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Archive for May 20th, 2012

The gardens at Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities in Southern Pines, NC are a site to restore your soul.  Huge weeping cherry trees, perennial gardens, poet’s garden, frog pond, the adjacent old-growth longleaf pine savannah of Weymouth Woods . . . I first absorbed their restorative atmosphere about twelve years ago.  It was at the close of the last century, and  I was enjoying the approach of evening beside the water lilies, preparing to attend my first NC Poetry Society board meeting as treasurer.  In the diminishing light a vision appeared before me.  An elegant couple approached across the manicured grounds, he a dapper gentleman with a graying beard, she a slender beautiful woman with an astonishing floral hat.  I said to myself, I am in the right place.

No, it wasn’t Zelda and F. Scott (although doubtless they were frequent visitors when the Boyds resided at Weymouth).  Guy and Carolyn York became my friends in that garden that evening and have been ever since.  For two decades they have served the NC Poetry Society with warmth, creativity, and tireless enthusiasm.  During the fourteen years they shared as Vice Presidents for Membership they assured that every new member could say, “I am in the right place.” They greeted every person who walked into the Garden Room to attend an NCPS meeting or workshop at Weymouth.  They kept straight the status and address of some 400 members to make sure we’d receive our Pine Whispers newsletters and notices about contests and gatherings. Every new member for almost a decade and a half has received a welcoming packet of readings, poems, notices and tidbits that bear Carolyn’s distinctive touch.

One perquisite of serving on the NCPS Board is the social time on Friday night after the two- or three-hour long Board meeting – and no such gathering could ever be complete without Guy’s bottomless well of recitation: Tennyson, Kipling, Shakespeare, and a few limericks it would be illegal to post.  Now Carolyn and Guy have taken a hiatus from the Board for a year or two, but in 2013 Carolyn has agreed to serve as President and Guy will assume an At Large position.  Meanwhile they attend every meeting, volunteer in the book room, and continue to share their humor and style – folks, if you are in a room with Carolyn and Guy, you are in the right place.

The vote was unanimous.  The North Carolina Poetry Society Board of Directors has dedicated the 2012 edition of our annual anthology, Pinesong, to Carolyn and Guy York.  Congratulations, friends and companions!  Here’s to a few more decades together of celebration and poetry.

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Sugar Dust

Over time
the round pale moon
crumbles
like the
sugar cookie
of our childhood days
that we saved
and ate clandestine
in the closet
of the nursery
secretly – a bit at a time
a bite at a time –
until nothing was left
except the
sparkling
crumbs
which clung to our fingers.

In the sky of mooncrumble
nothing remains
in the velvet darkness
but sweet crystals of star dust.

© Carolyn Pleasants York, from Dream Within a Dream, 2011, Green Jade Publishers (Old Mountain Press)

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Dream Within a Dream is Carolyn’s Southern gothic mystery novel which incorporates Carolyn’s poetry to enhance the atmosphere of magnolia blossoms and dark secrets.

Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities

North Carolina Poetry Society

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