Tuesday, October 28, 2008

LIVES IN ONE LIFETIME by Nancy Simpson

Sometimes you get what your asked for,
to be left alone.  All day
not once the sound of a motor,
one sailboat only with a yellow flag waving.

From this shore I see where sky begins,
blue between oaks on top of the ridge.
Across Chatuge, the lake made by man,
a whole mountain rises out of the water.

I have no boat and no way to cross over
this flooded valley except to walk.
Where the road was, my feet can touch asphalt
if I let myself sink.
                          Here the house stood.

There is the roof of the barn, buried forty years.
Yes, I am sinking in doubt.
Rubble from lives in one lifetime passes before me.
This is the end, the new start,

rock I remember, and clay soft beneath my feet.
An old logging road leads me up the mountain
where trees stand apart,
where sky begins.


Previously published in The Georgia Review

Included in the poetry collection Night Student

Recently reprinted in Southern Appalachian Poetry
a textbook edited by Marita Garin, McFarland Press


7 comments:

Lynn said...

Mom ... I LOVE this! I can see it all so clearly in my mind and if I close my eyes I can smell a hundred years of rotting leaves beneath my feet and then I'm home! -Lynn

Nancy Simpson said...

Lynn, Dear One,

"Ancient mountain,
Ancient mountain,
You who have waited so long,
You who have waited so long,
For your daughter to come home,
Your daughter has come home."

an ancient native chant

Glenda C. Beall said...

Beautiful poetry and photos, Nancy.
Glenda Beall

Tipper said...

Loved this poem!! Makes me think of all that is buried beneath the TVA Lakes.

Congrats on your new blog!! I will add you to my list on the Blind Pig!

Nancy Simpson said...

Thanks to Glenda and Tipper.
Look what you've gotten me into.

Nancy Simpson

Nancy Simpson said...

This evening, I received two encouraging comments from fellow poets living in and writing in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Both said they were unable to post a comment. I appreciate their comments.

Mary said:

Nancy, this is very good. I read your blog and I like it! Unfortunately, it was 'one of those days' at work, I am a zombie right now, so I did not figure out how to post anything on the blog itself. Your pictures are beautiful. Your message is valuable, hits at the heart of me. In short, YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!

Mary

and Carole Richard Thompson wrote :


Dear Nancy: When I got your email, I clicked on your blogspot highlighted in blue at the bottom. I enjoyed your poem so much, and the comments from others. I attempted to leave a comment, and went through the word identity thing and put in my name and my password, as usual. It refused my password, and no matter how many times I put it in, it kept refusing it, so, I'm giving up for now. What I wanted to say in my comment was:
"When Man changes the landscape, God sends poets like you to paint words of remembrance. Bless you."

Sorry I couldn't get it on your blog, but give me E for effort! Love, Carole

Sam Hoffer said...

Nancy, this is a beautiful and haunting poem. Makes me wish I was a poet. Maybe one day, if I ever finish my book, I'll take one of your classes. However, I know I could not write something as well as this.

Sam