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Above The Fold

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Product Description

Collection of poems by

Barbara Eckroad, Tom Perkins, Caroline Kane Kenna, Lynn Dausman, and Sandra Phillips

80 pages, $14 cover price

($12 if ordered from the MSR Online Bookstore)

ISBN: 978-1-59948-470-9

Published: May 2014

About The Author

abovethefoldStanding: Barbara Eckroad, Tom Perkins, Caroline Kane Kenna
Sitting: Lynn Dausman and Sandra Phillips

As members of the Thursday Morning Writers’ Group, we meet on Tuesdays at Barnes and Noble in Huntersville, North Carolina. A love of words and exchange of ideas bring us together once a week for writing, where the delightful staff of the coffee terrace kindly reserves a large round table for us. Like the famous Round Table of the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, we meet to write, read and share. We are not Dorothy Parkers, but who knows what lies ahead. We hail from the foggy streets of England, the sunny beaches of California and points in between. We are a divergent group in age and background, but our passion for writing is the fabric that binds us together. In fact, we started the poems in this book as a meditation on fabric – both the material that we use for clothing and upholstery, as well as the framework that underpins all of our lives. On a personal level, we share much laughter, some sorrow, but always a support for each other and our writing. Long may we endure.

 

Lynn Dausman was born in Dayton, Ohio, lived in Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., and spent summers on the St. Lawrence River, all sources of inspiration for her writing. She now lives in Davidson, North Carolina, close to her daughter, son-in-law, and four grandchildren. Early in life she yearned to be a painter like Mary Cassatt. That was not to be. Piano lessons did not produce a Van Cliburn. It remains to be seen if a Pulitzer Prize for poetry is in the future. It doesn’t matter. She loves words. Lynn hopes she paints pictures and makes music with her poetry. It gives her pleasure and peace to try.

Barbara Eckroad grew up in a small beach town in Southern California. She spent most of her life in the San Francisco Bay Area where she participated in many counter-cultural events, like the 1967 “Summer of Love.” She moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2004 where she met, laughed and wrote with the other writers in this book. She returned to California in the summer of 2013. She loves to study film and literature and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in English. In spite of her unconventional background, she now lives a quiet life near the Pacific Ocean with her husband and Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Pippin. She enjoys writing, walking, reading, doing crossword puzzles, and spending time with her two grown children and their families.

Caroline Kane Kenna grew up in Virginia swapping puns. For her Dad, a newspaper man, it was a survival skill. To her Mama, an English scholar/teacher, it was art. As a newspaper reporter and freelance writer she has cultivated an ear for story. When she moved to Huntersville, North Carolina, in 2006, she connected with writers who share her passion for unique metaphors and with whom she has created a wealth of characters, plots and poetry. Mike, her husband, and Caroline have lived in four states, and they have three boys. She has dedicated her free time to volunteering in the public schools. She loves the feel of fresh dirt in the springtime and is owned by a black cat named Onyx.

Tom Perkins is an 85 year old with delightful children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Alas, breast cancer took his dear wife. In 1943 he left school at 16 to work on tropical Spitfire fighter planes and to analyze German V-2 rocket fragments falling in London. At 18 he was conscripted by the British Army. They put him in a unit to invade Japan, but because of the Atomic bomb, he was sent to Germany. Afterwards he worked for five years in the Persian Gulf, then immigrated to the United States and became an oil executive traveling the world. His love for poetry never diminished and now, in a nest of what he considers beautiful and wonderful young poets, Tom is very happy.

Although Sandra Phillips fancies herself a new Southern Woman who mixes a mean Lemon Drop Martini, she pines for the succulent taste of eastern North Carolina barbecue washed down with sweet iced tea. Memories of flue-cured tobacco wafting from warehouses pull her homeward in fall, away from the compacted clay of the Piedmont past her alma maters, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Peace College in Raleigh. But on a summer’s day, the lure of Lake Norman calls her, along with her husband, to the water where they once explored coves and trained a Labrador Retriever.

Samples

Remnants

Deceptive cloth, satin,
glossy surface, dull on the reverse,
seduces with promises of romance,
temptations of elegance.

Black skirts, bonnets with heavy
veils, hide grieving women.
Mourning period, crepe
a dismal fabric.

Velvet, a cousin to silk.
Smooth as a cat’s fur
stroked in the right direction.
Comforting, warm, not suffocating.
Adorns royalty.

Scents of barns, burlap, rough fabric,
an honest cloth. Sacks
carrying farmers’ labors
to marketplaces.

Young girls in white shoes
twirling voluminous skirts of dotted Swiss.
Happy material
all spring flowers and soft breezes.

Damask, from one of the oldest cities.
light of candles, conversations
among ministers, spies, kings.
Table linen patterned with secrets.

Lynn Dausman


Two Colors

We are the colors which the rainbow never knew.
So quiet and reticent, we hang back shyly
while others push in front – red, yellow, green and blue.

How should one notice us behind the wily
colors who elbow past so that they will be noticed?
So quiet and reticent, we hang back shyly,

and have no chance, not even the remotest.
We keep ourselves so busy, pay no attention to
colors who elbow past so that they will be noticed

by the rainbow. And indeed that brilliant retinue,
those taken up inside are loved by all the world.
We keep ourselves so busy, pay no attention to

the onlookers or how the other colors curl inside
the rainbow. Khaki, that’s me, left outside with Grey.
Those who get in are loved from far and wide.

Grey and Khaki, the two of us, are left to stay,
while others push in front – red, yellow, green and blue
into the rainbow. Khaki, that’s me, left outside with Grey.
We are the colors that the rainbow never knew.

Tom Perkins


Want to Kick-start Your Imagination?

Peruse a millinery department.

Grab a wide-brimmed black satin
chapeau topped with an outrageous cabbage
rose, plop it on your noggin.
Smile, stand back.
Look in the mirror,
the new you, dressed for the Derby.

Brim too wide or floppy?
Not your style? A tad
flashy, over the top?

Choose a round, sculpted
blue bucket –
narrow upturned brim,
bordered around the crown with
white grosgrain ribbon,
sedate yellow daisies,
adornment for afternoon tea.

Mild giggles at your reflection
turn into approval.
Skip to another rack.

Don’t overlook a throwback to the fifties
an embroidered silk mauve pillbox,
hint of a tiny dotted black veil,
perfect to frame
sultry brown eyes.

Too reminiscent of Mamie?
Opt for the modern woman’s fascinator,
a headband wrapped in chocolate velvet,
sporting brilliant cerulean feathers
chattering with rhinestones.

Perfect the royal wave,
picture yourself walking onto red carpet,
Her Majesty awaits.

Sandra Phillips


Spring Fabric

White curtains now clean
wave on the warm clothesline like butterflies
stretching new lacy wings. A breeze
blows from the south
laden with birds cracking seeds and
pollen veiling the air.

The naked windows wear dust marks from
leftover flower patterns
so I wash them with squeaky
strokes across glass that captures sunlight
and shadows from runaway clouds.

My old dog, roused from sleep,
jumps off the porch and
rolls humming in the grass –
too bright a green to comprehend.

Barbara Eckroad


Photograph Above the Fold

U.S. Senate campaign moment, 1978
Pearisburg – on the courthouse steps.
Candidate, center stage, new bride
by his side to gin up support.

The buzz across Southwest Virginia, not
about John Warner, his French-cut shirt
and cufflinks. The crowd gathers for her,
Elizabeth Taylor, his cinema star wife.

Fans mill around the lawn anticipating
the matinee. The message lost on all
who murmur and fall in line snaking
around the five and dime.

Do they hear the script the silver-tongued
gentleman recites and
come Election Day, will they recall
his handshake?

They’ll remember the movie queen.
Her court of well-wishers wait to bask,
touch her hand, feel her cosmic glow.
Ask her to pose for pictures and kiss the babies.

Preserved in black and white, velvet eyes
survey the scene. The camera scrubs her skin
of abuse, irons flat the wrinkles,
enshrines in newsprint a sliver of fame.

Caroline Kane Kenna