Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Newfound Gap

Shortly after New Year's I invited my readers to share the names of places they loved, so that we could weave a shawl
of names to keep us warm through the dark times. 
Here is the first part of that weave.  More will follow.


Bandana, always
Bandana, Hilda  proclaims,
and Grey sings Ocracoke, Ocracoke,
Ocracoke, like the spring peepers every
March, making the meadow
beneath me in Cullowhee vibrate
like violin strings.  It's Frog Level,
no doubt about it, and Cow Mire 
just up the hill, Eureka
Springs forth, that’s it, here
Jekyll Island
it is, Grab a Nickel and head out
to find home before it gets lost beneath
water like Glen Canyon 
and the debris from mountains
whose peaks have been blasted 
to namelessness. Never again,
pray the Sisters of Loretto Moutherhouse,
 of Philippi, and  the hoot owls
of  Nacoochee and Chattahoochee,  
and Sautee. Don’t mess with Bigwitch
and Booger Branch.  Listen, the Bone Valley
waits for us all if we don’t love where home
lives, atop Steen’s Mountain, maybe,
or Dufur, or the beaches of Edisto
or Eleuthera, the island that means
:”freedom. ”  Walk head first into the wind
 as if reaching the apex of Max
Patch, and Buzzard’s Roost, Lover’s 
Leap, leaning toward Ravensford
Trackrock, stomping
toward Boone, till at last you must
 Bend at the Knees
and give thanks for Molasses Creek,
Laurel Ridge, and Dolly Sods.

Mount Hood, Oregon


  1. Wonderful! I've always loved names! In my neck of the woods there's Buckscrape and Puncheon Camp and Sugar Camp and Bone Camp and Indian Grave Gap and Hogskin and Paw Paw . . .

  2. Hogskin! I remember scratching the skin of my hogs raised for the county Hog Show. They loved it. The scratchin', not the hog show and its aftermath. Indian Grave Gap is surely the title of a poem I've yet to write, as is Bone Camp. Thank you, Vicki!