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northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: Chesil (---.clvdoh.adelphia.)
Date: August 17, 2004 11:21AM

Rather than post links, I thought I would post the poems to make easy reading of what is a wonderful body of work by this excellent poet.


All poems by northcountrywoman

To Poets Needing Help

You are a fox
laired in a hidden burrow.
Feral and quick,
you run too much in the dark.

You raid the neighbors' farms.
Don't ask
what to do about
the feathers on your muzzle.



Seeing the Wind

I have seen the wind
in a vortex of dry leaves
rising between buildings
as if the laws of gravity
had been repealed.
I have seen the wind
in a photograph
of a pink rose
where whorls of petals
flowed into background
and the whole picture
seemed made
of spinning light.
I have seen the wind
take your words away.
Were you saying
you loved me--
that we would meet again?

The wind moans
around the house
tonight, invisible
and wordless.



DON'T LOOK DOWN


Scheherazade told stories for her life,
patterned the palace walls with scenes of greed
and dust and pageantry, her role as wife
to end the boredom of a king and feed
his restless heart and soul for one more night.
Her voice came from the moonlight by his bed,
as soft as silver water, clear as light.
Sometimes she glanced at the Other one, head
hooded, dark eyes gentle and serene, One
who stayed in shadow, patient in the dark,
who knew she walked on slivered glass and won
each day's reprieve with crimson footprints, mark
of the story-teller clan. We have heard
her sing in the caged heart's night, like a bird.


WHALE SONG

When whales lived on land,
gentle browsers,
perhaps they were silent
as deer are silent
in the heart of the forest.

They lived at the edge
of the fertile sea.
Pressed, they dove deeper.
Looking down,
they stopped looking back.
Forced, they made
great, dark songs
heard for miles
underwater.


NORTHCOUNTRY PLEDGES

In the name of the broad-boled Douglas fir in the back yard
where the moon lies tangled six branches deep,

I swear
that when you laugh into my mouth I will swallow the sound
like champagne; it will bubble in my blood forever.

In the name of the the most elegantly black-and-white patterned
loon with its cold, amber eyes and eerily falsetto cry,

I swear
that when you fussily and didactically plant tulip bulbs,
you seed flowers in some dry wasteland of my being.

In the name of the great horse-headed moose lunging
from the lake at dusk with its broad, black antlers
streaming a galaxy of lily pads,

I swear
that I will love you imperfectly, unwisely,
and to the best of my frailties.


Weather Report

The house looks strange since the power went out,
as though the living left some time ago.
By candlelight I walk a shadowed route
through rooms I loved but now I do not know.
Sparrows huddle in trees outside the door.
I'd let them in but it's no warmer here.
Inside, a grayness settles to the core
and frost is taking all that I hold dear.
The fire has burned to embers; the light dies.
Love ends too, sometimes without a reason.
There can be no gray colder than your eyes
looking past me to some summer season.
Ice takes the naked bough to which I cling.
The storm front drives south: there will be no spring.



A Bowl of Rocks

Split neatly as a Babylonian tablet
from a dry hillside in Oregon,
this pale rectangle of rock
is inscribed with the language
of ferns,
from a time before dreams.
Brilliant, edgy,
black obsidian
glitters beside a small mud-gray
knobby thunderegg.
Such an unpretentious, drab,
sullen little stone!
Inside rests an amethyst seed,
a secret, glowing yolk.


Ocean Sunset

The clouds are burning
and gulls float like embers
in the darkening sky.
Waves crested with fire
unfurl into shimmering
silver silk.
Sea grasses ripple
as the land exhales.
A final slash of red
opens the horizon
and the sky bleeds stars.
Firefall then.
Firefall quenched in brine.



A Love Song

You are my antidote, my smile-maker,
my ambrosia: soul-shaker, fuzzy,
unevolved, big-footed,
intensely interested inspector
of my nooks and crannies;
impatient towel-grabber,
you dry me vigorously
as you would a wet pup.
Moan-maker and breath-taker,
sign-giver and thirst-slaker:
my indelible lover.
You are welcome
to pasture your sheep
in my valleys.
Pedantic, goofy, a poor loser,
you teach me off-key love songs
and I will sing faithfully now
until time
snaps shut
like a fan.


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: Gwydion (209.53.139.---)
Date: August 17, 2004 12:02PM



I'll be back to read more NCW pieces but I have to say 'A Love Song' is wonderfully sweet and endearing! I'm trying to find that one line I really like but the whole piece is so cuddly and yummy!

Chesil, smart!


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: August 17, 2004 12:08PM

I've read most of them as they were posted, but wow!- seeing them all together is great!

My favorite is Don't Look Down.

pam


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: StephenFryer (---.l6.c1.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: August 17, 2004 12:25PM

Perfection.

Stephen


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: joseph r. torelli (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: August 17, 2004 01:37PM

Chesil:

NCW has long been a favorite; thank you for posting her poems in one place.

jt


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: lg (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: August 17, 2004 01:48PM

An excellent body of work, Chesil. I have long been a fan of NCW's work. Thanks for posting this.

Les


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: Toi23 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: August 17, 2004 02:51PM


It's hard to choose a favourite - they are all good.

"To Poets Needing Help", is probably my favourite, subtle humour!


Toi23


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: Gwydion (209.53.139.---)
Date: August 17, 2004 03:21PM



'Seeing the Wind' oh wow, it's so pretty! I love this:
I have seen the wind
in a photograph
of a pink rose
where whorls of petals
flowed into background
and the whole picture
seemed made
of spinning light.

Northcountry Pledges is excellent; this could not have been said better:
I swear
that I will love you imperfectly, unwisely,
and to the best of my frailties. - just beautiful!

Well, having read all of your work on this thread NCW, I am hard pressed to find a poem I don't like. You are a true nature poet of great calibre.

'Whale Song' touched my heart.


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: J.H.SUMMERS (---.chartertn.net)
Date: August 17, 2004 05:49PM

NCW,

Here there is quality in abundance. Thanks Chesil, for grouping them all together.

john


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: frosty (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: August 17, 2004 08:57PM

I completely loved the romance in Seeing the wind. Every line drew me in.

Love Song was fantastic to me because many of the things you loved about her were not things that most people would love-yet you dfind them endearing. I find our flaws to be beautiful as well so I really enjoyed this one.

Weather Report is excellent and my favorite is the lines:
"There can be no gray colder than your eyes
looking past me to some summer season"

WONDERFUL LINE!

Chesil, all these poems were a breath of fresh air. I am seriously impressed with your style.

Sherry

Allow life to treat you well and be determined to make it great.


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: frosty (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: August 17, 2004 09:00PM

I directed my praise to Chesil when it appears these are northerncountrywoman's poems. Great work, NCW.

Allow life to treat you well and be determined to make it great.


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: K.Q. (---.hs.14.118.212.in-addr.arpa)
Date: August 18, 2004 06:18AM

I too loved them all but "A Love Song" stood out. Amazing passion in words and word pictures in live motion!


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: lgreen (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: August 18, 2004 06:44AM

Thanks Chesil for grouping NCW's works. "Love Song" is my absolute favorite if forced to pick---always have been a fan...

Ell


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: northcountrywoman (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: August 18, 2004 08:17AM

Well, this was a fine after-a-hard-day's-work surprise! Thank you, Chesil, for your thoughtfulness and the time it took to collect and post these. You're such a good poet yourself along with being such an astute critic, I feel like rubbing my toe on the ground and mumbling 'ah, shucks...'

Thank you all for the kind and encouraging comments--I truly appreciate them. (Maybe this is how it feels to be on a float in a parade, blushing and doing that wrist-wrist, wave-wave thing...heh, heh...)

I write alone in a room, as probably most of us do, and even after posting poems on a forum I'm startled to find that people actually read them and then actually say things about them! Amazing!

Poetry rocks! Thanks again....

ncw


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: drpeternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: November 29, 2004 10:45PM

to northcountrywoman

I have been indiscreet enough to look into your poems,
I almost said dreams, and found a craftswoman, passionate and precise, a writer careful with her sentences, unhurried in each device she takes up in this little collection of words made images made incantations to the self and what it can gather for accomplishment and tender as down payment as a writer and a thinker. I hope you will honor your audiences with the trick of your wit as you see fit.

Peter

We have heard
her sing in the caged heart's night, like a bird.


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: northcountrywoman (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: November 30, 2004 08:45AM

Oh, Peter. What a lovely thing to say. You make me want to write more and better. Thank you.


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: Debutant (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: November 30, 2004 09:05AM

A collection of gems too bright to be assembled in one box.
It dazzled my eyes and burnt my mind to feast more that two in one visit.
I shall periodically visit the prize collection.

Thanks to Chesil and NCW


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: JP (---.tnt8.sea1.da.uu.net)
Date: November 30, 2004 01:07PM

NCW
I'm sure I commented on these individually. Would just like to say again, that you never fail to disappoint me. Your poems are things of beauty.

JP


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: December 02, 2004 02:13PM

If I could write, I'd be jealous. As it is, I just appreciate.

pam


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: dije_03461 (---.res138-fi2.jtibs.net)
Date: December 02, 2004 04:41PM

I can't write and I'm still jealous

Dije

Faith Whittlesey: Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels.


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: twotenranch (---.dialsprint.net)
Date: December 02, 2004 07:00PM

NCW all are good.

Read most as they were new, but like the long list format too.

JP reread your comment.... one of us is wrong about it.

Never fail to disappoint me???

Terry


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: northcountrywoman (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: December 02, 2004 10:07PM

Debutant--thanks so much for your very gracious comments!

JP--You are ever kind. Hope winter is going well for you over there in snow country.

Pam--I would be very surprised indeed to find that you are not an excellent writer. Thanks so much for commenting.

dije--whatever the 'voice' we choose, we're all storytellers in one way or another. Anyhow, you're a fine writer. Thank you for commenting!

Terry--giggle.... JP, like so many others, is probably experiencing a nervous breakdown at having to see this poem so many times in so many places lately! I knew what she meant, but that won't stop me from teasing her. smiling smiley

ncw


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: December 02, 2004 10:14PM

Terry, to people like JP, disappoint and "impress" mean the same thing.


Les


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: JP (---.an2.chi30.da.uu.net)
Date: December 03, 2004 11:19AM

I think I'm losing it! aaaargh! insanity!

JP


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: December 03, 2004 11:20AM

Typos are us! You do have a post-edit option.


Les


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: December 03, 2004 11:22AM

Too bad Life doesn't have a post edit option

also wishing that people had a brightness knob


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: December 03, 2004 12:15PM

Sadly, only essay questions, research papers, etc. I don't make things up.

pam


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: hpesoj (69.116.247.---)
Date: August 25, 2007 08:46AM

I consider Northcountrywoman as one of the best poets ever to have graced this site. I believe there may be more of her poems in the archives but these, posted by Chesil, himself an excellent poet, should serve to whet the appetites of those who have not read her work before.

Enjoy!

Joe


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: redmitten (71.32.20.---)
Date: August 25, 2007 09:08AM

wow. thanks for bumping these up. tremendous work.


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: les712 (68.185.67.---)
Date: August 25, 2007 09:45AM

Yep, Joe, NCW didn't say much, but she said it beautifully.

Les


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: TerryAllen (67.176.92.---)
Date: August 25, 2007 12:20PM

I could endure more!


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: larkinabout (80.5.98.---)
Date: August 25, 2007 07:38PM

Indeed, a REAL poet!

Super stuff.

"Seeing the Wind" gets my vote.


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: hollygolightly (75.91.158.---)
Date: August 26, 2007 01:12PM

Incredible. H.


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: Merc (70.193.185.---)
Date: August 26, 2007 04:36PM

Long time fan of NCW. miss her.


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: petersz (24.7.62.---)
Date: August 27, 2007 12:38AM

Here I find myself agreeing with Terry. North Country Woman has always been one of my favorites as well.

Peter


Re: northcountrywoman - anthology
Posted by: UPMarty (24.247.69.---)
Date: September 01, 2007 07:27AM

I've heard references to northcountrywoman's poetry over the years, but not sure I've ever read any of it until now. Like the song says, "Unforgettable" that's what she is. Quality work, indeed.

Marty




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