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."
THREE POEMS BY SUSAN LAUGHTER MEYERS - POET OF THE MONTH OF MAY
Hello to You Lovers of Poetry. This is the fourth post in celebration of the poems of Susan Laughter Meyers who was named POET OF THE MONTH OF MAY 2011. Here are three more of her poems.
I am certain you will enjoy these as well as her other poems reprinted on this site during May, in this her birth month.
Your encouraging words for poetry and your comments for Susan Laughter Myers about her poems are welcome. --Nancy Simpson
Susan writes: "This is a love poem for my husband Blue, who grew up on a farm and every year plants a vegetable garden big enough for the whole neighborhood."
He winds down the gravel drive,
pushing a load of mulch,
a smaller and smaller blue shirt
threading through the pines.
I can barely see him, yet my eye
tends toward him like a stem to sun—
a study of straw hat and suspenders,
his spotted dog nosing behind. Now
he’s a tiny figure in his garden.
Beyond the sweet gums south of the beans
he dumps the mulch and rakes it level.
I know the work he does. What I see
is a man bent over a handle, rocking
in rhythm, drawing it to his chest
as if saying goodbye to it one more time,
then casting it at arm’s length
so he can say it over and over,
until it needs no more saying.
He pulls the wheelbarrow back up the drive.
A yellow butterfly flits about his shoulders.
He keeps his head low
and passes close, his eyes cast down
as if daily work were prayer,
dirt stains on the belly of his shirt.
Winner of the Sumter County, SC, Literary Prize. First published in Tar River Poetry; rptd. in Keep and Give Away (University of South Carolina Press, 2006).
The Day after Visiting Grace, 94
The deer near the edge of the woods
look in the window. They seem to know me.
Three of them have stopped
summer’s clock. The tiger swallowtails
on the buddleia open their wings to purple.
The ones on the privet lie still as blossoms.
Crows have gathered on the ground,
a small and shifting jury of discontent.
The buddleia are pale, past their peak.
Does the air, humid and gray,
move in closer? The largest crow
is insistent about it, in a yard full of green
on the verge of turning yellow.
Grace, what I wish for you today,
another Better Boy tomato, fresh
from the small garden of someone you know,
peeled and cut into chunks, placed in a bowl
for you, bibbed, in your wheelchair.
May you take your fork,
with your good arm, to eat each wedge
of pulp, then lift the bowl,
as you said you’d do, to drink
the settlement of seeds, letting a few
run down your chin, on your tongue
the last drops of juice, a quenching.
First published in North Carolina Literary Review.
A poem written during a trip to Florida, where you might see a parakeet somewhere other than inside a cage.
Dear Black-Hooded Parakeets
at the Intersection
The dark-&-slightest-green of you
mimics pigeons on the wire.
Against the light I can’t tell
and habit’s got the best of me
until I look again and see, I swear,
not pigeons but a sudden flutter
of pistachios, limes, tourmaline
bandits caped and quilled—
bright, then brighter, filling the sky.
I’m arrival and departure.
Foolish doubletake, cautionless
and agog. You are morning, its jig
of surprise, hello-goodbye,
hallelujah free and featherborne.
First published in Subtropics.
Her book Keep and Give Away was published by the University of South Carolina Press in 2006 after being selected by Terrance Hayes for the inaugural South Carolina Poetry Book Prize, sponsored by the press and the SC Poetry Initiative. Keep and Give Away also won the 2007 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Book Award for Poetry and the Brockman-Campbell Book Award. Her chapbook Lessons in Leaving received the 1998 Persephone Press Book Award, judged by Brendan Galvin. Her poetry has also been published in The Southern Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Crazyhorse,jubilat, Subtropics, and other journals,as well as online at Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. For the past three years her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Keep and Give Away can be ordered through these sources: