Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Meet Georgia Poet Karen Paul Holmes



Karen Paul Holmes is the author of the poetry collection, Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press, 2014), which tells a story of loss and healing “with grace, humor, self-awareness and without a dollop of self-pity,” according to Poet Thomas Lux.  Her publishing credits include Poetry East, Atlanta Review, Caesura, POEM, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Every Day Poems, The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol 5: Georgia (Texas Review Press) and Anthology of Georgia Poetry (Negative Capability Press). Karen splits her time between Atlanta and the Blue Ridge Mountains. She hosts a monthly, open-to-the-public Writers’ Night Out in Blairsville, GA and has taught writing at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC
 
Below is a poem perfectly paired with our Georgia Home and Life blog and its peach logo!  See more links to connect with Karen's work below. Look for more of Karen's poems in future blog posts here!
 
 
Peach Stand
by Karen Paul Holmes

The deep-rooted farmer sits
on a folding chair next
to his fruit stand;
Wolfpen Ridge peaks
through clouds behind him.
Peach slices slip
into a white enameled bowl
with chipped red rim.
Juice drips down wrists.
He beckons with knife,
holds out a generous wedge,
“Tell me if this ain’t the best
thing you ever et.” 
Yes. Wet, ripe,
like the honeyed sunset
blooming over Lake Chatuge.
 
He picks out
an unblemished dozen for me
moving speckled hands
from baskets to brown bag.
I pay inside and start to leave
but the farmer beckons again,
presents another piece.

In these Blue Ridge valleys,
peach stands dot summer highways.
But I only stop for his,
somehow consistent
through drought and rain.
When Atlanta calls me back
each August end,
I buy as many as I can use;
two weeks of pies, sorbet,
or cut fresh atop Greek yogurt.

I rely on the old man’s stand
for three summers.
Then one season, a young man
sits in the folding chair, smiles
when I guess he’s the grandson.
The next year, the stand’s gone.
I test other peaches along GA 76
or from the back of a rusty truck
parked weekends at the hardware
but often bite into bland,
mealy disappointment.
When lucky, my tongue
swims in sweet juice
basks in that certain spice—
a peach equal
to the old man’s delight.
 

First appeared in FlycatcherJournal 
 



Links:  Karen Paul Holmes Poetry Facebook

               Flycatcher

               Untying the Knot Kindle and Amazon 

               Review from Blogalicious Featured Books

               Simply Communicated, Inc.

               Goodreads