I’m not ashamed
of the diphthong twang
that swings in my speech
and in phrases hangs.
When spoken with pride
it carries conviction,
and more identity
than plain-spoken diction.
It sounds like a ridgeline reaching the sky –
an insect symphony
in late July.
A song of home…
of culture…
of place.
Shared both by young’uns
and the wizened face.
It’s not a crime
and it ain’t wrong
if when you speak
your accent’s strong.

Afternoon Storm

The drowsy lull of a hot summer day
clings to the haze of a long afternoon.
The old man on his front porch starts to pray
for sweet relief from the heat to come soon.
Out in the distance, a rumble replies,
low and bellowing as if to explain
the massive gray clouds rolling through the skies
were there to oblige, were there to bring rain.
Lightning splits the heavens, thunder resounds,
great sheets of water break free from the clouds,
the vociferous noise, it shakes the ground
as nature declares its power aloud.
Quickly subsiding, rain gives way to sun.
The old man smiles, his relief has begun.


Let’s make the time go by
with a rhythm and song.
Tune your strings
clear your throat to sing
and I’ll try to sing along.
Those of us without a musical gene
will holler, stomp, and clap.
we’ll cause a scene
give our knees a slap
and be the happiest we’ve ever been.
The banjo’s twang
and fiddle’s sigh
fill a valley with sound
to the mountain high.
Try as we might, and we do try
the music never seems to end –
our glasses are full
and they’ll never run dry.
Trading songs, trading bars,
’til someone declares, “that’s all she wrote”,
but a mountain valley
is still filled with music
long after the very last note.

Sunset Cemetery

There’s a graveyard
at the top of a ridge
overlooking the mountains
in the heart of my hometown,
Some of the weathered headstones
are adorned with
familiar surnames.

Families lay beside one another
in their eternal resting place
and I wonder if their souls have risen…
if some part of their existence
lingers on
outside of their earthen bed
and chiseled gravestones.
First names of generations gone by
stare back at my curious gaze,
and I wonder
if somewhere deep in the complex cosmos
of spirits and souls
they can sense the presence
of the living.

my visits are never long,
because whether it’s my imagination
or a quiet message

from the great beyond,
I get the sense
that they would like to rest.


I hiked from the sunny ridges
and ascended into the high elevations –
a land of clouds and balsams.

The sweet scent of the trees
clung to the rolling, ever-present mist.

An enchanted, evergreen forest
cloaked with velvety fog
hummed and creaked in the weight of the wind
and sighed in the quietude
of its cloudy kingdom.

The chill of high altitude
and the unpredictable dance
of sun and clouds
do not dissuade or dampen the spirit
of the balsams.

They remain vibrant
and evergreen.

The stay sweet
and share their delicious fragrance.

In the midst of
an ever-changing place,
they remain.

I descended from the high altitudes
back to the sunny ridgeline.
I decided then
to live with the resolve
of a sweet and vibrant