Living Above the Frost Line is a dwelling place for practicing poets. It is the home of poet, Nancy Simpson. Above the Frost Line we give ourselves some extra growing time. Yes, we know the hard freeze will come, but until it arrives, we shall grow and share our poems.
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."
ON THE LAST DAY OF FEBRUARY - WE'RE STILL HONORING HELEN LOSSE AS POET OF THE MONTH
It's been a pleasure to share seven poems by North Carolina poet Helen Losse in this her birth month. Thanks to all who commented. As promised, I did save two of the best for last here on the last day of the month.
Negating Natural Erasers by Helen Losse
I walk the rocky road after midnight,
moon overhead, feel dew descend,
land on dusty weeds at the road’s
edge. The soft wind will strive to
negate my walk, blow my scent away.
I will write my name in dark sand
near the ocean, hum a tune that can’t be
heard over breakers. They will
wash away all evidence that I walked
here. Can I prove them wrong—
from now on—by writing love songs
(first published in Independent Tribune)
Point of Departure by Helen Losse
There’s an echo against the cliff
below the castle where the sand is
wet with tears, seaweed
a faded shade of brown. A tide-driven froth
coats my bare white feet.
Beachcombers in lingering shadows
rummage through fragments. The only light
is an orange moon.
The tide is green.
. . . Listen, listen.
All dreamers hear sounds, whispered by shells.
Some hear the Atlantic as she softly moans.
While the story travels, up, riding the flotsam
and sea foam, and slowly unfolds,
the trees near the ocean’s edge hint
at what happened.
Yes, they only hint.
But oh! Oh, at the point of departure,
how the spirits speak! Sounds like
horrible groans. Sounds.
Like the rattle of chains. Sounds.
Listen. Listen hard. For the voice of the echo
is joined to the cliff by salty tears:
The tears who married that dark, dark sand.
The bones of kings,
who last saw Ghana as they
sailed away, crossing the vast and silver water—
then probed by small, mean fish—
are preserved now by salt and have settled,
several fathoms deep on the ocean floor,
where the whole world is as black as it was
in the hold of the slaver’s ship.
first published in Independence Boulevard and later in my book in Better With Friends (Rank Stranger Press, 2009) available from the author or Amazon.com
If you want to read more, remember Helen Losse's new poetry collection is forcoming from Main Street Rag. Also, if you want to buy a copy of Better With Friends, click below.
Helen Losse is a Winston-Salem poet, author of four collections of poems, including Seriously Dangerous (Main Street Rag, 2011) and Better With Friends (Rank Stranger Press, 2009) and the Poetry Editor for the online literary magazine The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. Her recent poetry publications and acceptances include The Wild Goose Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, Iodine Poetry Review, Blue Fifth Review, The Pedestal Magazine, ken*again, and Literary Trails of the North Carolina Piedmont. Her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and twice for a Best of the Net award, one of which was a finalist. Helen blogs at Windows Toward the World. http://helenl.wordpress.com/