McCann: Looking at National Poetry Month

In Honor of National Poetry Month

Maggie Mountain is located in Floyd County near Prestonsburg.

Originally from Pike County, poet Marie Parsons holds a bachelor of arts degree from Pikeville College, two masters degrees from Morehead State University and a doctorate from the University of Kentucky.

Now living in Clark County, Parsons is a retired Prestonsburg Community and Technical College professor of English.

Her novel “The Devil’s Back” (2015) is available from Amazon and at the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea.

High on Maggie Mountain

“Back when my legs were young and spry,

And I could climb the mountains high,

Where towering trees reached the sky,

And song birds sang sweet lullabies,

I’d go up Maggie Mountain

Whenever I was feeling low,

Up that mountain I would go,

Up where no one else could see

And my spirit would be free,

No opioid high for me,

When I had Maggie Mountain.

I’d make myself a leafy seat

And lean my head against a beech,

To hear the gospel Nature preached,

And learn the lessons she did teach,

High on Maggie Mountain.

I’d breathe in deep the earth and sky,

On Maggie Mountain,

Way up high,

And watch the birds go soaring by,

See red hawks dip and swoop and dive,

Hear crows curse and blue jays chatter

About what to them seemed no small matter,

High on Maggie Mountain.

I used to wish that when I died,

They’d bury me there,

Way up high,

Where storm clouds sometimes paint the sky,

Where bears and timber rattlers thrive,

High on Maggie Mountain.

But evil men with greed unmeasured,

Threw Nature out,

Stole Maggie’s treasures,

And of her mansion in the sky

Made a moonscape,

Way up high,

An unfit place to live or die,

So long, Maggie Mountain.

Still they’ll never take from me

Memories of what used to be,

When I was young

And wild

And free,

And all in perfect harmony,

High on Maggie Mountain.”

Carolyn Hisel exhibit

The Headley-Whitney Museum, 4435 Old Frankfort Pike, Lexington, is hosting an exhibit called “Luminous, Carolyn Young Hisel: A Fifty Year Retrospective” through June 16.

Hisel (1942- 2017) a nationally respected artist was born and raised in Lexington; she is a graduate of both Henry Clay High School and the University of Kentucky.

According to her obituary in the Lexington Herald Leader said, (Hisel) saw beneath the surface of our world to the richer colors that gave poetry to the ordinary.”

Likewise, the Headley-Whitney website said her “work explored the spiritual realm and journey into our next world. Her paintings invoked a deeply emotional response.”

For more information about the exhibit visit or call 859-255-6653.

Bill McCann is a playwright, poet, flash fiction writer, and teacher who writes about arts events and personalities. Reach him at