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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."

Friday, November 26, 2010


Rosemary Royston is the POET OF THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER here Above the Frost Line.  She  lives in the north Georgia Mountains.  Her poem-- Igneous or "Of Fire" won the 2010 Literal Latte Food Verse Contest. Rosemary Royston holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University, has taught creative writing at Institute of Continuing Learning, at the Writers Circle and will teach Writing in 2011 at Young Harris College and John C. Campbell Folk School.
Strange Garden
The devil manifests himself
through a bright red, fiery itch that spreads
from my palms to my feet.
I rip off my cashmere socks and scratch,
sowing row after row of raised skin.
My son hovers.  His mouth moves
but I cannot hear his questions due
to the buzzing deep inside my ears.
Bees are pollinating my brain, I think
and I resist the absurd urge
to slap my son’s soft cheeks
for no reason other than he cannot understand
the unrelenting itch, the shock
of the sudden bloat and sag of my face.
My stiff chin and wooden tongue prohibit
me from speaking.
What strange garden is this?
I fill the bathtub with warm water
rake the loofah over my itchy flesh,
and watch as red blisters appear on my thighs. 
When I swallow, my throat is tight
as if a chicken bone is stuck deep within.
It is then that I realize it was not the apple,
but the strawberry,
that brought the world down.
By Rosemary Royston

The Possibility of Snow
Ms. Callie is like a perfumed sparrow,
tiny and fragile in dress slacks,
the seam straight and pressed,
her sweater a matching shade of green.
When I hug her hello I’m afraid she will topple
under the weight of my slender arms.
At 80 her hair is coiffed and teased
and she’s just short of five feet,
only a head taller than my son, Luke.
We are visiting Angie, her daughter, (my friend)
and after talking and laughing over Oolong tea
we realize that my 7-year old has vanished—
he’s not in the guest room with the TV,
nor is he chasing the many cats around the house.
His drawing pad lies abandoned on the floor.
In the distance we hear a soft song of sorts
and are drawn to it, only to find him
on Ms. Callie’s bed, stretched out,
his head propped against the footboard,
conversing with her on the possibility of snow.
by Rosemary Royston
Previously published in 
Echoes Across the Blue Ridge


theaikenite said...

Love these poems. Especially the second one. I was very anxious in the first one and wnated desperately to call 911. lol

Joan Ellen Gage said...

Oh, I know about the strawberry allergy; but, mine is very minor one.

I enjoyed the poem about the possibility of snow.