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


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Above the Frost Line--You Can Get Here From There

Welcome to Living Above The Frost Line

Hello, I'm Nancy Simpson, poet and writer.

I believe the mountains are my natural home on Earth.  I came to the wilderness of  western North Carolina with my husband and sons in 1960.  We bought the top of a mountain and began spending all of our free time here.  We built a rustic cabin, put our sons in school and lived here year round.  I earned a BS in Education from Western Carolina University and began teaching in the village school. It was one of the happiest seasons of my life.  

In time, my marriage ended and my sons left to make lives of their own.  Only I stayed.  My life ended.  To go on, I had to start over.  I did not know how to make a new life.   As it turned out, all I had to help me was this mountain.  Looking back, I see Cherry Mountain  made me who I am.  

Poetry came tumbling out.  I took every class and workshop within driving distance.  The Arts Journal published my first poem and The Georgia Review published my second one.  I became a practicing poet. My first collection, a chapbook titled Across Water was published at State Street Press.

Warren Wilson College, near Asheville,  offered a Master of Fine Arts Degree  in Writing.  I registered, was accepted and earned my MFA.  My full length collection, Night Student, was published at State Street Press.  I added teaching composition and creative writing part time at the community college in Murphy, NC to my schedule.  

Welcome to my new blog.  Living Above the Frost Line is a dwelling place for practicing free verse poets.  Above the frost line, we give ourselves some extra growing time.  I am still here, still practicing poetry,  still studying, publishing, still teaching and still learning how to live. Yes, I know, the hard freeze will come, but until it arrives, I shall grow and share my poems.  

Stay posted.