Words from a Reader

The “Writing Life Stories” e-mails I receive are such treasures. As soon as I see there is one in my inbox, I read it immediately. I look forward to them and never know how they will touch me. They can be interesting, informative, humorous, and/or touching.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Busy but Better than I Was


From Left: Joan Howard, Janice Moore, Carroll Taylor, Glenda Beall, Marcia Barnes


I am behind in my goal to post each week and especially on the weekends. The past few weeks have been very busy, for me personally and for NCWN-West.

Last week we held the first Coffee with the Poets and Writers since everything closed two years ago. We met at the Moss Library in Hayesville, NC. We all tried to get the word out and we were happy to see about twenty people show up. Many of them were new. But many of our steadfast writers came and were happy to be together again.

Marcia Barnes and Joan Howard, facilitators of CWPW, honored me with a large vase filled with roses and an inscription on the vase, Glenda Council Beall, founder and keeper of Coffee with the Poets and Writers, 2007 - 2022. I was surprised and touched.

In 2007 I became the Program Coordinator for NCWN-West with about 50 members in nine counties of NC and bordering counties of South Carolina and Tennessee. Today we have over 100 members in our mountains. The pandemic shut down most of our meetings, but we continued with some on Zoom. Now we are trying to open up again, but we were sorry to hear that someone who was at the CWPW meeting came down with COVID  a few days after. We plan to continue to meet once a month at the library as we did before COVID hit our area.

Thursday evening, Mary Ricketson and Janice Moore held the Netwest Critique group meeting at an outdoor facility in Hayesville. It went well and that will be continued as long as poets want to participate. 

Marcia Barnes, Janice Moore, and I were published in a beautiful literary journal Mise en Place from Negative Capability this past year. The theme is food.
Marcia read my poem that was in the publication and I will share it with you.

Two Buttermilks for Pamela

I knock but know she can’t hear me.
The TV blasts through the door. I turn the knob,
walk into the kitchen calling Meals on Wheels.

I set her institutional lunch on the counter.
In the other room, like a gray mourning dove,
she’s perched before the screen.

I approach gingerly, afraid I’ll startle her.
She looks up with a wide smile. Don’t get up,
I say. I brought your lunch.

Ninety-four years old she lives alone,
in a mobile home on a twisting mountain trail,
her son a stone’s throw down the road.

Struggling to her feet, she pushes her walker toward me.
Oh, thank you. A hundred times thank you. I enjoy it
so much, especially the buttermilk. I get two, you know.


It keeps me going. We inch our way to the back door.
Hope you enjoy it, Mrs. Livingston. She takes my hand,
speaks to me as if I’m an old friend, Call me Pamela.


If you like poetry and if you write poetry, you might like to visit Mountain Wordsmiths on Zoom when Joseph Bathanti, poet and author, will be the featured guest.  Contact Carroll Taylor at vibiaperpetua@gmail.com for the link to the program.

8 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

I am glad that you have been busy and productive. And enjoyed your poem.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

I was great seeing you and the other writers at "Coffee With the Poets." I'm glad we had a large attendance. I enjoyed your poem that Marcia read. I hope we will be able to continue meeting in person. I appreciate all you have done for NCWN-West.

Marie Smith said...

Love the poem, Glenda! How wonderful to be able to meet with like-minded people again. Enjoy every minute.

Glenda Beall said...

EC, it was good to see my friends and be able to hear them read their work. I am one who likes to be productive and leading this fine writing group all these years has been such a joy even though we have had some problems along the way.

Glenda Beall said...

Brenda Kay, it was good to see you and hear your poems that day. You are one of the members I have most enjoyed over the years we have been meeting together. Thanks for leaving a comment.

Glenda Beall said...

Marie, thank you.I am enjoying every minute. When I move away from the mountains, I will miss my writer friends so much.

Abbie Taylor said...

Glenda, I can relate to the poem. Having turned 61 earlier this month and no longer wanting to cook just for me, after Schwan closed its local warehouse, I decided to sign up for Meals on Wheels. But our senior center here, called The Hub, calls the program Home Delivered Meals. No matter the name of the program, it's refreshing to talk to a friendly volunteer and receive a delicious meal every day. Thank you for sharing.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

I'm looking forward to Coffee With the Poets in July. I sure hope you will be able to attend. Also, Festival on the Square will be awesome. Hope you will be able to attend it, too.