Archives for posts with tag: North Carolina

Outer Banks Beach
by Edward Ahern

Every morning in an April week
I walk the beach in Kitty Hawk,
rarely seeing other persons,
just gulls and terns who grudgingly
waddle aside as I pass.
The hard-green waves,
tamped down by cold air,
shudder onto the beach,
which shingles upward
in shades of beige and brown,
streaked by a line of dark-earth sand
and a scatter ribbon of shells and pebbles.

On the dune where shore meets land
a gap-toothed string of houses,
hurricane survivors,
stretches to indistinction.
I always pause in front of
one badly weathered cottage.
Unlike its neighbors it allowed itself
just two small water view windows,
as if watching the ocean from inside
was inadequate.
In years of walks
I’ve never seen anyone
sitting on the house-wide porch
or perched on the cool sand before it.
We share our solitary moment,
and the comfort of isolation.

Previously published in Panoply.

PHOTO: “Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head, Outer Banks, North Carolina” (Pixabay, used by permission)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He’s had over 250 stories and poems published so far, and six books. Ed works the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where he sits on the review board and manages a posse of six review editors. Visit him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Sounds of Summer Evenings
by Mary Kendall

Sometimes at night I sit outside
In the screened-in porch out back.

In the darkness, the rustling leaves
Of the tall beech trees are blowing.

The katydids call to one another,
An evening of antiphonal refrain.

On nights when a heavy rain falls,
All you can hear are the tireless frogs

Chorusing in the garden pond.
The deep lone bass, the shrill soprano,

This diverse and discordant choir
Seems to be one of rhapsodical joy.

And then there are times when an owl
Soundlessly lands in a nearby tree

And startles me with its resonant call,
Letting me know it’s now on watch.

Two times more it calls, low and deep.
I rise and go, time now for me to sleep.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Northern by birth, I have lived for more than 35 years in North Carolina. Our summer nights are especially noisy. From frogs and owls to whip-poor-wills and katydids, there are times when it is absolutely deafening. Then there are the “call and response” night singers. I love those most of all. I love to sit outside in our screened-in porch when it is dark. The dog often comes and sits with me listening and keeping me company. She makes no sound herself, knowing that we are the polite and attentive audience to this vast chorus of night.

PHOTOGRAPH: “Curious Little Green Anole” (Chapel HIll, North Carolina) by Qing Yang. Prints available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Kendall is the author of the chapbook, Erasing the Doubt (Finishing Line Press (c) 2015) and A Giving Garden (c) 2009. She is a retired teacher presently living and writing in London, but her home is Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

by Jane Mary Curran

around ten at night
high on the ridge
from earth
through root
trunk and branch
thick as dark mist
between leaves

night deepens
I turn toward dreams
while on the ridge
the wind

treetops roar
with enchantment

I wait for a glimpse
but it’s magic that watches
I am the seen

around ten at night

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I live just below the top of a ridge that runs from east Asheville up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Trees, wind, fog, bear cubs, and the full moon rising = beauty, power, magic.

PHOTO: “Valentine’s Day on Piney Mountain Ridge” (North Carolina) by Jane Mary Curran.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jane Mary Curran is a published poet and spiritual director in Asheville, North Carolina. She lived her first life as a pianist and college professor; her second as a chaplain at hospice. Now in the third third of life she returns to poetry for the essential stuff of living, fewer words and greater soul.


Photo: “Looking west on Emerald Isle, NC, as Sandy moves away,” by E. Crane, 10/29/12.