To Catch an Autumn
poems by Billy C. Clark


To Catch an Autumn    Billy C. Clark      Billy Clark

To Catch an Autumn is available from your favorite local bookstore, from Amazon, or directly from Wind.
Wind Publications
600 Overbrook Dr
Nicholasville, KY 40356


Billy Clark's To Catch an Autumn is a collection of poems that reveal the author's knowledge of, and love for, the land and waters of his home. Born into poverty in Catlettsburg, Kentucky, Clark spent his boyhood fishing and trapping in the waters near the confluence of the Big Sandy and Ohio rivers. In the winter mornings before school he ran a trap line for muskrat and mink. In the summers he ran trotlines and sold fish and bait for meager earnings. He slept under the stars, in fodder shocks, or in the city building in downtown Catlettsburg where he held a part-time job. His parents had attended grade school for only a couple of years---his abiding dream was to obtain an education.

To Catch an Autumn tells of a boy listening for the ghosts of miners, their wails in the night and the rattling of bones. Trotlines, joe boats, moon-eyed hounds, double-bottom plows, rocky hillsides, and Big Sandy baptizings---Clark has known them all.

In these poems Clark expresses his gratitude and sorrow at having known a time when the sky held no vapor trails, a time before the river sand was flecked with coal, when no film of oil colored the water's surface and the mountainsides were green with virgin timber. He tells of lying on the riverbank beneath the sycamore and beech, of paddle-wheel showboats with calliopes on the Ohio, shantyboats, the side-wheelers plying the Big Sandy. Robins, catbirds, woodpeckers, and mockingbirds are among the many denizens of the air which Clark employs to tell his stories. 

When Clark came to Central Kentucky he was drawn to the river south of Lexington. There he fished the waters of the deep gorge between the limestone palisades, and at night listened to the bugle-call of hounds echoing on the dark water. 

In To Catch an Autumn we are privileged to see the land and water through the eyes and words of Billy Clark.