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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 25, 2011

WISHING FOR SPRING Poet of the Month Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin TWO MORE POEMS

It's been a pleasure to welcome poet Jeannette
Cabanis-Brewin to visit us here above the 
frost line as Poet of the month of January in the
year 2011.  Thanks to all who visited. I especially
thank you who stayed long enough to leave a
comment.  --Nancy Simpson

Joe Kisses Jan in the Woods: Memorial Day 1967

Tulip poplar
dropping its innocent flowers to spin
on the current—
cantaloupe, mint and cream
cool and tender.

They’re spinning still
coiling remembrance around
their hearts of creamy pistil,
creamsicle petals

round as your mouth
pressed to my forehead
the kiss
opening me like a flower
rippling through flesh turned water

something blooming
from that splash of lips
on my untried brow
and the sap rising

 (This poem was written in 1994 and was 
the first of her poems to be published. It was
written in a poetry class taught by Newt Smith
at WCU who used the prompt - "first kiss".
Jeannette writes -- "It's kind of funny to me now
that it is just as much about the tulip poplar 
flowers  as it is about the boy. Guess I have 
always been focused more on trees than on people. 
Is that a bad thing? (LOL)"

"Joe Kisses Jan..." was her first published poem,
Nomad 1995, Western Carolina Univeristy.

Cross-Quarter Day
Something stirring, deep. Day
dawns a minute early, spilling
yellow light across the field, sparking
fires in the frost-crystals on fallow rows.
Next to a grizzled nanny, two new lives 
quiver on cold new legs, blink east: 
What’s this?
The seed stirs. The badger turns
in her dreams. All these women
to-ing and fro-ing between worlds,
Persephone, Brigid, Demeter, 
holding up candles, calling out 
to one another, it’s enough
 to wake the dead.
Crocus opens slow cobalt eyes. Shhhh
says the sap sleeping in the sarvis tree.
Not yet.

Cross Quarter Day from PATRIATE.

PATRIATE  (Chapbook) won the 2007 Chapbook Competiton
at Long Leaf Press.

Want a copy of Patriate? Buy it at City Lights Bookstore. Click below.



Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin said...

Thanks - again! - for posting these, Nancy. I just wanted to say a few words about the second poem, "Cross-Quarter Day." Although we all know about Feb. 2 and Punxatawney Phil, many folks do not realize that this date marks an important celestial event that has been celebrated by folks since our first understanding of astronomy ... the cross-quarter days are those that fall precisely between Solstice and Equinox, four times a year. We still celebrate them as Ground Hog Day, May Day, and Halloween ... and in the church calendar, August 1 is Lammastide, the wheat harvest festival (significantly, the festival of new bread and the church feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus fall in the same week - Aug. 1-6). But back to Feb. 2. Those of us who attend the Episcopal or Catholic churches will know this as Candlemas, the day the church candles are blessed for the year, but may not know that this custom comes from the Irish Gaelic goddess Brigid (later St. Bridgid) whose holy day this was. In ancient times, people paraded thru the fields at night with candles and torches, symbolically bringing the light of springtime back to the earth. Another name for Feb. 2 is Imbolc (also Gaelic) which refers to the time when lambs are born. When I wrote this poem, my neighbors at the Moody Farm were keeping sheep and sure enough, there would always be the first new lambs born during the few days surrounding Feb. 2. The "ground hog" we celebrate in the US and Canada was originally the badger common in Europe and the UK, which played a part in the early signs of spring.
Finally, I wrote this poem for my friend and sister-poet Susan Lefler, on her mother's birthday, Feb. 2, shortly after her mother passed away.
Hopefully the poem stands on its own without all this explanation! - but readers might find the backstory interesting.

Tipper said...

I really enjoyed the poems-and always great to learn about a new writer.

Joan Ellen Gage said...

I enjoyed these poems also. The first was very sensual; the second mysterious with its references to the coming spring.