Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Homage to Appalachia

This new video attempts to express our wistful homage to Appalachia.  Dan and I have lived here among the Blue Ridge Mountains 
longer than in any other place — so long now that we no longer feel like outlanders from the flatlands of the Midwest!

But to create this film, I needed some authentic barn imagery.  So I asked Bristol artist Val Lyle — admired for her own exhibits paying 
homage to the tobacco barns of Appalachia — for permission to use two of her paintings that appear in the second segment of the video, 
after my own mountain and cicada images.    
[To learn more about Val, visit  www.vglyle.com]

"Appalachian Spirit"


   Appalachian Spirit

   Strolling parched hills
    in late August

        I come upon husks
                           of cicadas . . .

                    Past molting
       they cling hollow to the scaly
            bark of pines;
      shaped like
empty alms bowls,
            those bowed & brittle

      that once bore
      the secret of  
Life’s fragile pulse
allures me
          all the time.

                         It beckons
             like abandoned shacks
of lost tobacco-farms
passed on the
     slumped by their rust-
     crowned barns . . .
                   so tranquil now
            & timeless,
like the rest of the world
            before it falls

                                    Southwest Virginia


“Appalachian Spirit” was first published (under the title “Fading Spirits”) in the Appalachian Journal [ASU], Boone, NC.  
The present version is forthcoming in Back to the Source: Selected Poems & Parables (San Francisco Bay Press, 2015).