The Reluctant Writer: Something Else to do When I Should Be Writing

January 16, 2010

Poetry from my 30s

Filed under: Cynthia Boiter,poetry,writer's life,writing — cynthiaboiter @ 01:02
Tags: ,

A little something today because I’m feeling brave.


Home No. 5


I know the harnessed poet in the

wild-eyed boy, Southern man.

The lips of his woman taste of

honeysuckle and late-August muscadines.

Her back sways like the loblolly,

quivers like cane,

arches like that old barn cat.


His woman’s arms wrap as warm as Granny’s

line-aired crazy quilt, stitched from

Momma’s white baptismal gown,

Aunt Ellen’s faded calico-peach apron,

Great-granddaddy’s worn broadcloth shirt.


I know the Southern poet man — the way

he eats his supper like a sacrament.

Sopping up pot-liquor with powdery flat biscuits

until his tin plate shines.

Holding blackberry seeds on the

tip of his tongue until the bitter cuts

through the sweet and he has to swallow,

but he knows he has eaten it,



He breathes in heady chow-chow, pickled preserves, cayenne

and smiles as the blazes rush through his chest

and lap at his nostrils and toes.

He wants to turn to the river and dance in the

must of the leaves and the left-fruit

beneath the coppice of trees.

He wants to



The wide-eyed Southern man-poet

loves his children

like good dogs.

His momma

like Jesus.

His home

like a well-shifted shed.


I know the southern boy-poet and his stars.

How, each evening, he takes them

from an icy Mason jar,

buried by the chimney at the old home place —

bricks asunder, foundation nearly gone —

and places them,

just so,

in the pitch-black Southern sky,

where he commands them to



And for years, they would.


I know the Southern poet-man,

whose travels have led him into and out of the woods,

long past pondering the mystery,

to the place where old boys



  1. You are always brave, and this poem is beautiful.

    Comment by Cassie Premo Steele — January 16, 2010 @ 04:34

  2. Just want to say, you write the words, that touch my memories of where I was born and raised, in the South!! Lisa

    Comment by Lisa Sanders — January 16, 2010 @ 10:37

  3. Thanks, Cassie & Lisa — the poem needs work, but that’s ok.


    Comment by cynthiaboiter — January 16, 2010 @ 11:02

  4. I haven’t checked your blog in a while. This is really nice! I love the Carolina imagery.

    Comment by David Hardin — March 25, 2010 @ 15:18

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