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, March 10, 2011

REMEMBERING MARCH WIND THROUGH ORGANDY CURTAINS


March has come in like a lion, blowing the clouds around like sheets on a clothesline. I call up a poem I wrote about remembering my grandmother again and again, her bloomers that swelled with wind on the clothesline, alongside her nightgowns and bedsheets. Her organdy curtains the wind teased when she opened the windows still bloom in my memory.



Again



I lie down in her sea bed that bears

me back home to the nothing left

after her house burned around it.


Her lavender handkerchief knotted

round nickels and dimes. On her dresser

a brooch in the shape of a peacock’s tail.


Organdy curtains that breathed in

and out when she opened the windows

for March to blow through like a lioness


stalking the boxwoods or a lamb bleating

out by the pump house. Her hairpins

sown over the rugs. Her voluminous apron.


Her false teeth that grinned

every night from a tall iced-tea glass

as she pulled off her house dress,


her shimmy, her bloomers

that even now swell like a mainsail with

nothingness. Lorna Doone shortbread


she nibbled till she fell asleep, leaving crumbs

in the bed sheets like sand from the white beach

at Panama City whenever I crawled into bed


with her body that smelled of the ocean

at low tide and tasted of salt

when she pulled me too close to her.


from COMING TO REST

LSU Press Poetry Series, 2006




7 comments:

Nancy Simpson said...

Kay, I love this poem and love hearing your voice again.
The March wind has been fierce. From my mountainside, at this moment, it is snowing.It can't stick because it has been raining all afternoon. I say spring is here though and I am happy to see it.

Tess Kincaid said...

So evocative. I love feeling the crumbs on the sheets with you. Beautiful, Kay.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Thank you, Nancy and Tess. I've been keeping my distance from blogging. With Nat. Poetry month approaching, however, I'm making plans for my poem a day feature, which is always fun to prepare.

Vicki Lane said...

A beauty! And perfect for this time of year. One lovely image after another...

Charlotte said...

Kay, how is it possible that I'd forgotten crumbs in the bedsheets until reading your poem again? You bring back all the sensations. Lovely.

Julia Nunnally Duncan said...

I'm looking forward to the poem a day!

Joan Ellen Gage said...

This is such a wonderful remembrance of your grandmother. I love the way one can smell the ocean salt spray,feel the sand under the sheets, and see the bloomers on the line--very vivid.