had
to think every day about tenure,
you wouldn’t be caught dead
Doin’ the Dawg. But now, dearest
Newt, you can do it
till the proverbial cows come
home, if your back doesn’t
give up the Ghost Dog and bring
you down. Just do The Dawg long
enough to feel like you’re really
and truly Retard, and then sit yourself

down, have a beer, look at the sky.
Listen to birds. Did we ever believe
they were out there when we had to work
in our cubicles? Don’t get get me
started on clouds. How they keep moving
on to another place, sort of like being
Retard. The sky’s a big dance floor.
The clouds like it like that!
They said to tell you,
my friend, that you’ll like it too.



(doris)