Jean Calkins,
2011 North Carolina Senior Poet Laureate

Jean Calkins, 78, Waynesville, continues to grow as a living legend among authors/poets as her publications increase. Books now include 67 titles that cross the genre lines to include two textbooks, a cookbook, three books of short stories, one novelette, one novel, ten haibun, five books of award-winning poems, and numerous books of postcard verse. How’s that for a former executive secretary in the insurance industry who raised five children and found time to write. Jean has seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Her astrological sign is Pisces.


THE SECRET OF SAN BERNARD RIVER
(A Texas Legend)

Do you hear the haunting music rising now from  Music Bend? The violins play sweetly, for hours  upon end, for those who keep an open mind to the  possibility that things like this can happen to folks  like you and me. Sometimes you’ll hear a bellow  like a steer in searing pain, but then will come the  music — a compelling, soft refrain — as you sail the  rippling waters on the night of a full moon, gripped,  and yet still honored to share the soothing tune.  The music — sweet, but sorrowful — much like a  funeral dirge — some say it was for two girls who  drowned (the first time it was heard). Then there’s  the fiddling sailor whose obsession irritated,  resulting in a scuffle, where he fell; was inundated.  Or you can choose the version of the lover who was  shattered to find his sweetheart murdered, found his  life no longer mattered. He threw himself and violin  into the lilting stream, playing still his love song,  living still his dream. The stories vary greatly, but  the music lingers on, caressing those who listen in  the dark before the dawn. And so folks who sail the San  Bernard hope to become a part of the mystical  Intrigue that calls those with a questing heart. 

Jean Calkins