Top 9 Ways To Kill a Thanksgiving Bird (Again)

1. Leave the giblets IN the plastic bag inside the turkey. Place in oven until the poisonous smell fills the kitchen.

2. Forget to turn the oven ON.

3. Forget to turn the timer ON.

4. Float the turkey in a sea of juices…he probably needs a bath, and will look cute as a boat for the gravy.

5. Be considerate and take the turkey’s temperature under his wing instead of up his rear.

6. Overfill the fryer with oil, any oil except Peanut Oil. Enjoy the fireworks instead of the turkey. Or, to set the stage for a reenactment of the Civil War, complete with canon, make sure the fryer is sitting on unleveled ground.

7. Wait until 11:03 a.m. to take the turkey out of the fridge and find out it is STILL frozen.

8. DO inject yourself instead of the turkey with your favorite drink …we wouldn’t want the chef to dry out during cooking!

9. If all else fails and the turkey comes out perfect, there’s always the old Christmas Story standby—let the neighbors’ dogs in for a little snack before dinner.

Now it’s the turkeys outside going “gobble, gobble” instead of you and yours!


I’m sorry the pictures are blurred. I took them through the glass patio doors so I wouldn’t scare them away.


Mississippi Poetry Society Fall Festival

Wynne and Diedre Payne

MPS held its annual Fall Festival at the beautiful Belhaven College. Dr. Edwin McAllister, on staff at the college, read the poem, “In Memory of  W.B. Yeats,” by Auden. (I thought this poem was appropriate for the very recent passing of our State Poet Laureate, Winifred Farrar). He then spoke on how Romanticism was a means of expressing the most intense emotional state of the poet. He feels like the window closed there for many poets, but it is just a beautiful box. It serves no use to anyone but self.  Since poetry does nothing–can’t put food on the table or help with the stock market, what purpose does it serve? Auden stated that poetry makes nothing happen. Dr. McAllister feels that he is wrong. It does matter because we are human beings and there has never been a culture that didn’t have poetry. Poetry exists not because it produces anything, but because we are human and it separates us from animals. Poetry can cure loneliness, provide a salve for the anguished soul, and unconstrain us. It heals us and frees us.

Students Peter, Davis, Jacob Rollins, Jill Crowell, Anna Redman, Tim Smith, Mary Robbins and Linsey Gill (apologies for any misspelled names) led a workshop. These guys are sharp! They picked things out of the poems that I hadn’t thought of, such as words that changed from a formal to an informal tone, when concrete objects were need to get an abstract idea across, and connotations of words that might not be appropriate. The future looks bright!

The Poets of the Year for the Decade read their poems from beautiful handmade chapbooks, thanks to Debbie Little.

Doris Jones was chosen as Poet of the Year.

Doris Jones

Student Awards were announced and winning poetry was read.  Other awards were given for the various contests. Patricia Butkovich won 1st, Jeanne Kelly won 2nd and  I was pleased to win 3rd Place in the Poets Anonymous Award for “Between Us.”

An article in the Meridian Star, written by Anne McKee, was read by Dr. Emory Jones in memory of State Poet Laureate Winifred Farrar.

For information on the MPS Spring Festival, please see Literary Events in the South, April 30-May 1.

Farewell, Mrs. Farrar

Winifred Hamrick Farrar 1923-2010


The loss of a poet – their works shall not die

Mrs. Farrar 1923-2010, was born on a family farm near Collinsville (about 10 miles from me). On a personal note, she was my best friend’s cousin. She was married to Robert Harold Farrar for 63 years, who passed away last year. She was an English  teacher in the Meridian Public School System for thirty years. A 1945 graduate of the University of Mississippi, Mrs. Farrar earned a Master’s degree from The University of Southern Mississippi in 1962. She was appointed Poet Laureate of Mississippi by Gov. Ross Barnett on July 31, 1978. Her works include:

  • Behind the Ridge
  • The Seeking Spirit
  • Cry  Life
  • Moral intention in the work of William Faulkner: a call for postive action (thesis)
  • Gleanings:  Prose:  A Collection of Student Work from Creative Writing Courses:  Meridian High School English Department. Meridian, MS:  Meridian Public School System, 1973.
  • Gleanings:  Prose:  A Collection of Student Work from Creative Writing Courses:  Meridian High School English Department, Vol. 2. Meridian, MS:  Meridian Public School System,  1974.
  • Mrs. Farrar appeared on Good Morning America in 2007.