HomePosts Tagged "poetry" (Page 29)

by Kevin Heaton Grandpa was born in 1896, and could play just about anything with strings attached. What pulled most at his heart, was an old fiddle that he kept on top of a china cabinet in the corner near his rocking chair; where he fell asleep every night listening to Georgia Bulldog games on a Philco dial radio He worked part-time for the highway department setting out kerosene warning flares that looked like bowling balls without holes. During the 20’s, and throughout Depression Era days, he set great store in playing that fiddle at barn raisings, and harvest dances; where neighbors could find brief, and welcome respite from hardship, in simple food and fellowship. Civil War ditties frequented the menu; passed down to him by the same fingers that first plucked his fiddle. When his lame shoulder wasn’t throbbing, and I asked him just right; he’d take her down off the china cabinet, rosin up the bow, and with a work boot conducting: take us down dusty, forgotten pikes lined with blue, and gray soldiers; singing, marking cadence on the road to awakening: Ride a Scotch horse to Danbury cross, see an old woman upon a white horse. Rings on her fingers, and bells on her toes— she shall have music wherever she goes, and goes

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by Jesse Peters I feel cold today. I want to drive across the South with you again, the sun baking us in our old black Chevy, listening to that Hank Williams cassette we wore out. The warped, dragging sound funny at first, but eventually gone, leaving only a blank tape with the label rubbed off. The cotton is blooming around Oxford and the peach trees glowing pink. We can eat boiled crawfish in New Orleans, sucking the heads like Cajuns and tourists do. We can drink bourbon on the levee, listening to Big Daddy Kinsey’s blues coming from the club below. Or let's park on the beach in Pensacola and sleep in the back of the Chevy, sweating as the waves beat us to sleep. Let's eat a breakfast of dry cereal and Coke on the banks of the Chattooga, watching the sun rise from behind the steaming Carolina mountains. But not today I wonder how you spend your time, if you still like Hank, if you still have that green flannel shirt. I feel cold today— The old black Chevy is up on blocks, and I know my sun is in someone else's sky. Jesse Peters is a professor of English at University of North Carolina at Pembroke and grew up on a farm in rural, Southern Georgia. His work has appeared in The Lullwater Review, Zone 3, The Denver Quarterly and Pembroke Magazine. About his subjects, Peters says: "I think those of us who rise up

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Maria Martin on John James Audubon in honor of Maria Martin, 1796-1863 by Fred Bassett If you know the gentleman well, you know he beguiled a few days here in Charleston with the Reverend BachmanC this commodious house already chocked to the cracks with children, wife, and me. Oh, that Mr. Audubon had the run of the place. And joyful fire to set a woman'ss heart ablaze, not that you would ever imagine such from the visage I see in the mirror. Most days, the two men were afield, searching for some good feathers to skin and re-stuff for the painter's eye. I lived my days in the background, so I was happy to paint that for him. Beyond Charleston, I doubt anyone has ever heard my name. Even here, few know my hands painted the franklinia in his rendering of Bachman's warbler. You wouldn't know this either, but I painted the rare pair, first and just for him, after he had gone back North without ever laying eyes on them. In truth, I am the background, waiting for him to perch the prize in my branches, male above the female, just as I knew he would. This poem was inspired by the author's thoughts on John James Audubon's stay with the Rev. Bachman of Charleston, South Carolina, where the naturalist met the Rev.'s sister-in-law, Maria Martin, in the 1830s. A watercolor

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by Lydia Ondrusek As we pass the hand-painted sign offering Cajun delicacies round-the-clock God- wry photographer- shines clear shadowless light on a weedy cathedral, just 14 miles outside Opelousas, Louisiana. Look- a stand of green Marys support their broken sons, near offerings of car trash left by the faithless on a muddy grass altar. The standing trees, patient, still cradle their fallen, still hope for resurrection, 14 miles outside Opelousas as the heron flies. Lydia Ondrusek lives in Richardson, Texas, and often writes about Southern experiences and locations. She has had fiction and poetry published online and in print since 2008 in a diverse range of publications that include Flash Fiction Online and Falling Star Magazine. Her upcoming work will appear in GUD and Apex.

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by Gina C. Simon Stir, stir, stir. Wipe away tears as smoke fills my eyes, my face, the whole room. Do not stop stirring. Stir, stir, stir. Jump back swiftly from popping grease threatening severe burns. Do not stop stirring. Stir, stir, stir. Breathe a short sigh as the mixture finally changes colors. Do not stop stirring. Stir, stir, stir. Turn the fire off. Darkening still. Slowly, slowly it cools. At last, stop stirring. So why do we bother with this primitive skill, that began in ancient times, maybe further back still? When it comes to a Cajun’s perfect gumbo or stew, the only way to start is with a homemade roux. Gina C. Simon is a writer/songwriter who grew up in the Acadiana region of Louisiana and recently relocated to Mississippi.

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by Vanessa K. Eccles In the night of the South, There is a song that is played. That is made with wings, not with mouth, And with passing hours doesn’t fade. Every day at dark, Their music begins to play. It’s the night’s lovely mark, That reminds me of home when I’m away. A never-ending song of summer From these tiny creatures of God. They sing a beautiful little number, While they’re nestled in the sod. Often times I love to sit, And listen to the nature’s track. In a world that somehow I fit, Although, often I lack. In this world of God’s own hand, He left us a piece of Heaven above. Nature’s own perfect band, That reminds us of His love. When peace escapes you And city life becomes long, Return home to the place you knew, And listen for the cricket’s song. Vanessa K. Eccles is currently an English major at Troy University in Dothan, Alabama, as well as a former intern at Deep South. She completed her first novel last year and is working on her second.

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The Killer by Gary Bloom The last time I saw him he Was at the Jazz Fest in New Orleans A hot spring day at the Fair Grounds A black piano in a muddy field With Jerry Lee Lewis pounding the keys Like his life depended on it. A bottle of beer was up there On the piano, like a candelabra Between songs he would Take a swig or two Do a little dance And get back to work, The beer a metaphor For hard living and wild women, The piano on its last legs Getting pounded to death. Missed Exit by Gary Bloom After twenty years of driving The same road to the same job I wonder what it would be like To keep going on I10 West, all the way to California. What would it have been like To have lived out there, say San Diego. Would I have Married a Mexican girl? Would I have kids? What would it have Been like if just Once I missed exit 53 And kept going on I10 Through New Orleans, through The Texas hill country And the Arizona desert All the way to the blue Pacific. What would that have been like? Airmen At The Mall by Gary Bloom They walk in pairs One wingman, the other Leading the way. They are fresh out of Keesler And look to be about twelve. In their bus driver blue uniforms They could be headed For the Catholic high school. But here

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by Martha Lyons It’s a Sunday afternoon And I’m watching To Kill a Mockingbird again. I’ve read the book and Seen the movie I don’t know how many times. It takes me home To a small southern town, Deep in summer. The air hot and humid, Heavy with the sweet scent of honeysuckle. Children can play outside In the mysterious summer night. Inside, the windows are open and Curtains sway gently, Blown by a lazy fan. Summer sadness Is not lost on a child, who dreams Of popsicles and bike rides, And playing marbles in the dust Under an old maple tree. Martha Lyons was born and raised in Winnsboro, Louisiana, and received her BA in English from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She was halfway through a master’s degree in literature when her husband (now ex) took her away to Orange County, California. She took up writing again through classes at a junior college there and "was lucky enough to have Michelle Mitchell-Foust as my professor, and she gave me the courage to write," says Martha. Poems like this one and "Southern Funeral," also published in our "Poetry" section, help her stay in touch with her Southern roots and feel closer to home. 

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by Ross Cavins A typical Summer Sunday in my childhood … Seventy degrees and sunny, a puffy white cloud here and there. Afternoon softball games with relatives in the oversized front yard. Children and grown-ups play without perspiring, The aroma of honeysuckles strong and sweet in the warm air. Fun is everywhere; The newly cut thick green carpet of centipede grass spongy beneath our feet, The freshly oiled leather gloves soft in our hands, The crack of the bat and a friendly scream to run, A bright laughter dancing in everyone's eyes, Sweet tea with ice cubes and tart lemon wedges sweating in old jelly jar glasses. Afterwards, the charcoal is doused with lighter fluid from a squeezy metal can, Salad is tossed with store-bought iceberg lettuce, garden-grown juicy tomatoes, Julienne carrot strips, hot-tasting radishes, slivers of green and red bell peppers, Slices of vine-ripened cucumbers. Hamburger patties are lumpy, hand-made with Worcestershire sauce and ketchup and Onion soup mix and minced garlic. Placed on the grill when it's hot enough to sizzle, Grease-fed orange flames engulfing them with hisses of smoky flavor. The ice cream maker is plugged in and filled with milk and sugar and Vanilla extract and mashed bananas, surrounded by rock salt and ice and Running like a sputtering outboard motor. Buns are toasted with pats of real butter

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by Martha Lyons The sweat trickles between my shoulder blades and down my back. It is hot as hell in this room. Papa died two days ago. We are all waiting in a small white clapboard church In a small north Louisiana town To say our final goodbyes. The air is almost visible with humidity. There is a sound – the whoosh of paper fans. I catch a whiff of Shalimar. Finally the speaking is over and it is time for the last viewing. I leave through the front door. I do not want to see. The empty grave is waiting for its owner. Martha Lyons was born and raised in Winnsboro, Louisiana, and received her BA in English from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She was halfway through a master’s degree in literature when her husband (now ex) took her away to Orange County, California. She took up writing again through classes at a junior college there and "was lucky enough to have Michelle Mitchell-Foust as my professor, and she gave me the courage to write," says Martha. Poems like this one and another, titled "Mockingbird Summer," which we'll run later in the season, help her stay in touch with her Southern roots and feel closer to home. 

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