Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mary Ricketson's Poem Wins First Place in the Joyce Kilmer Poetry Contest

Lost In the Roar of Big Santeetlah
I cross a wooden bridge.
A stand of dark red trillium
waits for my attention.
White violets and crested dwarf iris
sit quietly at trail’s edge.  Birdsong begins.
Butterflies dance. Jack in the Pulpit presides.
River birch, pine and poplar stand tall.
Rippling water stills my thoughts.
I can taste the wind.
Soon pink lady slipper will bloom,
then purple rhododendron.
I know every season at this forest.

I fell in love here long ago,
found comfort on this path,
met parts of me I did not know,
told secrets never spoken.
Trees made promises
then asked for mine.
I fill myself with peace and hope when I am here
then give it all away when I am gone.
written by Mary Ricketson 2011
The poetry contest is a celebration of  75th Anniversary of the dedication of Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest which is a living memorial to poet Joyce Kilmer, author of "Trees".  Kilmer was killed  during action during World War  while serving in France on July 30, 1918.
Mary Ricketson  Winning poem will  be displayed at the celebration July 30th and also will be displayed at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center throughout the month of July. 
Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center
121 School House Drive
Robbinsville, NC 28771
More about Poet Mary Ricketson
Mary Ricketson is a practicing poet, a mental health counselor, and a blueberry farmer living in Murphy, North Carolina.  Her poems have been published in Lights in the Mountains and in her chapbook I Hear the River Call My Name, published at Finishing Line Press (2007). Mary Ricketson  writes a column "Woman to Woman" for the Cherokee Scout. 
The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is a favorite place for this poet. She has walked and camped there on many occasions. Another of her poems showing a winter walk,  "At Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest" was published in ECHOES ACROSS THE BLUE RIDGE, Stories, Essays, and Poems by writers Living in and Inspired by the Southern Appalachian Mountains (2010)


Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Congratulations, Mary!!! The judging was anonymous, of course, but your poem was right away at the top ofmy list. Lovely. I'd like to feature it on my Mountain woman blog.

Glenda Beall said...

Congratulations, Mary. Wonderful poem. It shows your love for that place and your love of nature.