Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Thursday, July 3, 2008

We Hear the Leaves Call Our Names


Every noontime when the weather is good, my husband and I sit under our tree. When we moved to this house 33 years ago, the former owner had thrown a pile of old wood out by the side of the driveway. A few sprouts began to push their way out and after we'd cleared the rotting wood, the sprouts began to grow. Now, as you can see from the photo, they are joined at the base and branch into two beautiful trunks laden with shapely poplar leaves. Sometimes we drink a glass of wine under our tree, sometimes, like today, it's iced tea. When the wind comes calling, the lower branches stroke our heads.
The Appalachian mountains are the vegetation cradle of North America. More species of trees and plants can be found here than anywhere else in the country. We can look through the canopy of leaves beyond us and see the distant ridges, always waiting and lately reminding me of a passage from A Doorway in Time, by Herbert O'Driscoll: "To see the woods on the high ridges of the hills, dark green against the sky... was to think of the legendary warriors called the Fianna and the baying of their wolfhounds as they crashed through the forest in pursuit of deer." He was speaking of the Irish countryside, of course, but there is enough Irish lore lingering in this hills to make the Fianna sound a wee bit familiar.
Instead of wolfhouds, we have our five dogs of various DNA. Three of them are fine howlers, and while we sit under our tree, there will often come the wail of sirens that resonate all the way down to their wolfish cores. They lift their heads and sing.
Tomorrow we will be sitting under our tree, celebrating the 4th of July. We will open a bottle of wine, fire up the grill, and be grateful that we live in this cradle of green, forgetting for one day, at least, the threats to its survival, what the late poet Charles B. Dickson wrote in "Blue Ridge Moments: Nine Haiku" ( Southern Appalachian Poetry--www.mcfarfandpub.com)
acid rain
growth rings thinner and thinner
on the new-felled pine

6 comments:

Susan M. Bell said...

When my husband and I first moved up here, I was amazed by the many different species of plants and trees growing here. My favorite was, and still is, the tulip poplar. There was one behind the house we rented for a time. Never even heard of a tulip poplar before coming here in '93. What a magnificent tree.

Tipper said...

I love it!! I too hear the leaves call my name.

Pat in TN said...

Isn't it wonderful to have such a special place to go to ... I feel sorry for those that don't/can't experience it.

Malaika said...

I love y'all's tree!!!

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Malaika, it's great to see you on the comment page! And always great to find Susan, tipper and pat in Tn.

JLC said...

I seem to be doing a lot of catching up today. This post resonates like a too-close carillon in my skull! (Almost painful.) I may have been a city girl and a yankee, but have been connected to the country and animals all my life. Now with the Blue ridge in view, there's another landscape I've been learning for the past 12 years. Thank you for this page!