Let’s Meet in Carrboro

Let’s Meet in Carrboro Today let’s meet in Carrboro: Paris of the Piedmont West End, Lloydtown, Venable . . . Today when phoebes nest in their wattle and daub And fireflies cross their first open meadow Let’s meet in Carrboro Across-the-tracks town for two centuries: cracker town, mill town, music town Today when knotty-heads start…Read more »


What is commonest, cheapest, nearest, easiest, is Me . . . Walt Whitman   In birds: the crow, the bold pigeon, a chipping sparrow on the windowsill, Common grackles or boat-tails chatting and thieving the coast and feeders, Even gulls, laughing or otherwise, who Kate Bell says are being forcibly evicted From Brighton-Ha!-as Londoners condemn…Read more »

Cool of the Day

  1 I haven’t written about this before Because I had a geas against it But I have a distant cousin Who was one of the most famous mountain Dulcimer players in the world. When I was a young man The irascible Appalachian poet Don West Separated me from my companions What are doing with…Read more »

My Grandmother

My Grandmother   Knew the sacred nature of her place A scrap of mountain above Cane River, on Big Creek, the blue ridge a bowl above the barns I remember holding a hand-full of her skirt to keep up, hunting creasy on a February morning our breath like the smoke of campfires air uncurling in…Read more »

Winter Solstice Blessing

Reader: Let us all stand and “Welcome the Light!” Together the people say: Welcome the Light! Reader: On Solstice we hang in the balance. Like Mother Night we have been made pregnant by the Great Darkness and now we sit in vigil to birth the waxing year. If the sun agrees to return it will…Read more »

The Best Party Ever

50 years ago now Truman Capote gave the best party ever The Black and White Ball was Credited, I say, with breaking the old order He invited everybody And Everybody came Moguls and novelists Divas and divines The inspiring and the almost expired Urbans and provincials in the same clutch Capote married Art and Politics…Read more »


August August My father died and I went down to pick his figs Thinking to make a simple jam sweet enough to absorb grief Inside the humming tree – mid August and hot enough to make snakes mad I held a dancing communion with yellow-jackets, red wasps, midge flies, bumble-bees, hornets, cow-killers; working around the…Read more »