A String Of Black Pearls


In stock

poems by

Valerie Macon

ISBN: 978-1-59948-526-3, 48 pages, cover price: $12

Release date: May 26, 2015



Born and raised in New York, Valerie Macon has spent most of her life in North Carolina.

A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her poetry has been included in venues as diverse as Clockhouse Review literary journal and Cambridge’s Spare Change News, has been sung inconcert at New England Conservatory, and also appears on the walls of coffee shops.   She has won awards from The NC Poetry Society and was a Gilbert Chapel Distinguished Student Poet Award winner.  She made #1 on Scarriet’s “Poetry’s Hot 100 List” for 2014.  Poetry books include Shelf Life and Sleeping Rough, the latter written to increase awareness of homelessness and to raise funds for her project, The Garden of Eaten, a garden of food for the hungry.   


Valerie Macon’s A String of Black Pearls is a field of images along a shoreline of sails and shirts, birds and wires, wind and cables. Lyrically and appealingly poetic with just enough storytelling to explore these personal materials, Macon’s poems rise and lilt in meditative sermons unmistakably searching for the very pulse of the universe.–Shelby Stephenson, poet laureate of North Carolina


It can hide anywhere. Look
in the eyes of a spider,
in a beggar’s pocket,
in the far corner of a field.

Sometimes, it comes in the night,
a riot of fricatives and diphthongs
knocking against each other where
words muster in a half-dream head.

Sometimes, caramel verbiage drizzles
from universe to brain, fat buttery words
flow through fingers, spill across page,
assemble into lines of luscious verse.

Then, it sits and waits to be eaten.


From the pew of a white-steeple church
a Sunday voice rises like fresh cream
to the spire, peels with the bells, joins
a choir of birds in the breath of morning
sweet as crushed purple grapes,

it crescendos into clouds where ions
clash and vibrate like tiny cymbals,
it trills with the gurgle of glaciers that
ice the Arctic, glissandos through a hole
in the ozone into the stratosphere
where planets spin and hum with
the velvet B-flat thrum of a black hole
to the beat of the sun’s molten pulse—

and the whole universe thumps with
allegro symphony fit for the ears of God.

Beach Walk

Let wind fill our shirts like sails
past moated castles, shore rigged poles,
that place where sky and sea meet.
Let tide pull our feet as we walk
hand in hand past houses painted
Flamingo, Pistachio and Fabulous Grape,
barefoot in salt-white sand, footsteps
disappear, rest where ocean sprays rocks,
and cares like balloons soar beyond
the seagulls, out of sight.

SKU: 978-1-59948-526-3 Category: Tag: