Laurie has been one of my Poet Sisters since 2012, when the two of us and two others, Sue Dunlap and Dee Stribling, spent a week together at Table Rock Writers Workshop, studying with Joseph Bathanti. We four women bonded in a way that can only be described as other-worldly, we were supposed to be there together.
Laurie’s poetry grounds the reader in beautiful images of nature, or the tough questions of humanity, but always transcends to something greater. There is a musicality in her work, which is only fitting since her background is in music and she’s a musician. Her connectedness with creation, and we humans are included, is profound and breathes in her work. Laurie meditates and practices yoga, and her poems reflect those disciplines of being present, of capturing brief moments of beauty. She then elevates those moments and otherwise mundane observations to something sacred.
In addition to writing poetry, Laurie’s an advocate for public poetry. She is the Co-Founder of Poetry Pathways, a project intended to celebrate poetry and make poetry accessible along Asheville, NC, City Greenways.
Laurie is the author of three collections: Circling Silence, Finishing Line Press; Conversation in the Key of Blue, Main Street Rag Publishing Co.; and with Laurie’s permission, I’m sharing two poems from her collection, Of Wilderness and Flight, Foothills Publishing. (Titles are bolded).
So here’s Laurie!
1. Do you remember the first poem you ever wrote? How old were you? What was it about?
When I was 12 years old, I remember sitting in the college library on the campus where my dad taught music theory and humanities courses. I wrote my first poem there. I grew up in a noisy household so the silence and whispers of libraries were pleasant and fascinating to me. My poem was an attempt to create the peace of this place. There was a young child in the library at the time I was sitting and writing the poem and her appearance in the poem represents innocence. The poem attempted to capture a sense of the Now.
2. If you could share a cup of coffee, sip a glass of tea or wine with any poet, living or deceased, whom would it be?
I would love to converse with Joy Harjo about poetry and also explore her musical compositions with her. I so admire that she is able to be both poet and musician. I’d be delighted to meet up with Joy Harjo—poet, musician, author and playwright. There’d be no better choice than to explore my longings for a more compassionate and wise North America than with her. Whether we conversed about gender equality, environmental and social justice and the horrific consequences of colonization and false power, she’d be my top choice. My love of nature and wish for lessening our country’s warring mindset also leads me to imagine a conversation with our U.S. Poet Laureate.
There is a stream in the laurel woods.
Flicker and bluebird sip for free
on ageless boulders.
Where babble twirls and whirls
a sweet song.
Yet also shrill and every octave in between.
Go down the wooden steps
like my fingers on ivory keys.
I make for music
Whose very tones release
the holdings of this heart–
— touched and not touched
— known and not known.
All of it comes home.
Field of Worship
Pardon my question, Mystery.
But in my backyard when I saw
a mother bear with three cubs
did you pulse in delight?
One bear dangled from a Ginko limb.
A second cub shone in the Sourwood.
A third star draped near the top of a Spruce.
Christmas on Father’s Day.
They lumbered back into June woods.
My body stood still.
Laurie Wilcox-Meyer ~ Of Wilderness and Flight
Available Foothills Publishing–
Circling Silence available Finishing Line Press
Conversation in the Key of Blue available Main Street Rag Publishing Co.