Monday, July 20, 2009

Alabama Writers Conclave 2009

On Sunday, July 19th, I attended the last day of Alabama Writers Conclave 2009. We met in Birmingham, which was just fine with me. I had no trouble locating the location!

Last year, the 2008 Conclave was held in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and I, being the intrepid traveler not unlike Dangermouse himself, wisked away to Auburn, Alabama with Nina, an unsuspecting side-kick not unlike Dangermouse's right-hand-hamster Penfold, really. We arrived all agog, and casting our eyes all around Auburn, we soon perceived that there was no Alabama Writers Conclave meeting to be had in that fair city. Well, duh, it was in TUSCALOOSA!

But this year I successfully located the Conclave, which is something like a cross between a coven and an enclave, and accepted with grace, and something approaching dignity, the two awards they slapped on me. My free verse poem Calling Up Magic, and my children's story Uncle Earlie Batson and the Biscuit Angel, each won an Honorable Mention. As my daughter Buffy says, it's always good to be mentioned honorably.
As soon as time permits, I'll post Calling Up Magic here. And as soon as I get my illustrations done, Uncle Earlie Batson and the Biscuit Angel is bound to be published to rave reviews, and on sale at your local bookstore!
Calling Up Magic

I remember the mountain
where mountain trees are tall and wild
with glittering leaves like jewels in blinding sun.
Deep shadows abide beneath those towering trees;
somber shadows where secrets rest,
half-remembered, long-enchanted.
Scattered there are ancient odd-shaped stones,
covered over with moss and willful vines
like strong, possessive arms entwined.

The old dirt road curves along cool, shadowed places,
beneath wild cherry, sweetgum and hickory branches,
emerging into sunlight’s blazing blast;
red sand soft and warm underfoot.
Huge sandstone boulders, summer-hot,
perfume the mountain air with fragrance like no other,
and the smell makes my mouth water,
and the air moves around me, gently caressing
like mountain spirits whispering blessings.

A rough-barked tree shimmers, engulfed, heat laden,
its gnarled exterior shredded and tattered
by a bobcat whose sharpening claws,
over time, have left deep enduring scars.
Birds trill, noisy in the bushes, and
insects hum like a choir of tiny whirring machines.
They are calling up magic, singing incantations
of mysterious joy as dark clouds gather
out of the heavy, languid grip of Alabama summer.
© Ramey Channell


Nina said...

Congratulations, Ramey!!! And a big 'THANK YOU' for mentioning me in your I famous now? LOL

Ramey Channell said...

Dear Nina,
Not only famous, but INFAMOUS! The Infamous Nina, known and admired by all.


Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

Congrats and Accolades. Glad you found the conclave. I wouldn't even know a conclave when I saw one. Congrats again.

Joanne Ramey Cage said...

Oh, I love that poem! And that place--I've been there many times. More congratulations on the prizes.

Joanne Ramey Cage said...

I mean the place in the poem--not the Conclave place. I haven't been to Birmingham since my last medical checkup. I've never been to Auburn, but I kinda like the Tigers.

JD Atlanta said...

Congratulations, Aunt Pat! Many returns!