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.




Tuesday, March 2, 2010

MAGPIE TALES: An Ounce


Ah well, my post is late for Magpie Tales, but here it is anyway, a poem I began when looking at how weights came to be measured. I'm down in SW Ga. now with my mother, and wonder of wonders, she has broadband, so I will be able to continue my posts. Sorry this is late, but I had some stress-related symptoms last night and ended up in the ER!

An Ounce

being twenty pennyweights, I marvel
at such ancient measurements I never think of
when I weigh my cabbages at the supermarket.
Ounces and pounds, but first pennyweights
and before that, a grain--twenty-four

to be honest. No more and no less.
Pennies dropped in the piggy's slot.
Pennies from heaven. A penny for my thoughts,
which weigh nothing. I can hold in my fist
what amounts to an ounce, grubby pennies
I pour from my coat pockets onto the table.

How many grains
from my garden have I tracked
inside, so much weight in my rugs?

My dirty feet tip the scales!


13 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

A weighty response -- I love the old measurement -- grains and gills and such.

And how glad I am you're feeling better!

steviewren said...

I'm smiling at the thought of all the dirt I've tracked into my house...how many more pounds does my carpet weigh now than when I bought it?

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

I am so glad Sheila Kay Adams won the Ragan-Rubin Award and that she was there to accept it. Thank you for reporting it! She has been through so much this year and she is so SPECIAL! Nice to see that she is getting out and about and recognized.


Jan
GDP

willow said...

Oh, gosh, my rugs always weigh more in the summer, but less than they did with a house full of kids and dogs. Loved this...cabbages to pennies to grains of dirt!

Brian Miller said...

a fun little jaunt for your magpie...nicely done.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Thans Vicki for your good wishes. I'm feeling more like myself tonight. Stevie, the though of how much more my carpet weighs now makes me shudder. It's shag! It could hold deserts of sand. And fur.
Jan, I seem to have lost contact with Sheila Kay again. She was, of course, a fabulous presence at the conference. It was great to see her again.
Willow, I still remember all the dirt brought onto the porch when we'd pick peanuts off the vines--and dirt down the drain when we washed them at least a dozen times.
Jaunt is such a happy word. Thanks for offering it, Brian

spacedlaw said...

Witty take on the prompt. I hope this help alleviating stress.

dorisdiosa said...

ARE YOU ALLRIGHT???!!!

Julia Nunnally Duncan said...

I, too, am glad you're feeling better. Take care!

Peter Goulding said...

Hi Kathryn,
Hope the stress wasn't related to having to produce a Magpie!
This is really very good - tipping the scales a great way to end it off.

christine said...

This was quite a lovely picture in words and now I worry as to what my carpets might hold, all that mud trekked in by the dog and me.
I loved all the 'pennies' references, pennies from heaven and penny for your thoughts.
Christine

Jessie Carty said...

i love writing a poem via thinking about the history of a word. great job :)

Charlotte said...

It must have been a heart scare, dear Kay. I'm glad it was only stress. "Only!" Reading this lovely and serene poem, it's easy to imagine you would never suffer from something like that. How beautifully hidden--like the dirt in the carpet! I have given up carpets. With baby pets, it was futile.