the church near craggy hope

from "twigs"
(larry michael lee)



Craggie Hope is a real place not far from where I lived back in Tennessee.  It is tucked away and in a world all of its own, and every time I drove down the small two lane road that passes through it, I’d look up into the woods and see this charming old white church.  So many times I wanted to stop and go inside, but I never did.  Each time a saw it I’d imagined all the stores it could tell. 


I had this piece of music that I didn't know what to do with and one day I just wrote this poem that was inspired by the place and that church, and put the two together.  Recorded 1999


Earlier this year (2014) I took a trip over to North Carolina to see a dear old friend whose been battling an illness and on my way back to Missouri I took a small detour to drive by my old Tennessee homestead to see what all had changed since I left.  Before I headed back out to the interstate highway and just had to go over to see that church at Craggie Hope one more time.  It looked the same as the last time I’d seen it many years ago. This time I did get out of my car and walked around and took a few pictures.  I always felt there was something very magical about that place, and this poem and the music are still very fitting to the mystery that surrounds it.


Recorded 1999



memories dance before me

of a place I once called home

in a valley mostly tucked away

in a world all of its own

with all of gods creations

we grew up simple folk

always in the presence of

the church near Craggy Hope


when I was just a young’n

on nights of katydids

me and Curt McCracken

hid out from the other kids

we’d wander around the universe

with an old brass telescope

up on a hill that overlooks

the church near Craggy Hope


July ‘57, i remember to this day

she moved in down the road a bit

and childhood slipped away

then after seven summers

when we ran off to elope

fate would run us out of gas

by the church near Craggy Hope


now she does all the talkin’

at least once every day

sometimes even brings me roses

as if I’d forget her name

she sits them by and old Burch tree

where a swing hangs from a rope

as underneath its shade I rest

by the church near Craggy Hope


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