I was first introduced to Milestone in 2011 when our writing group decided we’d each submit something. At that time we had some really good poets and writers in our group. I submitted an essay titled The Old Bicycle. My essay and one of a poet’s submission were accepted. We all attended the luncheon together and received copies.
We don’t have a writers’ group anymore. I miss it. When I saw the submission request for this year’s Milestone, I missed them even more, and decided I’d do it on my own. I don’t write poetry and don’t know much about it. I enjoy hearing others read theirs aloud. But on one of my Selling Books road trips last fall, I wrote one. Took me hours of saying it aloud to begin to feel the rhythm, but I had lots of hours to fill. I submitted both the poems I wrote that day. They were both accepted. The luncheon was held today. I went by myself, but I was thinking about my old writing pals who helped me get where I am. I wonder where they’ve gone? My poet friend says a poem is only words until you share it. So I’m sharing my poems with you.
Ninety Minutes, Nine Days
Ninety minutes ago I left my home
Winding and curving my descent to I-40 Eastbound where I’ll spend much of the day
Tires on the pavement, already monotonous
Passing Asheville I glimpse a parting view of our mountains
Deep purple silhouette
From every ridge white wisps of sprite-like cloud reach upward
Absorbed into the new day
Rain clouds torn apart reveal ragged patches of blue
Like a lacy shawl over the chilly shoulders of the Blue Ridge.
I feel the magnetic tug.
This vision will be mine nine hours from now when I unpack my car
The magnetic pull will nudge every day I am away.
Nine days from now in late afternoon
I will pass this place again on I-40 Westbound
Passing Asheville my first glimpse of our mountains
I’ll know that in my absence fall arrived in full
The silhouette painted crimson red
Hickory and Poplar pin gold brooches to the breast of our mountain.
She is stunning.
The magnet pulls from the core of the mountain to the inner core of me
Tires on the pavement hum
Near breathless with anticipation
Winding, curving my ascent begins
Back up to the plateau I call home
Hidden deep in the Blue Ridge
Green signs mark places and miles
Like old stone cairns and stiles
“If you lived here you’d be already home”
May as well be carved in stone
Towns rural, urban, big and small
The same green signs
Mark them all
Blinkers wink, cars follow the sign
Going home? To work? Something to buy?
The rest, like me, drive on by
Orange cones, yellow lines, blue lights
Colors blur the traveler’s delight
It’s not the destination
But the journey to and from
Book stores, gas prices, cheap hotels
I keep track along the way
While GPS Gladys plans minutes and miles
To end our stay