When I moved to Mousie, Kentucky one of the first poets and writers I came across was James Still. He lived in a log cabin in Knott County, on the property of the Hindman Settlement School. A friend gave me his book, River of Earth, and I was in awe of the powerful gentlity of his writing and his love of the mountain region of Appalachia.
He passed away a few years ago. On show #389, me and the guys performed a brand new song named after one of Mr. Still's most famous peoms, Heritage. What a beautiful piece of writing. I gave full credit for the source and inspiration of the song to the writer of the poem, but I want you to have a chance to read the poem itself. I encourage you to visit James Still's web page and learn more of this great Appalachian poet and writer (http://faculty.colostate-pueblo.edu/sandy.hudock/jshome.html)
Though they topple their barren heads to level earth
And the forests slide uprooted out of the sky.
Though the waters of Troublesome, of Trace Fork,
Of Sand Lick rise in a single body to glean the valleys,
To drown lush pennyroyal, to unravel rail fences;
Though the sun-ball breaks the ridges into dust
And burns its strength into the blistered rock
I cannot leave. I cannot go away.
Being of these hills, being one with the fox
Stealing into the shadows, one with the new-born foal,
The lumbering ox drawing green beech logs to mill,
One with the destined feet of man climbing and descending,
And one with death rising to bloom again, I cannot go.
Being of these hills I cannot pass beyond.