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, October 31, 2009

Two Poems by Glenda Council Beall, Poet of the Month for October 2009

It has been a pleasure to celebrate the poems of Glend Council Beall this month on this site -

The big news is that her poetry chapbook NOW MUGHT AS WELL BE THEN has been published. If you have ordered a copy, it will arrive this week.

The sensuous words of Glenda Beall’s poems carry the reader into unforgettable landscapes: the richly textured scenes of the rural south and those of the human spirit with its joys, challenges, and yes, its music.

Janice Townley Moore, author of Teaching the Robins, and winner of the Press 53 Poetry Award for 2009


Ballet in the Piney Woods

Little girl sunsuits littered the wiregrass.

Summer warmed small bronze bodies

that danced on the stage of a fallen oak,

to songbirds’ music from the mayhaw.

They felt, at five, the kiss of butterflies

upon their eyes, breathed honeysuckle air.

Like sylphs set free they twirled, arms open,

gathering the breeze against their bareness.

Chastised for their boldness by older girls

who barged into their glade,

the innocents saw themselves

and were ashamed.

Lift Your Glass

From the vineyard,

she burst forth

with a hint of blush,

a touch of dew

upon her cheek.

Battered by winds, rain and time,

rooted deep, she toughens

to a satiny sheen.

Finally, crushed by adversity

she emerges, life's

finest nectar.

Drink a toast to woman.

Previously published in Red Owl Magazine, 1999)

Here is more Glenda Counci Beall pubishing information.


"Big Sur" - Storyteller magazine 1996

"Snow Dreams" - Georgia Journal, 1998
"Mountain Seagull" - Journal of Kentucky Studies - 1998
"Inundated" - Journal of Kentucky Studies - 1998
"My Father's Horse" - Main Street Rag, 2001
"The Peach Tree" - Appalachian Heritage Summer Issue 2002
"Tomato Man" - Lights in the Mountains
"Scene from Yellowstone's Valiant Wild" - Kakalak, 2009
November Trees - Living with Loss, Winter issue, 2009
Womanhood"- Red Owl Magazine - 1999 (file titled Life Your Glass)
"Drought" - Lucidity, 1999
"Open Window" - Writer's Cramp 1997

"A Photograph of My Brothers and Me" - Journal of Kentucky Studies 2004
"Ballet in the Piney Woods" - Freckles to Wrinkles, Silver Boomer Books anthology
Essays published in:
"Forks in the Road" Anthology by Riemann publishing
"Mother's Reunion" - Reunion Magazine
"An Angel Named Amos" - Cup of Comfort for Horse Lovers

"Confrontation", short story published in Muscadine Lines; A Southern Journal

Glenda Council Beall had a poem accepted for Living With Loss Magazine. "November Trees" will come out in the Winter Issue for 2009.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Poet Nancy Simpson Celebrates the First Anniversary of This Site LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE

One year ago, I attended a Saturday How to Blog Workshop sponsored by NC Wrirters Network West. The next day, on Sunday, October 26th, 2008, I made my first post with pictures. I made up my mind early at the workshop that my site would focus on southern and Appalachian writers, that I would aim to celebrate the work of one poet each month and would add good poems when I could get them even if there was already a featured poet. A few times, I resorted to reprinting a few of my own poems, but that is not my goal.

For sure, when the poems are posted, that is when the visitors swarm in from around the world. I check my sitemeter, and although I do not know who my readers are, I know where they are coming from. I know the page they entered on so can make a good guess it is poetry they want. It is exciting to know there are folks in the world who love to read poetry and search for it. Thousands have searched for poems by Physician Poet John Stone, poems by former Georgia Poet Laureate Bettie M. Sellers, poems by Appalachian Poet Ruth Faulkner Grubbs, and others. A young Mississippi poet named Particia Neely Dorsey became a follower, and I featured her poems. This month, the featured poet is Glenda Council Beall, author of the newly published poetry collection NOW MIGHT AS WELL BE THEN. Lots of readers come looking. On one day alone, twelve people searched and found poet Clarence Lee Newton and his poems on my site. People also come looking for colored leaves changing across the Blue Ridge and for flowers growing on the northside of an appalacian mountain. It seems they come looking for anything Appalachian.

If you are a practicing poet or if you are interested in poetry, visit often and leave a comment.

Original welcome: Celebrating One Year Above the Frost Line.

Welcome to my new blog. Living Above the Frost Line is a dwelling place for practicing free verse poets. Above the frost line, we give ourselves some extra growing time. I am still here, still practicing poetry, still studying, publishing, still teaching and still learning how to live. Yes, I know, the hard freeze will come, but until it arrives, I shall grow and share my poems.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Nantahala National Forest in the Western North Carolina Mountains

At Winding Stair Gap Overlook - from Hayesvile, NC to Franklin, NC

Mystery Woman, seen at the edge of the forest. And when we looked again, she was gone.

(Okay. I will tell what I know. This woman is the daughter of old-time music fame Leon J. Cofer, who recorded with his brother Paul Cofer and The Georgia Crackers. People are still writing about her father today and The Georgia Crackers music is still being sold on the web.

The woman, I wonder what she is thinking as she looks across the Blue Ridge at the bright colored leaves. Her father, Leon J. Cofer was blind. He never saw her beautiful face.)

Tim, on top of the world at overlook above Shooting Creek Valley.

Approaching Hayesville, NC with mountains of home in the distance.

At Fires Creek in the Nantahala National Forest.

LEATHERWOOD FALLS located at Fires Creek in Nantahala National Forest
More Info on Leatherwood Falls:

Located within Nantahala National Forest, the 25' high Leatherwood Falls is also known as Fire's Creek Falls is somewhat visible from the Fire's Creek Picnic Area. a closer view may be obtained by crossing the creek. The creek is normally not very deep, but almost always cold and the rocks can be tricky. Travel to the top of the falls is possible via Leatherwood Loop Trail.

Picnic area at Fires Creek in the Nantahala National Forest

Leaf Color at Peak in Western North Carolina Mountains

Lines from poem" Living on the Mountain"
by Nancy Simpson

...Whether they bow or stand tall,
they do so with a dignity
that can't be bought.
These woods belong to me,
every maple and oak
How may women do you know
who own a forest?
From my deck, I smell trees
and I am filled with wealth. ...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Do You Want to Order Glenda Beall's New Book? I have ordered my copy, and I expect it my mailbox any day now.

Finishing Line Press is now taking orders for Glenda Council Beall's poetry chapbook,
NOW MIGHT AS WELL BE THEN dedicated to her husband of 45 years,Barry.

Go online to www.finishinglinepress.com

Order your pre-sale book for only $1 shipping cost.

You can also order the book directly from the author Glenda Council Beall:
Contact her at writerlady21@yahoo.com

N.C. Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer says of this book:

"Like William Wordsworth, Glenda Beall was raised knowing well the "yoke of earth,"how the fields, pastures and woodlands yield both beauty and terror. Her evocationsof being a daughter in the deep South, growing up on a farm, riding her mare, witnessing death and tragedy, as well as joy and fruitfulness, ring absolutely true. She gives us love poems from a mature woman's perspective,too, and poems that celebrate the vistas and culture of the mountains where she now lives. Every poem pulses with detail that brings life back to us in all its varied detail and music. The "yoke of earth" is also the poet's yoke, and she bears it gladly."

Nancy Simpson, poet, editor, teacher says:

In this poetry collection, Now Might as Well Be Then, "Contentment finds Glenda Beall moving from present to past, from past to present, easily as stepping room to room in a house. With brilliance she uses simultaneity to blend memory with the strong desire for life now."


Violent Scene from Yellowstone’s Valiant Wild

A young male strode down the mountainside,

crossed the road, strutted into shallow waters

of the Gallatin river. He stalked the old bull elk

on the other side.

Grazing alone in burned out woods, the herd master

ignored the gauntlet for a while, then like a rattler

striking, charged from the bank. The clash of antlers

cracked like breaking pines in an ice storm, rolling sound

upstream and down. Silently I cheered the scarred-back leader.

On land once more, the battle halted

while both tried to maneuver bony-branched horns

between the lodge poles. A minute’s rest

then back into the current.

Strong hind quarters, taunt neck muscles, bunched

like iron cables, pushed, retreated, up and down

the icy stream. The match wore on for more

than twenty minutes.

Heads low, antlers commingled like old bones

collected in a basket, until the young stud forced

his aging foe beneath the water’s surface, held him there.

The veteran of a life of valiant clashes

broke free at last, crashed and splashed

downstream bleating like a lamb who's lost his mother.

Posing for cameras on the roadside,

the victor, centered in the roaring river,

raised his head and shook his massive rack,

bugled his triumphant call to his new harem.

Mountain Seagull

Mountains stretch like layers,

Payne's Grey parchment,

growing fainter

as they reach toward

pale cerulean sky.

The Bald pokes its head

up through a cottony mist.

Lake Chatuge wraps the mountains,

lapping love, cool in coves

tucked tightly between peaks.

Sailboats, triangles, red and yellow

wrapping paper, swiftly blow

before the wind that rustles

maples, locust trees

where songbirds rest.

My spirit soars above the scene

a seagull far from home,

But yearning to embrace

and build a nest.

Two Poems by Glenda Council Beall

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Weather Forecast Tonight Above the Frost Line

According to the weather forcast for tonight, they are saying thirty degrees. What about the flowers? Okay. If it is a frost, they're safe.
If it is a hard freeze, it's over.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bright Colored Leaves and Flowers in Full Bloom Here Above the Frost Line

It is that oxymoron moment in time when bright colored leaves and flowers with full blossoms share the grounds of Cherry Mountain. Frost threatens and some flowers in the valley have bent low. But not here above the frost line. We do get an extension. Yes, I know, the hard freeze shall come, but until every every leaf has fallen and until every flower melts, it's that oxymoron time of year that defines the spirit in which we live here above the frost line.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Glenda Council Beall is Poet of the Month for October 2009

In this her birth month, Living Above the Frost Line celebrates Glenda Council Beall as Poet of the Month of October.

Raised on a farm in southwest Georgia in the late forties and fifties with four brothers and two sisters, Glenda finds memories from childhood come to surface in her writing. She also writes about her husband, Barry, and their forty-five years together.

Glenda graduated from the University of Georgia with a teaching degree. She taught in both private and public school elementary grades. Now retired, she enjoys teaching senior adults who are eager to write their memoirs, family stories, and personal experiences. Glenda says she has taken numerous classes from the excellent instructors at John C. Campbell Fplk School , attended workshops and conferences and has learned the ends and outs of writing and publishing. She will offer two classes at J.C.C.F.S. in 2010.

Her poems have been published in Journal of Kentuky Studies,Georgia Journal, Appalachian Heritage, Main Street Rag and a number of other literary magazines.

Her chapbook, NOW MIGHT AS WELL BE THEN is scheduled for release in October 2009 at Finishing Line Press.

Three Poems by Glenda Council Beall

In The Dark

I lie here in bed, my cheek against your shoulder,

remembering a night, long ago, on your boat.

I was afraid. I felt too much, too fast.

But you were tender, and love crept over us

like silver fog, silent on the lake.

We were never again the same.

We stepped like children through that door that led

to long passages unknown, holding hands, wide-eyed, but brave.

Here I am years later, listening to your soft breath

and feeling your warm smooth skin.

In the dark, now might as well be then.

You Never Meet a Stranger

---for Barry

I watch you and I'm jealous. You talk

to people on the elevator, at the airport

standing in line, at the grocery store

in front of the cucumbers.

You are never lost for words, while I

stand stiff, my eyes averted from

the woman's waiting at the post office

window. I can't think of anything to say.

I fear the person will resent intrusion.

But you — you smile and

burst right in. The stranger's eyes

light up and suddenly she has

become your friend.

The Drive Home

I sit in the driver's seat

watching the ribbon of highway

unfold around each curve.

In the distance grey mountains

loom in misty mounds.

I fiddle with the radio.

Stop when I hear Mozart.

The steering wheel is hard

against my ungloved hands.

No more latex and plastic.

No mask to hide the musty

smell of my old car.

I shed all that inside

your hospital room, and left

without saying goodby,

afraid you'd see finality

in my eyes.

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Car in the Family - Jeremy with Toyota Prius Hybrid

Yes, if you are wondering, this is my son Jeremy Quoc Phong Brantley, the subject of a number of my poems: He who is a connoiseur of mountains: He who adores Sybille: He who helps others each day of his life, home for the weekend to help his mom, also home to introduce the family to his new car. The old Nissan Pathfinder that he drove for 16 years was declared a KLUNKER.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Announcing a poetic collaboration between Kathryn Stripling Byer and Penelope Scambley Schott.

Aretha's Hat

Inauguration Day 2009

Kathryn Stripling Byer

P.O. Box 489, Cullowhee,

NC 28723.

Cost is $10.00, $ 2.00


Recent Books by Netwest Writers and Poets

Children of Sherlock Holmes by Ben Eller

Heading Home by John Malone

I Hear the River Call My Name by Mary Ricketson

Missy's Gift by Jerry Hobbs

My Friends, My Dogs, by Shirley Uphouse

Red Clay, Blood River by William Everett

Sacred Fire by Brenda Kay Ledford

Teaching the Robins by Janice Townley Moore

The Christmas Curmudgeon by James Cox

The Day of the Knights by Jack Joseph Prather

When the Sap Rises by Glenda Barrett

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Ed Southern, Executive of NC Writers Network West was the
special guest reader.

On September 13, 2009, a number of writers gathered on Lake Chatuge near Hayesville, NC in the Southern Appalachian Mountains for the NCWN West 18th Annual Picnic. Each year there is a table of books by members for sale, and this year there seemed to be more books new books than ever. The invited guest reader at the picnic was Ed Southern of Winston Salem. He read from his new book Parlous Angels. Some 24 other writers read short samples of their work.

Murder in the Okefenokee
Double Eagle Entrprises 735 Liberty Circle
Murphy, NC 28906
a novel by William V. Reynolds

Parlous Angels at
Press 53
Winston Salem,NC

Teaching the Robins by Janice Townley Moore is a special edition at Finishing Line Press. Recommended to serious
students of poetry.

Sacred Fire by Brenda Kay Ledford, When the Sap Rises by Glenda Barrett, and I Hear the River Call My Name by Mary Ricketson are recommended as
new voices from the Southern Appalachian Mountains. They can be purchased on Amazon.com or at Finishing Line Press.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Harvest Moon October 3-4, 2009

Oct 3-4, 2009 Harvest Moon. Image courtesy of NASA.

It's Harvest Moon time
with the full moon occuring early on Sunday, October 4, 2009. The moons were named for us by Native Americans long ago. They depended on the full moon to light the way in their gathering of ripening crops. For some, the Harvest Moon is party time because work in the fields is done. Your next chance to see the Harvest Moon will be October 2017.

If you miss it tonight, check the setting moon Sunday morning
before sun up.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Hello Note to Ruth Grubbs

(Here is a note sent to Ruth Grubbs, who wrote a poem about this tree earlier this year in April 2009, while taking a writing class at John C. Campbell Folk School.)

Waiting for Rebirth

Never turns branches loose

this scraggly old tree in the side yard.

Hovering like a Brillo pad

unabashed over the driveway

she has all the arms of her birth

and all the twigs sprung from these.

She has bird nests of seasons past

hidden well in the scrub.

She’s naked now, but promises new growth

and more twigs to her full figure,

blushing green leaves to flush out her beauty.

by Ruth Faulkner Grubbs

Written in class at John C. Campbell Folk School

April 2009, accepted and forthcoming in Poetry Guild Anthology

Look Now. She's a Buckeye Tree.

Students in my last writing class took home a lucky buckeye in their pockets.

Fall Festival at John C. Campbell Folk School this Weekend. Don't Miss it!

Head for the Folk School in Brasstown, NC. O C T O B E R 3rd AND 4th.

My Life in Brasstown, An Appalachian Memoir, the much-anticipated sequel to My Journey to Appalachia, written by Eleanor Lambert Wilson, will be released this weekend! Ellie will be available to sign the book in the Craft Shop during Fall Festival, on Saturday, October 3 from 11 am to 2 pm.

In My Journey to Appalachia, Ellie tells the story of her year working at the Folk School after she graduated from Vassar College in 1941. My Life in Brasstown: An Appalachian Memoir, reveals the story of the next 40 years - after Ellie and Monroe Wilson were married and began to raise a family in Brasstown.

While you're here for Fall Festival, come in and meet Mrs. Wilson and pick up a copy of her latest book!

Photo: Ellie Wilson at her Brasstown farm. Photo by Virginia Porter Reynolds.

Note: Author Eleanor Lambert Wilson will have excerpt from her memoir, My Journey to Appalachia included in the forthcoming anthology ECHOES ACROSS THE BLUE RIDGE:
Stories, Essays, and Poems by Writers Living in and Inspired by the Southern Appalachian Mountains, edited by Nancy Simpson, Winding Path Publishing.