Welcome!

Welcome to my online home.  Just like my timber frame cabin in the mountains of South Carolina, I hope this space will have a sense of place. I am fun-loving Southern woman who loves the old folk ways, fresh tomatoes from the garden, local history, and the atmospheric southern landscape.

“Kimberly Simms writes with eloquence and empathy about an important part of Southern history too often neglected.” --Ron Rash, Author of Serena

Friday, October 21, 2016

Kimberly Featured at TR Art on the Trail at 11 am on the main stage and 1 pm in the Pavilion.

On Saturday October 22nd, I will be reading at the Travelers Rest Art on the Trail Festival at 11am on the main stage, plus in the Pavilion at 1 pm. The Festival is at Trailblazer park just off the swamp rabbit trail by the TR Fire Station. These are the poems I will be sharing.

Also, I will be at the festival all day in Booth 3! I will be selling books and magnetic poetry, but will be available to chat with folks about poetry or just to chat!

Ode (Or Elegy?) to Abraham Ford of The Walking Dead (G Version)

Abraham Ford: fiery, ferocious, unflinching
bristling boar warrior unleashed, virile, thundering
out of charred Houston, birthed from chaos, life shattered.
His mouth poetic decimation, his heart cracked.


He raged down overgrown highways of death. Boldly
pummeling his battle clad vehicle faster.
Taking no heed of vultures swinging through the heat
his has always been to fight, do, die, rinse, repeat.


Stormed by sweeping zombie hordes. Dicked by destiny.
Blustering an ocean of crap, kicking it right
back up its own butt. Daily, he thundered assault.
Rallied. Scratched out new plans. Soldered old wounds with salt.


Riding clear across the jaws of heck. Charging foes.
Plunging knives deep in skulls. Hungry for violence.
Loose ends chapping his ass Lust edging red mustache.   
Loyal to his ragtag crew. Perpetual bad-ass.


Hauling his gashes, damage, loss like a desert.
Desperate for a wholly mother-D reset.
His guilt a guillotine driving for redemption.
Soldier. Lover. Friend. Will this hero find peace in the end?





The Vulture Whisperer


Before eyes see the hulking spades — the tin clatter
the scraping of nails across the rusty metal
call attention to the thirteen sunning queens, black
weighted wings lifted like carved totems, spread eagle.
As if Poe himself had made this house his abode
finding a glut of milky vulture eyes, death’s bridge.
In this smudge of worn Appalachian hills, she’s known
a shadow across smoking green turns of ridges.

Here ­—the home of the vulture whisperer, remote
faded farm house with pooled glass windows, worn pine slats.
Her mute charges filling nearby oaks, oily wings
shimmering like forgotten Halloween trinkets.
Apron strings rankling, braids under red scarf, ambling
a shrill whistle, arms flung out, face uplifted, “Fly!”
Black sky queens ascend over the roof line, circle
her in smooth majestic swoops as more and more soar.
Their feathered fingers fan wide, air born oracles
their long gnarled faces are indistinguishable
only their churning gyre rising, winged spectacle.  
With dozens gathered, the vulture whisperer boils
the pot with a wave of her frail arms, spectral kites
seize a warm updraft. Her kettle of beauties roils
rides thermals, dances altitude. Thirty in flight,
wings wider than a grave is tall, climbing more height.

Strange how like is drawn to like, outcast to outcast
her leather-bound charms banished, her herbs, her livers,
her pocked marked face, her black skin, her too-true forecasts
driven out of town like a witch through the river.
She beckons her purifying breeze to scavenge.
They wheel to devour kill from southern highways,
offal from the slaughter, dead lost in swampy dredge.
Passersby scorn their hooked beaks, leathery faces
deep in decay. But born for azure atmosphere,
their silver lined wings lift them heavenward, angels
heralding what end? They circle to their clapboard
home where the vulture whisperer swishes her rod
like a black cat’s tail to summon her obedient hoard.
One by one, they stop like a clock upon her roof.
Dusk descends. Vultures settle like evil omens.



Fortune Tellers


Fortune Tellers never look like you expect
them to. This one has hair sprayed blonde bangs,
purple eye shadow, and boulder-like amethyst
rings. The room smells of country rose.

Last time it was a middle-aged black woman,
natural with short hair and beige fingernails.
She wore feather earrings and whispered,
“Stop punishing yourself.”  This is common.

Fortune tellers often urgently grab your wrist
as you descend steps to impart an ambiguous
shred of direction. Dad likes to have his cards
read, while I prefer palm readings. Life lines

and crease counting reminds me of cartography.
We avoid the ones with crystal balls and hoop
earrings. Wearing a purple turban is suspect
in our books. Fortunes change constantly.

Fortune Tellers are like weathermen.
It doesn’t always rain, but carrying
an umbrella never hurt anyone.


Ugly Jug


Daddy’s been in the ugly jug.
Them took it out in the woods.
Now Daddy thinks he is in love
with a squinty face toothy tight.

Them took it out in the woods.
They got a fire and all night
with a squinty face toothy tight.
The moon, tonight, shines so bright,

hell, they got a fire and all night.
Them hammering on banjos
under a moon is shining bright.
Later the boys will come to blows.

Them hammering on banjos
falling over, laughing stitches.
Later the boys will come to blows.
Mama’s bout to pitch a fit.

Falling over, laughing stitches,
now Daddy thinks he is in love.
Mama’s bout to pitch a fit.
Daddy’s been in the ugly jug.



My South’s Boys


In my South - men grew up in the creek,
skinning snakes, sunning leather in trees.
My southern man could fire a twenty-two
or tear a truck through red logging roads
even before he was two.

My southern man was raised on Brave’s baseball,
Church diners, and Saturday night, dirt races.
My southern man loves the outdoor salt life:
hunting, camping, climbing, or – even - whittling with a knife.

My southern man can rock a pair of waders.
He casts magic to zip in fresh fish
then fries them up in a cast iron skillet.
My southern man is never scared
of wolf spiders, bats, or even a bear.
Like a boy scout my southern man
is always prepared.

My southern man can name all the stars,
then stay up late telling wild yarns.
My southern man know how to make a little go a long way,
he doesn’t throw away money on fads of the day.

My southern man loves to eat country cooking, he doesn’t
want nothing to do with trendy tapas or anything vegan.
My southern man is friends with his neighbors,
whether puzzling things out beneath the hood of a dodge,
or early morning hunting up at the lodge.

My southern man is the light of my life, so
Thank you Southern Mama’s for raising ‘em right
with chests brimming with Blue Ridge mountain might

and hearts generous as a sweet summer night.


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