Low Country, High Water by Sally Stewart Mohney
"Inhabiting myriad landscapes, including the marshes, rivers, and sounds of the North Carolina foothills, as well as gulfs, floodplains, and the overflowing banks of the Chattahoochee, Sally Stewart Mohney’s Low Country, High Water consists of delicate, often minimal explorations of family, mortality, nature, and the world behind perception. Often dreamlike and painterly, these poems brim with a lyrical and imagistic power, a contemplative force that ignites the imagination. With a Dickinsonian penchant for portraying states of mind through telescoped metaphors, Mohney crafts poetry that proves insightful, compassionate, and subtle. Even as this work conveys the transitory nature of our world and the people and places that construct our lives, this poetry glows with mystery, vitality, and timelessness."
"Sally Stewart Mohney is a keen observer of estuary and ocean, landscape and flower, birds and weather. She translates her landscapes, waterscapes, and interiors ('Her Mother’s Kitchen' being one of the gems) into connections with family, loss, and beauty, creating small, delicate patterns that intrigue and charm. A child’s going away, a father’s jigsaw sky, a mother’s loss to Parkinson’s, and the wide world in which all things live—here is the physical and the spiritual at once, touchable and fine."
—North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee, Betty Adcock
"Sally Stewart Mohney takes us into a world of remarkable beauty and threatening terrain. Her weather is indeed unsettled whether the locale is coastal Carolina storms—detritus flies past: 'hair, wind, sock/ bits of tainted bitten heart/ to the river Seine' where she scatters ashes from a Paris footbridge. Mohney’s water—marshes to ocean, carry us to the natural world and all its inhabitants in lyrical and scenic ways. Family stories flow and ebb as does Mohney’s own deeply felt and beautifully told story. Digging in her garden, she finds her son’s old toys—'my shoulders folded like napkins, / knees baptized /.' Her delicate lines fall like snow in winter, the silence in just the right spaces, the subtle, soft build of each poem until we are swept along, so completely, we forget ourselves, the magical place where every reader hopes to dwell."
Salvation can finally come
as simply as lighting heat
in an early kitchen.
You enter, chilly in slippers,
start several small fires
to find your way.
bacon, then toast.
Setting out white cups
bowls, plates—a creamer
Light pours in, as
pale blue mercy
A native of Charlotte, Sally Stewart Mohney’s publications include pale blue mercy, as part of Main Street Rag Publishing Author’s Choice Series, and A Piece of Calm, from Finishing Line Press. Her work has appeared in The Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Broad River Review, Cortland Review, Iodine Review, San Pedro River Review and Town Creek Poetry, among others. She has published in anthologies such as Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems, The Reach of Song, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VII: North Carolina. She is the recipient of the First Prize Award in Excellence from the Georgia Poetry Society and of the Jesse Rehder Writing Prize from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.