Featured Poet: Katherine Morgan, Durham
Published in non-fiction, poetry and fiction, Katherine’s prose has been published by the University of Iowa Press, Peter Lang Publishing, Heinemann Press, Cricket magazine and the National Council of Teachers of English. Her poetry has been published in several Plymouth Writer’s project collections, in the Dan River Anthology and in Anemone. Since retiring as a high school English teacher, she has been the Director of the New Hampshire Heritage Project, working with North Country teachers to develop writing curriculum based on local environment, culture and heritage. She serves on the board of the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, the Poetry Out Loud Advisory Committee and the Arts In Education Conference Committee of the NHSCA. She is a Co-editor of the forthcoming anthology Beyond the Notches: Stories of Place in New Hampshire’s North Country, a joint project of the NH Heritage Project and the Monadnock Institute of Nature, Place and Culture at Franklin Pierce University
This poem grew out of an experience with my older brother when we were kids growing up in southern California. We lived in the foothills of the Santa Ynez mountains, and could see the ocean three miles away. The sights and smells of the California landscape have stayed with me though I have lived in New England for over forty years. I have always loved the Italian sonnet form, but never use the strict formal elements. This poem includes the “turn” that happens between the octave and sestet of an Italian sonnet, but that is its only resemblance to the sonnet form.
Bermuda grass pokes our knees,
damp night air presses our t-shirts to our backs,
as crickets chirp on the firebreak.
Between us and the ocean, black in the distance,
lemon groves fill the valley
with wax-white blossoms
and the fragrance of spring.
With a sudden pop, the b.b. rips the lily pad
where once a peeper sat.
Another "troublesome" voice will sing no more.
Belly up, it floats, legs spraddled,
inside my circle of flashlight.
My brother collects the specimen
with a bounty hunter’s grin.
I imagine pennies clinking into my bank
and try not to look.
For more information about Katherine Morgan visit: