photo by April Rossi
Ingrid Grenon’s first book of poems, Simply This, is a book for readers of all ages. Its traditional rhyme schemes and stanzaic patterns make it as delightfully old-fashioned as Grenon herself. The poet Norah Pollard has written, “Ingrid Grenon documents moments that lead us to be mindful of death even while reminding us of the joys to be found in life. Her intrepid and joyous spirit rings through her poems and echoes in our own hearts. This book is all the more appealing for its exquisite illustrations and cover painting by Sarah McQuilkin.” All those who enjoy horses, farm life, and the out-of-doors are sure to be delighted by the poet’s intimate understanding and love of the natural world, her joy in operating a chain saw and a log-splitter, and her description of fishing for small-mouth bass. Kimberly Gatto, sports and equestrian author, has commented that “Ingrid Grenon is like an artist, painting vivid images with words. Each poem transports the reader to a different time and place, whether that be a racetrack, a wooded trail, or a quiet meadow.” At times, the poet transports us to the magical world of her youth, which though a difficult one, was full of a child’s secret joys. Simply This is also instilled with its author’s existential  philosophy and belief in seizing the moment. As Ronald K. Tacelli of the Boston College Philosophy Department has written, one of the poet’s lines—“Life is fragile, treat it well”—is central to her life view and “pulls us into the heart of [her] poetry, which is sensitive, compassionate, life-affirming.”

cover painting by Sarah McQuilkin
Ingrid Grenon spent much of her early life with grandparents in an old Maine farmhouse. Early on, she felt an affinity for animals, especially horses, often feeling more at home with them than with humankind. She also learned the joy of the poets in The Harvard Classics, which she devoured while immured in the basement of her parents’ home. When she was 17, she became one of the first certified female farriers in the country. She went on to graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a riding master degree. She has studied Zen Buddhism and worked as a gravedigger, a mechanic in a Ford body shop, a horseshoer and trainer, and a therapeutic riding instructor. Ingrid has always assumed that a woman can do anything a man can, and sometimes better. She has never seen welding or sandblasting chassis or tuning up a vintage Mustang as reserved for men only. She currently lives with her husband in in southeastern Massachusetts, where she runs a small horse farm. 

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ISBN 978-0-9817883-4-0
Length: 66 pages, 6" x 9" paperback





I was not the usual
Sort of child —
A little bit frightened
And quite a bit wild.

My grandparents took it
Upon themselves
To put their best effort
Into raising me well.

They took me to church
To try and see
If it was possible
To civilize me.

The minister was stern
As he stood at the door
Criticizing folks
For not coming more.

I didn’t like it,
My grandfather could tell,
So he took me to the belfry
To help ring the bell.

I loved it up there
Away from the crowd
And when the bell rang
It was delightfully loud —

I held on to the rope
And away I would go
As the bell slowly swung me
To and fro.


I climbed the ladder
and got up into the hayloft
of a neighbor’s old barn
when I was twelve.

I knew what was there —
I’d seen the spoke wheels,
leather tops and dashboards
and shaves from below
and wanted a closer look.

Nestled in sparse hay,
the carriages waited
to come down, I presumed.
The dust settled on them
like a dusting of snow.

The people who put them there
must not have trusted cars
and carefully put the buggies away
to use another day.

illustration by Sarah McQuilkin


I saw her this morning
dancing in the branches
as I sipped my coffee.

Again in the afternoon she visited,
casting the sun on my shoulder
to remind me she was near.

In the evening
when I walked through the pine grove
I could smell her perfume.

At dusk I heard her in the evening breeze
rustling through the leaves
as she brushed the hair off my forehead.

The earth is my mother:
she is where I came from
and she will embrace me once again
when I return.


I went down the hill beside the pasture
to pick blueberries near the shaded swamp.

I walked next to the fence.
It was clear and the sun shone.

When I heard the sound of hooves
I turned to look behind —

the mare was following me
on the other side of the fence.

Curious to see what I was doing,
she watched, ears perked forward.

Into the woods I walked
and the mare waited.

Patiently she stood
with her nose over the rail.

I disappeared into the bushes
and the mare waited.

Out of sight, I filled my bowl
and the mare waited.

I felt the afternoon sun on my shoulders
as I picked the last berries.

I heard the birds, caught the scent of earth,
and it was time for me to go back.

I headed toward the fence
where the horse had been.

The mare was waiting there, still,
and she followed me up the hill.


I’ve owned some fast horses,
Two Mustangs to date.
I loved my red pony
With the small block V-8.

It was spirited and fiery
With a bored-out 289.
I was sure proud
This fine Ford was mine.

With a 4-barrel carb
And four on the floor,
The dual exhaust rumbled.
What girl could want more?

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