to let my mind go free
and once I found a lively trench
I felt that I could see.
The women’s bonnets in the church
I veiled the tops with fruit
But ate the apples when they lurched
And thought my words to boot.
I squirmed in my short pants to keep
a chance that I might rise
in grace to hear my airhead beep
to save the boy I prize.
Shelby Stephenson, poet laureate, North Carolina, 2015-18, his recent book, SLAVERY and FREEDOM on PAUL'S HILL.
Shelby Stephenson says Poetry is the music of the soul. Poetry's music salvaged his life. He cannot imagine waking up to silence: he raises Purple Martins whose churbling swurges and swoops and Bluebirds that eye him when he checks their nesting boxes.