13 March 2018

my first collection of poetry

Good morning!  I've been away from my blog site for awhile working on my first collection of poetry.  I'd like to share the book information with you:

Main Street Rag Publishing Company has decided to publish my book (Naked).  It’s due to be released in May and will sell for $12, but you can get it now for $6.50 by placing an advance discount order at the MSR Online Bookstore.
Here’s a link directly to my author’s page:
The MSR Online Bookstore:  http://mainstreetragbookstore.com/
If you don’t like buying online, Main Street Rag will take checks, but the price is a flat rate of $10.50/book regardless of quantity which includes shipping and sales tax.
Please remember, though, this is for advance orders.  It doesn’t mean the book will be shipped early, only that you are receiving a discount for ordering before it goes to press, but the price will only last until 20 March.

Thank you,

Cindy B. Stevenscindy.stevens.poet@gmail.com
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Finish every day and be done with it.  You have done what you could.  Some blunders and absurdities no doubt have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.  This day is all that is good and fair.  It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on yesterdays.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

19 August 2010

The River Life

As we drove across the bridge today
a place within me mourned
of time spent far away from here
and missing the river dawns;

Friends whom we have left behind
no longer part of their daily story
echoes of camaraderie and laughter
drift on dark skies, laden with pinpricked light;

We saw the river moon once more,
floating above Sunday night’s horizon
the sounds, sights, and love of the river life,
are preserved here – in my heart.

Cindy B. Stevens

19 April 2010

Interesting Road Signs

In the winter, usually during January or February, while living at the RiverWorld, we enjoyed taking a trip up to the Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge to see the migrating Tundra Swans.

On NCSR 94, west of the Alligator River and east of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, there is a directional sign to “Frying Pan Landing”.  A little further North, someone had named their private road “Pity My Shoe”.

Cindy B. Stevens
19 April 2010

08 October 2009

And The Heron Landed

Twilight was descending
as on the dock we stood
silent and awestruck
to relish sunset’s last brilliant colors
infuse the horizon.

Standing still in twilight
murmuring conversation
preparing to walk for home
as shore ducks’
clamored with distressing quacks.

We turned to see their ally
who glided from marshes north
over stillness of Dawson’s Creek
primed to alight at dock’s edge
launch to flight again.

Amid the cry of alarm
circled beyond, behind, and around
to perch opposite
three feet from where we stood
the Great Blue Heron.

Cindy B. Stevens
8 October 2009

14 July 2009

Mornings With Brandy

Brandy-dog shared many beautiful mornings with me at the Riverworld.  Enjoying beautiful, brisk, autumn mornings on our morning stroll, we would sit on the dock for a few minutes and breath in the crisp morning air.  One morning, four mallard ducks passed in flight, about 10 feet before our faces.  Brandy-dog and I were awed.

Some glorious mornings turned to overcast afternoons with grey clouds drifting slowly over the tree line.  The breeze would pick up and turn cool, while I shared my lunch with Brandy-dog.  She occasionally stretched her nose toward the sky, sniffing and blowing, and would continue to gaze toward land, while my eyes were cast over the water to watch the gulls, ducks, and other birds.  Even on a windy day, the peace of the creek permeated my being, submerging my cares and worries into sub-consciousness.

Other mornings were warm enough for short sleeves on our stroll around the grounds, with a gentle breeze coming from the creek.  On one such morning, Brandy-dog and I were so busy watching the ducks float around that we surprised the heron sunning herself on the dock; and she surprised us as we approached from the south, not seeing her until she stretched tall and spread her wings for flight.  She does not understand that we only wish to observe and admire.

Cindy B. Stevens

12 July 2009

The Beauty and Creatures of the RiverWorld

Our area on Dawson’s Creek is a beautiful and peaceful location.  The gulls, of course, frequent the area as they dive for fish or float on the water.  We attended a band concert in a park on the river one Sunday afternoon, and as they began their John Philip Sousa selections, the gulls seemed to dance in the air above our heads, adding to the entertainment.

There are several varieties of birds, some I cannot identify without help.  We have the usual crowd of woodpeckers, hordes of cardinals, red-winged blackbirds, and other birds one sees in the south.  One evening Richard was treated to a particularly captivating scene as he sat on the deck; he watched as an osprey caught a fish in the creek, flew to a tree beside the guesthouse, and ate his fill.  Finishing the meal, it dropped the remains and flew away.

And we have the resident Great Blue Herons.

We would watch as this spectacular bird would fly over the creek from the woods in the early morning; and on the dock around dusk, we could here it coming over the marsh grasses and spot it flying about 2 to 3 feet from the surface of the water, heading again for the woods.  Other times we have come within about 50 feet of it, as we headed for the camp dock, where it was sitting at the end on the back of a bench.  As we walked the paths through the camp one would start squawking from its cover and take somewhat awkward flight over the creek, transforming itself into a creature of graceful flight.

While we sat on the deck of the guesthouse, and the sun sank below the tree line over the creek one late March evening, we were the privileged observers of a fishing expedition.  In the sluice beside our deck, the Blue Heron waded in the water and fished for supper.  We sat out until dark, watched him fish over his limit, and listened to all the other bird voices.

Another big fellow is the Great Horned Owl, who, from 20 feet away, appears to be approximately 3 feet tall standing on the ground, among the trees in the middle of the camp.  It has a penchant for displaying the tremendous wingspan, and then takes flight as we come closer.  There was a time when we had not seen him all winter and had been curious as to his whereabouts.  As we returned home one evening and pulled into the entrance, he flew from one of the trees along the main driveway as if he was waiting for us, perhaps trying to reassure us that he was not far away.  On most mornings during our stroll around the property, we would hear, then see a juvenile Great Horned Owl, going from tree to tree before we reached its current perch.

Other birds that capture our attention, especially at dusk, are the Eastern Screech Owls with their eerie calls shuddering our spines!  We would stand on the deck of the guesthouse, while one would call from the south woods in the camp, and just behind us in the north woods, another would answer, going on like that for quite some time.

Mercifully, only certain years bring the cicadas with their cacophony; one could go crazy with that constant commotion.  While traipsing through the woods one hot summer afternoon, we spied a rattlesnake, and of course gave it wide berth!  Tree frogs and geckos frequent the area, providing our cats with entertainment until the poor creatures die, being found later while unfolding one of the small throw rugs the cats slide on while chasing through the house.

We enjoy simple things such as sitting on the porch visiting with weekend neighbors and eating ice cream, drinking coffee, amidst voices, laughter, and guitar.  Yes, these are simple things, but good things to enjoy and not to take for granted.

Beauty is all around us.  The fall treating us to the changing colour of the leaves; late winter, early spring bringing the blooms of daffodils, forsythia, Bradford pear and flowering cherry trees, and the warming weather of mid-April delighting us with Dogwood trees in full bloom.

As we traverse the grounds on our evening walk, we usually detour to the dock where Dawson’s Creek is often smooth as glass and the night very still.  Even a yappy dog in the distance fails to break the spell of wonder as the sun dips beneath the horizon, the sky tinted orange-red while we watch.

Cindy B. Stevens

Old Window Glass

Dawson’s Creek was smooth and the ripples barely perceptible, like old window glass.  It was busy this particular afternoon with four small fishing boats quite near us, while Brandy and I sat on the dock to wait for the heron.  I could hear a couple of young boys, and what sounded like their mom near one of the houses on the creek-side of the road, fishing from a small dock.  They must have been deciding on a meal, because one of them said that they did not have to go to town; they could catch some fish.  A few minutes later, I heard a boy exclaim, “I caught one, I caught one!” and then squealed gleefully, “Go get the camera!”

The heron finally appeared, taking a detour from the creek and over the road, banking over the river, and circling back to the woods of the campground.  Time to go home.

Cindy B. Stevens
20 October 2000

The Small Stuff

The wind blew all day, a week ago yesterday, here in the Riverworld.  It blew so forcefully that the water level in the creek dropped significantly and was obvious while it was happening, as the water pulled away from the shore (sort of reminded me of Moses, not that I was there).  It still has not come back up to the normal level, and now ice rims the shore since the temperature has dropped and the sluice is slushy with ice.

Amid our busy days, it is the simple joy of watching the sun play on the surface of the water, birds dive for food and ducks stream along through the creek, squirrels scamper through the trees, "our" blue heron sit statuesquely on the marshy point, and of course, watching the glorious sunsets, that capture our attention.

Since moving to Dawson’s Creek, God's presence in the "small stuff" has become even more evident and has reinforced our belief that he does indeed pay attention to the ordinary and is in fact the master of detail.

Cindy B. Stevens
24 December 2000

10 July 2009

Morning Stroll

Richard and I enjoyed strolling with our coffee and English muffin in the early morning.  The coffee machine was programmed the night before to brew just before we awakened, we would split an English muffin and off we would go.  It was a good time for us to connect without any camper or staff interruptions, since they would still be sleeping.  I loved starting my day this way, and Richard so generously had agreed to join me.  He is a good man.

We saw more dolphins in Dawson’s Creek during the 2007 summer camping season than in the past summers.  Richard and I sat at the dock one night and could not see them, but could hear them as they breached the water’s surface; the next morning on our pre-dawn stroll, we spotted three in the creek.

Cindy B. Stevens

Our Life at the Riverworld

Our service at Camp Caroline saw summer seasons passing, and having opportunities to enjoy the many people, young and old.  We enjoyed seeing new faces, remembering those from previous years and witnessing the young people arriving as they jubilantly greeted their old friends and made room in their hearts for new.

We were blessed with dedicated summer staff who worked hard to make certain the summer programs ran smoothly.  At the close of each summer camping season, our hearts were saddened with the thought of these young people leaving us, but at the same time, felt an excitement for them as they entered another phase of their lives.

The dolphins frequently graced us with their presence and the mosquitoes were ever faithful in their attempt to hold us hostage.  After the last of the summer campers left, our weekends were sometimes busy, and in preparation for weekend groups, Richard and I would put the boat in the water and run it up the creek a short distance, to see if the Osprey’s nest, which we had found earlier in the summer, was still occupied.  We would catch sight of a Great Blue Heron flying further up the creek from the marsh.

During our time living at the Riverworld, a very important member of the Stevens’ family died; one morning Brandy was hit by a vehicle just before Joel left for school.  It appeared that she died instantly.  She had enjoyed herself here, and had just taken up sailing on one of the small catamarans (with someone with her of course!).  She loved to greet us with a pinecone in her mouth while wagging her whole body.  Her absence was acute for quite some time.

In the fall, the Riverworld would become quieter and we looked forward to that, and to the changing leaf colours.  The fog would lay heavy over the river and bare cotton fields, and while some fields had been fully cleared in readiness for the next crop or to lie fallow, most still would bear witness to the cotton plants already harvested.  A few bales would wait patiently to be transported to the gin, but all along the roadside a scattered trail of bolls lay and would lie for quite some time.

Cindy B. Stevens

Peace Remains

Even on a grey day the peace remains at the river.

Cindy B. Stevens
25 November 2000