Featured Poet: Katherine Solomon, Sutton
Katherine was born and raised in Portsmouth, and attended college in Missouri. After living in Bos ton and Toron to, she met her husband on a commune in West Virginia, and moved to the Bronx, and then back to NH with him. After years of raising two children and co-owning a business with her husband, she returned to school and earned an MFA from Vermont College in 1996. She was the grateful recipient of a NH State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship in 2000. She has been a member of the Skimmilk Poets for ten years, and has published poems in Green Mountains Review, The Worcester Review, the Spoon River Poetry Review, Color Wheel, and other journals and anthologies, and has a chapbook, "Tempting Fate," in the Oyster River Press chapbook series, "Walking to Windward." She taught for several years at the NH Community Technical College in Claremont, Springfield College, and at Elderhostel. She is currently working on a Sixties memoir.
Of her featured poem, Katherine writes:
When I received a postcard from friends visiting Tuscany, I propped it against my computer as a focus for daydreaming. The postcard showed a farmhouse, the kind that has often been turned in to a vacation rental under the agri tourism movement. A shed and a ladder were faintly visible at one side. I’d always wanted to go to Tuscany, and found I was inserting myself in to the postcard when I looked at it, standing outside below a second s tory window at first. Before long, in my imaginings, I was inside the second s tory room, looking out at the landscape from that window, my hair still long and blonde, held back with a hairclip. I never meant to write a poem, but I began to imagine one, a what-if poem: what if I really had been there, what if I dropped my hairclip, what if I climbed the ladder? The rest is.........well, more imagining. The poem developed as part of my daydreaming, and as I began to "hear" it, I gave myself an exercise: to extend the what-if’s until I found the s tory.
If I had not been standing on that ladder with the sun
just so on the yellow wall......if I had not
to retrieve the hair clip
that had slipped from my fingers a moment before
as I leaned from an upstairs window in to this very
postcard of a morning......and if that barrette
had not been caught by the wooden ledge below......
had not called out my name
from the shade of that shed, and raised your hand
to show me where you s tood––only your hand visible
as it moved in to stunning brightness......and if I had not
clutched the red beam for balance
as I turned,
so that when I turned back
to face the wall again, my eyes held the image of two
hands: yours, fading as I blinked, above my own......
I might never have seen those four faint crescents
in the clay: those marks like a few days
from a calendar of lunar modes, those fingerprints
left by someone with bigger hands than mine,
someone long ago
who must have been the one
to swirl the stucco when the suncooked wall was new.
He must have reached
for balance too, and left his mark
above the wood, grasped the sill as I did when someone
called to him. Or was it the perfume
of a woman's hair as she passed below that turned
his head? Was he startled by an unexpected sound––
not a loud one:
the prints aren’t deep enough––a single strand
of music, some half-heard song, that brushed his cheek,
tickled his ear, in its rush down the long colonnade
of time and sunlight?