About Me

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Nancy Simpson's LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE, New and Selected Poems was published by Carolina Wren Press (N.C. Laureate Series, 2010.) She is the author of ACROSS WATER and NIGHT STUDENT, State Street Press, still available on WWW at Alibris and Books Again. Her poems have been published in Southern Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review and other literary magazines. "Carolina Bluebirds" was published in THE POETS GUIDE TO THE BIRDS, Anhinga Press). "Grass" was reprinted in the 50th Anniversary Issue of Southern Poetry Review: DON'T LEAVE HUNGRY ( U.of Arkansas Press.) Seven poems were reprinted in the textbook, SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN POETRY,(McFarland.) Two poems were published in SOLO CAFE, Two more poems were published in SOLO NOVO."In the Nantahala Gorge" was published in Pisgah Review. "Studying Winter" was reprinted in Pirene's Fountain Anthology and "The Collection" in Collecting Life Anthology. Most recently, Southern Poetry Review Edited by James Smith, published "Our Great Depression," and The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol. VII: NORTH CAROLINA,Edited by William Wright, reprinted "Leaving in the Dead of Winter."

Saturday, November 8, 2008



Apple peelings
red and moistened
slide from the knife
onto my calico apron
in a large, curly heap.
I listen to the chatter of
my family around the table.

Over and over, 
I slice pieces from my apple,
and eat them from the knife
like my father before me,
until nothing is left but the core.
That's where I like to begin 
my story.

Previously published in Hard Row to How.
Included in When the Sap Rises.


I remember the day
you began falling
and didn't want help
getting back up.
A few months later,
you bought a bright red
scooter so you could
ride all over the farm
and check on your cattle.
You were proud of it
and showed it to all of us.

I have memories of you
riding through the pastures
with my son on your lap
and smiles on your faces.
One day you asked Jody
to help you work on the fence.
He was only four years old.
When the work was done,
you asked what he charged.
He replied, Five dollars, Papaw.
You paid gladly and laughed later.

Always an ambitious man,
you were determined to work.
One day while visiting,
I couldn't find you in the house
so I walked out on the porch
and looked up toward the garden.
There you lay on the ground,
plucking weeds around the onions.
That year you finished your jobs,
sold your cattle, made your will,
but didn't live to harvest your crop.

Previously published in Nostalgia.
Included in When the Sap Rises.


At feeding times
the female cardinal
is the first to the feeder
and the last one to leave.
Unlike the other birds,
she doesn't scare easily
or shy away as larger birds
light on the feeder beside her.

Instead with courage,
she remains calm and focused
and works hard at crushing
sunflower seeds, one at a time.
Sensing a difference in her,
I inch closer to the window
and notice there is a problem.
She is blind in one eye.

Somewhere deep inside me,
emotions hard to define
start to surface.  I feel
a deep connection,
a bond of some kind,
not only with the bird,
but to something deeper
and on a larger scale.

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.

Previously published in Mindprints Literary Journal.
Included in When the Sap Rises.

Thanks to Glenda Barrett for sharing these three poems.


Glenda C. Beall said...

As always I love Glenda Barrett's poetry. Thanks for sharing them on your blog.

Lynn said...

These are so beautiful and I can't help but feel a kinship with someone who can write for the eyes in my mind!

These were beautiful!! Thank you so much for putting them here! I'm now a new follower!


Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Hi Nancy, thank you for posting Glenda's work. I keep trying to get your blog on my list and my laptop won't do it! I'll keep trying.

Tipper said...

Glenda Barrett is one of my favorite poets-because she speaks directly to my heart. Thank you for showing her work!

Judy said...

Nancy, How wonderful to see you and your words on your own blog now. The photos are as exquisite as your words and make me homesick for NC mountains.
I have put your blog in my favorites and will check back often. I can hear you speak when I read your words and I love the memories of that. Thanks for having this here for all of us now. A gathering of poets anywhere is my place to be. :)

Nancy Simpson said...

This is a message I received last night from Glenda Barrett:

Dear Nancy,
A few days ago, Brad Paisley on the country music awards said these words that I liked so well.
"When you drink water from the well, never forget who dug the well." Nancy, you dug the well, I just drank from it. Thanks, Glenda

----- Original Message -----

From: Nancy Simpson
To: Glenda Barrett
Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 6:36 PM
Subject: Re: Your Acceptance

Wow! Wow. Glenda, this is wonderful news about getting two poems accepted at Journal of Kentucky Studies. Also, your poem Patchwork tore my heart out. You are a powerful poet.

Congratulations. Journal of Kentucky Studies is a university publication. I am so proud of you.

Nancy Simpson