Shelby Stephenson is professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke where he has edited Pembroke Magazine since 1979. His work has been widely published in anthologies, magazines and journals, including The Hudson Review, The Ohio Review, Poetry Now and Southern Poetry Review. Stephenson has published numerous books and chapbooks of poems, his latest, Family Matters: Homage to July was released in 2008 by Bellday Books. He is a recipient of the 2001 North Carolina Award in Literature.
Out of rhyme’s
Dear ones, remember
The sheep grazing the fence where screams
Stopped inside your hour.
The thorny nook.
Bring humors to bear.
Ring bells for girls
And boys with lyres.
The pole that stood
Tall on the schoolground yesterday, children whoop and holler about,
Now: round and round their shoes dig dirt,
Their faces, fiery, muffled, shout.