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."

Monday, November 24, 2008


On the mountain a woman saw
the road bank caved in
from winter's freeze-thaw
and April rain erosion.

Trees leaned over the road the way
strands of hair hung on her forehead.
She gaped, her face as tortured
as the face she saw engraved in dirt.

Roots growing sideways shaped brows,
two eyes.  Humus washed
down the bank like a nose.
Lower down, where a rock

was shoved out by weathering,
a hole formed the shape of a mouth.
The woman groaned, Agh.
Her spirit toppled

to the ground, slithered
under the roots of an oak.
She stood there as if lost, asking
What?  Who?

Back to reason, back home
she finished her questions:
What can one make of the vision, that face
on the north side of the mountain?

Reckoning comes, a thought:
it is not the image of a witch nor a god,
but Earth's face, mouth open saying,
Save me.

Previously published in Pembroke Magazine
edited by Shelby Stephenson.


Lynn ... said...

Mmmmm .... I love this one, Mom. I can see it all in my head ... and always, ALWAYS, she's on the old road. Love it. LOVE it! I love you. See you soon!

Nancy Simpson said...

Lynn, Thanks for your comment.

Yes, she is walking on the old road, just below
the switchback.

Come on home.


Judy said...

Wow, powerful poem, Nancy. My mouth is gaping open right now. What a surprise ending. I love your poetry.

Tipper said...

Loved the surprise and power of this one!

Glenda C. Beall said...

As one who wants to save the earth, I've always loved this poem. Beautiful.