Wednesday, April 22, 2009

UNDER THE EARTH by JANICE TOWNLEY MOORE, POET OF THE MONTH OF APRIL 2009





UNDER THE EARTH

Where the road slices
through Needle Gorge
animals of stone
root out of the cliff.

Their snouts, heads, shoulders
bulge from red clay
as if to catch the scent of
ancient water.

Eons piled upon eons
this is the only place
where the mountain lion
will lie with the lamb.

Stacked together,
the buffalo, wild boar,
oxen, the goat
with its grassy beard--

Did they all stop
before they reached
the saving water of the river,
caught in their final breath?

--Janice Townley Moore

Previously published in Southern Humanities Review
and included in TEACHING THE ROBINS



Note from Nancy Simpson:

I sometimes feel I know Janice T. Moore's poetry as well as I know my own. We have kept in contact about our writing down through the years. We touch base on the phone. She would sometimes ask, "Have you heard from the editors yet?" I'd say, "I got a rejection from X." She ask, "Anything in the human hand?" We consider it encouragement if an editor writes any kind word on the skimpy Post It size rejection, such as "send again" or even the word, "Sorry."


On the phone one time, I asked Janice where she keeps the poems when she is working on them. That was a long time ago and the place may have changed, but her answer was, "In the kitchen in my cookbook. I always have and still do keep my new and in process poems on a clip board and the clip board goes everywhere with me.

"What are you working on." I asked one day. She said, "Do you know the old road between Hayesville and the Folk School?
I'm working on a poem titled "What Lies Under the Earth." I have some images of huge animals. They're coming out of the bank, heading toward Brasstown Creek. "

"Yes, I've seen them."

She finished the poem, submitted it to Southern Humanities Review and it was quickly selected for publication. Later
UNDER THE EARTH was reprinted an LIGHTS IN THE MOUNTAINS Stories, Essays and Poems by Writers Living in or Inspired by the Southern Appalachian Mountains (2003) and in Teaching the Robins, Finishing line Press 2005.)

1 comment:

Glenda said...

Janice is a dear friend and she published,in the Georgia Journal, one of my poems before I ever met her. So I always knew she was a good editor.(smile)
The poem about the animals in the rocks is one of my favorites and I like her wondering if the animals failed to make it to the water just a short way from them. A nice image.,