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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."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dark Side, a poem by Nancy Simpson

Rain, Rain, go away I used to say when I was a child.  No one living in Southern Appalachia can say those words now after two summers of drought.  Deep in my heart, I am thankful for the rain falling on my plants, standing on my deck.  I now believe my perennials will return to a season of growing in the spring.  

But, I am normal.  January is hard enough on the soul.  Dark skies. Rain, Rain, Rain.  It gets you to thinking dark thoughts sometimes. Moods do not last.  Moods are ever changing.  We can be thankful for that.  If I had a poem to express my emotions today, I would choose "Dark Side."

I did not write "Dark Side" today nor even last night.  I wrote it so many years ago I can't say exactly.  I remember coming out of the Young Harris College Planetarium after a poetry program and planetarium show that presented poems about the night sky.  I was challenged to write one.  I was not depressed in the slightest and it was not raining.  It was a clear night. By the way, I was not an old woman.  That is why I would have to say, all these years later, you can never know what is going on in the head of a practicing poet.  I would guarantee you what is going on in the mind of the  poet  is almost never what you would think.  


Rain falls on my house
drumming up the old woman in me,
cave woman, afraid in the dark.
Rain makes a wall between earth and sky.
Not one star.  There is no moon
I say, blind in my belief,
but surely there are stars
and the moon is somewhere in the heavens,
stumbling, shoved along,
pushed over the edge maybe.

--Nancy Simpson, from  NIGHT STUDENT
published at State Street Press, 1985


Tipper said...

Nancy I liked the poem! I think you're right no one knows what goes on in the mind of a poet. The rain is much needed here-but I'll be glad for the sun to come back.

Vicki Lane said...

Lovely poem!

Judy said...

Whew, Nancy, such a powerful poem. I do understand why rain and gray days can make the dark side come out, also the lonely, nobody loves me side for me. Winter is the best time in Florida. I think you should leave the rain and come down for a bit. :)

Brenda Kay Ledford said...


I feel the same way with this rain. Great poem!
Brenda Kay Ledford

Brenda Kay Ledford said...


I really like this poem. I feel the same way about rainy days.
Brenda Kay Ledford

Anonymous said...

Nancy, I really like the way you ended this poem! And it seems Sasha is enjoying this rainy weather. (Nice dog). I seem to have less distractions writing on these kinds of days. I don't mind them at all. Glenda Barrett

Nancy Simpson said...

Thanks to all. I appreciate your comments.

Glenda Barrett, You are right. In spite of the dreary weather and the bitter cold of January, it is a time of year when I get more writing done.