Tag Archives: poetry

A Little Ditty about a Ditzy Moment

crazy bookstoreFor some reason our bookstore FB page’s banner photo has been attracting attention again. Granted, it is a weird photo, and my favorite story about it used to be that it featured a national Korean magazine story about it. So over in Korea, people now think they know SW VA based on this photo. Think about it……

But this is my new favorite response. Our own local poet and part-time bookstore employee James Ryan penned this as a photo caption:


Here’s just a little jingle
About a place to mingle
When your mind is tired and sore
There’s a quiet place
And a smiling face
At Tales of The Lonesome Pine Bookstore

You can pet a cat
Now imagine that
‘Til you are thoroughly smitten
You’ll find that adoption
Is a really good option
For that cute and playful kitten

You can find a book
In some bright nook
Or is it maybe a cranny
It’s a wonderful place
For the whole human race
You can even bring your Granny

If you’re in the mood
For some home-made food
Just visit our crowning glory
Because it’s really neat
To sit and eat
In the Café on the second story

The bookstore opens at ten
Tuesday thru Saturday is when
And the café opens at eleven
If your time allows
You can eat then browse
In our little slice of Heaven

So please come sit
And share your wit
With anyone who has time to do it
It’s a marvelous bookstore
And I’ll tell you what’s more
That’s our tale and we’re sticking to it

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Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Scotland, shopsitting, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

The Monday Book: STORY HOUR by Sarah Henderson Hay

pigI told them a thousand times if I told them once:
Stop fooling around, I said, with straw and sticks;
They won’t hold up; you’re taking an awful chance.
Brick is the stuff to build with, solid bricks.
You want to be impractical, go ahead.
But just remember, I told them; wait and see.
You’re making a big mistake. Awright, I said,
But when the wolf comes, don’t come running to me.
The funny thing is, they didn’t. There they sat,
One in his crummy yellow shack, and one
Under his roof of twigs, and the wolf ate
Them, hair and hide. Well, what is done is done.
But I’d been willing to help them, all along,
If only they’d once admitted they were wrong.”

This is from Story Hour, published in 1963 by Sarah Henderson Hay, the most popular and enduring of her six poetry works.

I love fractured fairy tales as much as I hate poetry. (There, now I’ve admitted it. Likely this diminishes me in your eyes, but usually I just don’t get the stuff.) But as my friend Teri can testify from yesterday’s blog, I love fiction that analyzes dysfunction. Hay calls Hansel and Gretel juvenile delinquents; Rapunzel chooses safety over love; the Goose Girl  princess hates court life and longs for the little farm boy back home, “who knew better games to play than Ring around a Rosy.”

Yeah, they’re kinda raw. And beautiful. My all time favorite line about storytelling is from Hay’s interpretation of Jack and the Beanstalk: “Was no one sorry for the murdered giant? How requisite to every fairy tale, a round-eyed listener who asks no questions.”

Hay has a way of revealing troublesome undercurrents, turning the unexplored but-how-did-the-minor-characters-feel moments into startling new ways of seeing. Mother Hubbard, told from the dog’s point of view, is gut-twisting, counterbalanced by the stepmother’s cheery prattle regarding Cinderella.

It used to be hard to find this book, but with reprints appearing across the academic spectrum, this little gem should be fairly easy to lay hands to. I highly recommend doing so.

https://libwebspace.library.cmu.edu/specialcollections/shhay.html has information about Hay’s life and literary collection, if you’re interested.

And although Story Hour is my favorite of her works, she wrote a lot about Christianity, too.

I tracked Him to the mind’s far rim.

The valiant Intellect went forth

To east and west and south and north,

And found no trace of Him.

We walked the world from sun to sun,

Logic and I, with little Faith,

But never came to Nazareth,

Or found the Holy One.

I sought in vain. And finally,

Back to the heart’s small house I crept,

And fell upon my knees, and wept;

And lo! — He came to me!


Filed under Big Stone Gap, book reviews, folklore and ethnography, Life reflections, out of things to read, publishing, reading, Uncategorized, writing