National Poetry Month | Patricia Neely-Dorsey

Patricia Neely-Dorsey’s fascinating book of poetry, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia, is a true celebration of the south and things southern. Using childhood memories, personal thoughts  and dreams, the author offers a positive glimpse into the southern way of life.

The author states, “There are so many negative connotations associated with Mississippi and the south in general. I want to to show a flip side of the coin.There is much to love about this much maligned and misunderstood part of our country.”

Patricia Neely-Dorsey’s Reflections: Preaching Sunday

In a recent Gallup poll, based on over 350,000 interviews, Mississippians were found to be the most religious state. 85% of Mississippians answered “yes” when asked: “Is religion an important part of your daily life?” Joining the Magnolia State in the “most religious” states were other “Bible Belt” states : Alabama (82%), South Carolina (80%), Tennessee ( 79%), Louisiana (78%) and Arkansas (78%) Vermont, with less than half of those interviewed (42%) answering the same question in the affirmative was noted as the “least religious.” Overall, Gallup researchers found that 65% of all Americans said religion is important in their everyday lives.

In the old country church,
Preaching Sunday was quite a big deal;
In just a few words, I’ll give you a feel.
White gloved ushers monitor each bench and pew,
Wearing uniforms starched to look like brand new.
Little girls decked out in ruffles and bows,
Sit with mothers in hats sharp
From their heads to their toes.
The minister quotes scriptures With deep breaths
And long pause,
He makes so dramatic each and every clause.
At the end of the message, when some hymn is sung,
Shouts ring out between every rung.
There’s some jerking and fanning and some falling out,
Small ones wonder what all the commotions about.
When everything’s over and the service is done,
Everyone enjoys a grand feast on the lawn.
Copyright 2008 Patricia Neely-Dorsey

Recommended Southern Dish of the Day



  • I pkg (16 oz) elbow macaroni, cooked, drained
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3 cups milk, divided
  • 6 cups (24 oz) grated  cheddar cheese, divided 2 eggs

Instructions (Makes 12 servings)

  • Heat oven to 350F . Place macaroni in 4 quart shallow baking dish.
  • Melt butter in medium saucepan on medium low heat.
  • Stir in flour. Gradually stir in 2 cups of milk.
  • Cook until smooth. Add 3 cups of cheese.
  • Cook, stirring constantly until sauce is thickened .
  • Add remaining cheese. Stir gently until thoroughly mixed.
  • Beat eggs in small bowl and stir in the remaining milk.
  • Slowly pour over top of casserole.
  • Let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Bake 40 minutes or until set and lightly browned.

Do you love the South?

Join Us Online at the Facebook “Celebrate the South” Group.

Visit Patricia Neely-Dorsey online at

There are 6 comments for this article
  1. Patricia Neely-Dorsey at 5:54 am

    Hello viewers/readers
    As I am typing, it is a beautiful Sunday morning in Mississippi…birds blooming..
    It reminds me again of all of the wonderful things that I love/appreciate about Mississippi and the south.
    Thank you for taking out the time to visit this blog stop to find out more about Me, Mississippi and the South that I love!
    Have a Wonderful/Blessed Day!

  2. Ty at 1:11 pm

    Thank you, Patricia, for letting us host you today on Written Voices Blog. Many blessings on the book and blog tour this week.


  3. Patricia Neely-Dorsey at 7:10 pm

    Thanks Ty and Yasmin.
    I really appreciate your encouragement and support.
    I am getting wonderful feedback from the tour already…and “We’ve Only Just Begun” (smile)

  4. Wanda B. Campbell at 9:14 pm

    Congratulations on your new book and much success with the blog tour.

  5. Yasmin at 5:16 pm

    Hello Patricia and thanks for sharing your work and your recipe. 😉 Many blessings on your blog tour this week.

  6. Patricia Neely-Dorsey at 3:41 am

    Thank you Wanda!