OCEAN STATE POET --- GIVING VOICE
Julia Meylor Simpson
Julia Meylor Simpson lives in East Providence, RI, and works in corporate communications and public relations. Her poetry has been published in a number of national and regional literary journals. She has a master’s in teaching from Rhode Island College and a bachelor’s in journalism from Iowa State University. She finds that a lot of her writing is about the emotional geography of place, and how our roots continue to shape us throughout our lives.
At the Cliff Walk
Yesterday, I heard
an Iowa farmer’s gravel voice
as Atlantic surf dashed smooth pebbles
against a rootless coast
and groaned them back and forth
with each surge.
In that instant,
I was almost six again,
falling asleep after card games
and Grandma’s fried chicken supper.
My grandfather’s deep bass
rolled down into waking sleep
as I curled up safe on the davenport
and let his voice protect me
in the dark woods.
Yesterday, I stood
on a precipice
high above churning agate seas,
and heard my grandfather’s voice
rumble down channels of green cornfields.
I lingered as he roared back
at the eddies below
to save me again.
Balancing the Tides—a Newport Journal,
in the south pasture
marked the corner
to turn north
for the farm place.
of wind made
wide paddles whir,
as it roused
As it leaned
Today, eyes sweep flat-line horizon.
Nothing stands to shout: Turn here!
Not even a severed skeleton defies baked blue sky.
So you drive on.
Sojourn, Fall/Winter 2008
Ocean State Poets--Rhode Island