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Happy Trails, Lucy Cole Gratton

Lucy Cole Gratton has served as the longtime NCWN-West regional rep for Cherokee County. Alas, all good things must come to an end.

Lucy will step down as regional rep at the end of this month, and we wish her nothing but the best in her move south to the Atlanta area. She’s moving for the best of all reasons, returning to where she grew up and to be closer to family.

A distinguished poet and prose writer, Lucy Cole Gratton is a retired CPA who has lived in Murphy close to twenty years. As regional rep for NCWN-West, she regularly attends critiques and readings, including organizing monthly events at the John C. Campbell Folk School.

She is a 2012 recipient of the Holman Water Quality Stewardship Award. A lifetime member of the Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition and a founding member of the Yun wi’ Gunahi’ta Society, Lucy has been actively involved with the organization since 2000. She served as the Coalition’s first executive director from 2001-2003.

Lucy’s poetry has appeared in Wild Goose Poetry Review and the chapbook Inagehi. Her interests in protecting our natural environment are reflected in her writings and life on her acreage on Lake Apalachia.

Thank you, Lucy, for all of your support over the years, preparing promotional material, scheduling events, and most of all working so well with the writers of Western North Carolina.

Lucy has asked us to share a poem she wrote, which appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of Wild Goose Poetry Review.

Godspeed and good luck, Lucy Cole Gratton!


Acres of forest,
a beguiling creek
downward splashing
from a copious waterfall
into the lake’s primitive splendor.

Years away from progress.
A time of solitude and peace,
hard physical labor,
volunteer work, contemplation,
of writing, reading, letting go.

Signs are everywhere.
Time to go…
Leave this place, die mourning it;
or stay at risk against wise counsel –
unbearable choices.

Even if chosen,
how, by what means –
give it all away,
sell it to a stranger,
how would they know
to earn the rudiments of care?

If I were to go, parting
would shatter my heart;
gouge a hole
in an ebbing mind;
turn my soul
to hoar frost.