May 30, 2017

What’s All This Praying and Politicking for the Mountains About, Anyway?

I often use social media to encourage my friends to pray for the mountains, or to contact their legislators to protect the mountains. Those posts don't always get a lot of comments, but sometimes someone will ask me in person,  "WHAT are you talking about?" So here's a bit of background information, and a great music video that helps explain. Living on a very flat piece of middle Tennessee, I'd never heard of a mining process called mountaintop removal (MTR) until I started attending writing … [Read more...]

A Child’s Poem Inspires My Prayer for the Mountains

Recently in a used book store, I came across a small volume entitled Chrysalis by Harry Behn. Although the book had a worn and yellowed jacket, its subject matter – children and poetry – and a quick thumb-through convinced me to purchase it to read for myself and share with a friend. It has a number of delightful stories and insights, but one particularly stuck with me. Behn tells of working with a group of children in which one little boy shares this poem: Did you think about the … [Read more...]

A Christmas Poem

My poem "And This Will Be a Sign" has been published by the Christian Science Monitor. You can read it here. I wrote the poem last Christmas season after spending some time in the picturesque town of Bell Buckle, Tennessee - a place where, for me at least, even the Christmas rush is at a more relaxed pace. (Although, if you visit Bell Buckle on one of their big festival weekends, such as the RC and Moon Pie Festival in June or the Webb School Art and Craft Fair in October, you'll find it … [Read more...]

Bound for the Blue Plate Special

On Monday, December 19th, poetry and roots music from the edge of Appalachia will be taking to the airwaves and cyberspace when Kelsey and I appear on Knoxville WDVX's Blue Plate Special program along with Tennessee poet laureate Maggi Vaughn and Sweet Fancy Moses, the band that Kelsey's in. The one-hour show broadcasts live before a studio audience at noon EST from the Knoxville Visitors Center on the corner of Gay Street and Summit Hill Drive in downtown Knoxville. We're hoping a number of … [Read more...]