Mississippi Magnolia- Southern Poems

SOUTHERN POEMS :Celebrating the South- Promoting a Positive Mississippi


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Posted by patricianeelydorsey on July 2, 2010 at 1:09 PM Comments comments (106)

A friend of mine here on Facebook recently forwarded a beautiful letter that she wrote to Governor Barbour suggesting that I should be recognized as an official Ambassador for the State of Mississippi. I am truly humbled and deeply touched.

Just wanted to share the letter with my Celebrate the South family!


Dear Governor Barbour,


Enclosed you will find a wonderful little volume of poetry by Patricia Neely-Dorsey. Although small in size, this book is very large in it's expression of the south and particularly Mississippi.


Ms. Dorsey's book, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia is an important work in many ways. First, she dispels all the stereotypes that have unfortunately defined the southern region in the eyes of our nation. Secondly, the poems cross gender, race and age. In a recent review I made the comparison between Ms. Dorsey and myself as “a tall regal black woman and a short dumpy white woman” standing together and seeing the same things. The poetry contained in “Reflections” indeed reflects the common bond we all have as Mississippians and as southerners.


Most importantly, this marvelous volume could be, and in my opinion should be used as a teaching tool included in the curriculum for the schools of this state. Children would learn to appreciate their heritage to it's fullest. Not only would there be more of an awareness and conception of the lives of their recent ancestry, but an idea as to what we remember as a less complex way of life. They would attain “new eyes” in order to grasp, have gratitude and pride in their southern culture.


Patricia Neely-Dorsey has forged through the unfounded supposition and opinion of how the rest of the country perceives the state of Mississippi. She is a true ambassador of her heritage. It is my most sincere wish that you will consider Patricia Neely-Dorsey as an Ambassador for the State of Mississippi. I honestly don't feel anyone could possibly surpass the understanding and the passion she has for this great state!


Warmest regards,



Olivia Wright King

Heart of Dixie ChapterPulpwood Queens


Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems

" a celebration of the south and things southern"

"Meet Mississippi Through Poetry, Prose and The Written Word"




Posted by patricianeelydorsey on December 25, 2009 at 10:21 AM Comments comments (0)




Christmastime at our house

Was such a joyous thing;

There was much anticipation of what the day would bring.

For many months prior,

The listmaking would begin;

There were so many things I wanted,

On pure memory I couldn't depend.

I carried handy 'round with me

A trusty little list.

There was not one single thing,

I wanted my parents to miss.

And every year, without a doubt,

I couldn't ask for any better,

For I 'd get everything on my list,

Down to the very letter.

The night before, my brother and I,

Would always try our best;

To catch ole Santa in his tracks,

So we'd get little rest.

We'd try to keep ourselves alert,

With a flashlight by our side;

But, every year ole St. Nick

Would cleverly by us slide.

We must have fallen fast asleep,

Before the morning's light;

Because our toys appeared miraculously,

Sometime through the night.

In our den, the floor was covered,

With toys of every kind;

The sheer volume of them all,

Would surely blow your mind.

We'd jump around from here to there,

And squeal with pure delight;

We couldn't have concealed our excitement,

If we tried with all our might.

Later on in the day,

The relatives would pour in;

For the traditional Christmas dinner,

With us and all our kin.

We'd have such an array of food,

Usually, specialties of the South;

One year, we even had a whole roasted pig,

With an apple in his mouth.

We'd exchange gifts and laughter,

And each other's company enjoy ;

The men would often help assemble,

Some child's complicated toy.

Our festivities usually lasted,

Way into the night;

And after all was said and done,

We felt everything went just right.


poem from Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems

Copyright 2008







A real tree from the woods,

Homemade Ornaments

And Popcorn Trim;

Apples, Oranges , Nuts

And Peppermint;

A Doll,

A Ball

A Truck,

And a pair of skates

To Share.


2009 Patricia Neely-Dorsey


Help me "Celebrate the South"

Posted by patricianeelydorsey on November 27, 2009 at 8:03 AM Comments comments (1)

Subject: Wonderful Opportunity!!!!


Please join in a wonderful opprtunity for us to participate together in Celebrating the South!

The Southeastern LiteraryTourism Initiative is an effort towards demonstrating what a major role art (in this case literary arts) can play in showcasing and introducing the tremendous assets and offerings of our beloved region, along with enhancing tourism interest and the influx of greatly needed tourism dollars.

The initiative has already started to gain very positive media attention.

For this effort to be the overwhelming success that the developers know that it can be, supporters and contributors are needed.

You can show your support simply by going to the site and signing on as a follower. You can contribute by sending in short stories, poems, ect that showcase your particular part of the southeasten region.

Yes, it's just that simple.

Take one minute to go to the site.


NOVEMBER is "Thanksgiving" Month

Posted by patricianeelydorsey on November 21, 2009 at 6:53 PM Comments comments (1)

The Thanksgiving Holiday is a perfect time for each of us to reflect on all of the things we have to be thankful for and to count our many blessings.

This Thanksgiving we should all express our "Thanksgiving" sentiments to friends and loved ones..and most importantly to THE ONE from whom all blessings flow.





When I look back on my life,

I think how wonderful it has been;

To have had the most wonderful parents of all,

And a host of wonderful friends.

My high school days were blissful,

And my college days so fun;

Fond memories are one thing for sure,

That I have by the ton.

I'm so glad that I grew up,

On Mississippi sod,

My t-shirt reads: "American by birth,

And southern by the grace of God."

My life has been so wonderful,

I wouldn't change one condition;

As one friend of mine always says,

I should have paid admission.

Copyright 2008 Patricia Neely-Dorsey


poem from Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems






OCTOBER is Family History Month

Posted by patricianeelydorsey on October 28, 2009 at 1:43 PM Comments comments (0)


October is


Share Yours!!!

I challenge each reader, to find out more about the rich personal histories within your own individual families..delve into the often hidden treasures held within your family stories.



My mother told me stories,

Of the one room school;

Where all the grades were taught together,

As they went by the same rules.

To this school is where she would go,

With other children from all around;

Traveling there in rain, sleet or snow,

These children could be found.

Each grade had their own lessons,

That they were all to learn;

While keeping warm by an old black stove,

That in the corner burned.

My mother had high praises

For the teacher who taught them there,

Because, it was her own dear mother,

Who gave them special care.

My mother said that in this place,

She learned so very much;

Like arithmmetic and writing,

Basic reading skills and such.

I love to hear these stories,

Over and over again,

For passing them on down the line,

Our legacy never ends.

Copyright 2008 Patricia Neely-Dorsey



poem from Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems



AUTHOR'S NOTE: This poem comes from one of the many "family stories" that my mother has repeated to me over the years. She was the beneficiary of very early "early childhood education" She says that her mother was the teacher at a one room school outside of Mantee, MS. Her mother (my grandmother- Julia Clay Kilgore) would take her younger pre- school age children to work (school) with her, where they were exposed to all of the lessons and conversations of the older children. My mother says that she was very young at this time

(3 and 4 yrs old). She says that she remembers her father (my grandfather-Alton Odessa Kigore) dropping her Mom and the kids off at the school in his car and going on to his one room school in Woodland, MS where he was the teacher/principal. When she was five years old, the family moved to West Point,MS and she attended M.I. College( Ministirial Institute and College) grade school program from

grades 1-4. She then attended Mary Holmes College School from fifth grade thru two years of college. She married my Dad and then went on to graduate from Tennessee State University with a Bachelor's degreein Elementary Education.

Glowing Review-Mississippi Libraries

Posted by patricianeelydorsey on October 11, 2009 at 2:13 PM Comments comments (1)


Hey gang!

Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia recently received a glowing review in the Fall 2009 issue of Mississippi Libraries

Check it out!!


Neely-Dorsey, Patricia. Reflections of

a Mississippi Magnolia: A Life in Poems.

Jonesboro, AR: GrantHouse Publishers,

2007. 90 pp. $15.00 (paperback)


In Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia:

A Life in Poems, Patricia Neely-

Dorsey has written, in poetic form, a kind

of primer on southern life, manners, and

customs. Her collection of seventy-two

short poems is divided into seven sections:

Southern Life, Country Living, Childhood

Memories, Family History, Getting Personal,

Intimacies, and Summing Things Up.

This is not the angst-ridden poetry of a

tortured soul; instead, “Loving Me” and

“Happy (With the Nappy)” reveal a

woman who is happy, secure, and comfortable

with herself. Free of strict meter,

but usually rhyming, Neely-Dorsey’s poetry

captures images of nature, people, rural

activities, social gatherings, and, of

course, all kinds of food. “Hog Killing

Time” depicts the tasks performed in

preparing a hog for eating; “Country Doctor”

paints a loving, respectful portrait of

the poet’s father in his profession; and

“Right to Vote” is a gentle reminder of the

great difficulties that have been overcome,

so that black people could vote in elections.

It is clear Neely-Dorsey also enjoys

playing with the rhythm of words and

speech, as evidenced in “Neighborhood

Groceries,” “Partyline,” and “Country Living.”

While Neely-Dorsey received her college

education in the Northeast (shown in

her lighthearted frustrations with northern

expressions in “Boston”), it is obvious

from “Mississippi Morning” and “If Mississippi’s

In You” that she deeply loves the

South, especially her native Mississippi.

As she expresses in “Mississippi Through

and Through,” “…I breathe Mississippi. I

move Mississippi. I think Mississippi. I feel

Mississippi. I am, simply, Mississippi

through and through.” This little book of

poems is recommended for all Mississippi

libraries, and will move the reader closer to

understanding just what a “Mississippi

Magnolia” girl is.


Rick Torgerson


Delta Stae University

Rust College-Lyceum Series

Posted by patricianeelydorsey on October 11, 2009 at 2:09 PM Comments comments (0)

Subject: Encouraging the kids to Celebrate the South


Hey Y'all !!

I had a phenomenal time on Thursday October 1st at Rust College.

I was one of two featured speakers for the kickoff of their Lyceum/Lecture Artist Series.

The other speaker was my good friend and fellow author John Campbell from Starkville, MS (author of Daydreaming on my Cotton Sack)

The kids..I mean young adults..well how about students (smile) were wonderful !!! There was a sea of bright, attentive faces ...over 500 for sure.

I was thrilled to be a part of encouraging them in any small way in pursuit of their academic endeavors and dreams.

I received lots of questions and sincere thank yous.

Please check out some of the pictures posted on Facebook by clicking on the link


I'm out!

As always, continuing on my path of Celebrating the South

Patricia Neely-Dorsey

Tallahatchie Riverfest

Posted by patricianeelydorsey on October 11, 2009 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Subject: Celebrating the South/Tallahatchie Riverfest


By now, you ALREADY know what I have been doing today.


Booksigning Today at the Tallahatchie RiverFest

New Albany, Mississippi

It was THE BOMB!!!

Wonderful People, Wonderful Music, Wonderful Networking and ...

THE FOOD!!..Let's just pretend that didn't happen (LOL)

If you've read Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia, you know I kind of have a little (O.K. BIG) problem (obsession) with food (LOL)

As I said, let's just pretend that part didn't happen!

Thanks to my (many) wonderful Facebook friends who came out and supported !

Next Year... same time...same place

Ya'll come back, now..you hear???

The beautiful scenery on the drive home was breathtaking!! (as usual)



Clear Blue Sky

Above Expanses of Green

Divided by Strips of Gray

Surrounded by Sprinkles

Of Pinks, Purples, Yellow and White

Highway Ride

In the Summertime

Patricia Neely-Dorsey 2009

SEPTEMBER-Read a New Book Month

Posted by patricianeelydorsey on October 5, 2009 at 9:37 AM Comments comments (0)

DID YOU KNOW: September is Read a New Book Month (yes, seriously)!!!


The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.

Mark Twain



Reading is fundamental,

That's what they always say;

Without it, I couldn't even imagine,

Wanting to start the day.

My mother's love of reading,

Was passed down straight to me;

And wherever it is that I am,

Some book with me, you'll see.

In my purse, under my arm,

Or maybe in my car;

I'm not so sure where the book would be,

But it couldn't be very far.

My mother says she remembers,

Books and papers 'round her mother's bed;

Where she would spend the whaole long day,

With knowledge being fed.

I love to read all kinds of things,

I never get enough;

I quess, I could love without my books,

But, boy, it would be tough.

Copyright 2008 Patricia Neely-Dorsey


poem from Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems



August-National Catfish Month

Posted by patricianeelydorsey on August 21, 2009 at 5:42 PM Comments comments (0)


AUGUST: National Catfish Month (Yes, Really!!!)



*Farm- raised catfish is the largest aquaculture industry in the United


*Arkansas, in 1963, was the first state to produce farm-raised catfish on a commercial level amd Mississippi was not far behind when it began its production in 1965.

*After 1970, rapid expansion of catfish production in the Mississippi Delta occurred, and Mississippi has led the catfish industry ever since.

*Today, more freshwater aquaculture is found in the Mississippi Delta than in any other region of the United States.

*Mississippi State University was the first institute to study the nutritional requirements of catfish.

*Fried catfish remains a favorite in Southern cuisine.


If you want a glimpse of Southern life,

Come close and walk with me

I'll tell you all the simple things

That you are sure to see

You'll see mockingbirds and bumblebees

Magnolia blossoms and dogwood trees

Caterpillars on the step

Wooden porches cleanly swept

Watermelons on the vine

Strong majestic Georgia pines

Rocking chairs and front yard swings

Junebugs flying on a string;

Turnip greens and hot cornbread,

Coleslaw and barbecue;

Fried okra, fried corn, fried green tomatoes

Fried pies and pickles, too.

There's ice cold tea tht's syrupy sweet,

And cool,green grass beneath your feet;

Catfish nipping in the lake,

And fresh young boys on the make.

You'll see all these things

And much, much more,

In a way of life that I adore.

Copyright 2008 Patricia Neely-Dorsey


JULY-Family Reunion Month

JULY is traditionally Family Reunion Month with family gathering taking place all ove the country..especially during 4th of July weekend.

Let us take the time to reflect on, appreciate, cherish and celebrate the "gift" of family.

The Family Tree

We are a glorious tree

With beautiful branches outstretched,

Reaching toward the heavens;

Offering our various gifts

And fruits of our labor.

We share common roots,

That run deep in ancestral soil;

Nurtured by

Common purpose,

Faith, heritage and hope.

We hear the whispers and shouts

Of those gone before.

We hear the voices

Of that great cloud of witnesses,

Ever urging, prodding, coaxing ;

Giving meaning to our race,

Shedding light on our pathways

We carry a certain knowledge

Deep within us

Embedded within our very bones

And marrow;

Encoded in the blood,

That runs between us

Among us and through us;

Carrying a sacred message

Imparted across generations.

We stand united,

Singing praises

To the One

Who made us,

Gathered us,

And bound us

Into a




Family Tree

Patricia Neeely-Dorsey 2009



Wednesday, June 3, 2009

JUNE- Happy Father's Day!

Father's Day this year- June 21, 2009

DID YOU KNOW: In the USA, UK and Canada, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June, since being made a national holiday in 1966.

This month's blog is dedicated to my father

Dr. James H. Neely

who was a practicing physician in the Tupelo/Lee County area for almost 35 yrs and still remains the best "daddy" ever.


My Dad was a country doctor,

And I have such memories galore;

I even remember the house calls,

As he literally traveled 'round door to door.

Sometimes, on Saturday mornings,

When I was just a young thing;

My daddy would let me go with him,

As he did all his doctoring.

He'd have his black bag in one hand,

And his stethescope wrapped 'round his neck;

He was most definitely the captain,

And I was his first man on deck.

We traveled way deep in the country,

And there were always such sites to see;

Believe you me, I noticed them all,

Down to the last bumblebee.

I'd always meet really kind people,

As I stayed by my daddy's side;

He'd always give my introduction,

As he stood there beaming with pride.

Many of the people had no indoor plumbing,

And most of them were all very poor;

So my daddy would let patient's pay him,

With whatever it was they'd procure.

Sometimes, he took brown eggs or slab bacon,

Fresh vegetables, hams and the like;

All of this was so amazing to see,

For me as such a young tike.

The old women, he'd always call "young lady",

But old and young all addressed him as sir;

We'd make so many stops on our journey,

I'm quite suprised that it's not all a blur.

I remember learning about all these people,

And all of the crops that they grew.

Each time, I'd learn something different,

Each time, I'd learn something quite new.

My eyes would grow wide with excitement,

As I saw all the animals and stock;

We'd see so much beautiful scenery,

As we'd drive to the next door to knock.

My dad had such a busy schedule,

I can't imagine how he got it all done;

All I remember is I loved tagging along,

And all I remember is fun.

Copyright 2008 Patricia Neely-Dorsey

poem from Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems


author's note: Dr. James H. Neely received his Bachelor's degree in 1955 from Kentucky State University, formerly Kentucky State College with a major in chemistry and a minor in math and French.

He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Meharry Medical College in 1960.



MAY- Mother's Day Celebrations

MOTHER'S DAY - May 10, 2009 DID YOU KNOW: On May 8,1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as National Mother's Day, emphasizing the role of women in families.


A special thanks goes to every mother,

From every daughter and son;

Remembering and appreciating you,

For all the things you've done.

You've supported and encouraged us,

To dream and reach so far;

You've always helped us to believe, That we could reach that farthest star.

We thank you for protecting us,

From our ownselves,sometimes, it's true;

And always being there to give wise counsel,

As just a small part of all you do.

Thank you mothers for blessing us,

With a love strong, fast and true;

There could never be words in all the word,

To express what's owed to you.

Patricia Neely-Dorsey