Friday, December 21, 2007

Poem in progress: Quick Widow

Quick Widow

In the darkest hour, you cry out,

“He’s dead!”

And commence that frantic chant,

fumbling for the light through a dreamy grog

to see the cat squinting up at us,

blinking, orange, and annoyed,

wondering why we disturb the still, smooth silk of his sleep.

Catching our breath,

we shuffle across the cold bathroom tiles and quietly try to laugh it off,

then scratch the fuzz between his ears

as we climb back into bed.

Your breaths deepen so quickly,

but I lay there all night long,

eyes wide open to the ceiling and arms crossed,

listening through the dark for your heartbeat.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

PSALM Retreat: Pause for Silence Through Art, Literature, & Music.

PSALM Retreat: Pause for Silence

Through Art, Literature, & Music.

January 20–22, 2008.

A time for retreat for those who love to create and hold an appreciation for the Arts, to focus on the Voice of God speaking through the Adirondack winter silence, and to learn to better reflect and express with our art. To watch, listen, experience the work of others, as well as sharing our own work. Camp Fowler has a unique stillness during the wintertime, known to refresh and revive the soul. We’ve found no better time for inspiration than to pack up in the dead of winter and head to the Adirondacks. Few artists like to force creativity, but we have found how essential it is to allow for creativity. Such times seldom come during the heat and hustle of our busy lives. This is a time to allow inspiration and creativity.

Musicians, storytellers, dancers, writers, painters, sculptors, as well as art appreciators in any capacity are welcome to take the time for pause and/or silence. During these few days, you are welcome to stay where it’s warm and cozy or venture out into the cold. If you go out, you can take a walk in the woods or on a frozen lake, or light a fire in the fireplace at Lakeside Lodge or the Chapel. You’ll be encouraged to spend your free time absorbing and/or creating. Use the time to create by yourself, work with others, or just wander in search of inspiration. It’s all time well spent.

Hosted at Camp Fowler in Speculator, New York, by Scott B. Adams, Heather Moore Niver, & Ryan Niver. For full details & registration info click here, or e-mail Heather at bloodorangepoet [at] gmail [dot] com

The silence

is immense,

and the heavens still hold

a million candles; nowhere

the familiar things:

stars, the moon,

the darkness we expect and nightly turn from. Trees

glitter like castles

of ribbons, the broad fields

smolder with light, a passing

creekbed lies

heaped with shining hills;

and though the questions

that have assailed us all day

remain—not a single

answer has been found—

walking out now

into the silence and the light ‘under the trees,

and through the fields,

feels like one.

—Mary Oliver, from “First Snow” in New & Selected Poems

Monday, November 26, 2007

We wasted no time getting into the holiday spirit

Snickerdoodles & Coal

Some bakers are furrier than others.

Peeking at the elusive baker.

Coal gets a bad rap! This stuff is tasty! I want some of this in MY stocking!

Monday, November 19, 2007

poem in progress: "In a Name"

In a Name

With a swish of white and two guttural utterings,

I did.

It’s all here in black and lace.

I’ve taken on a part of him, in body and name;

and after all these years I have this bold new tattoo:

Missus. Wife.

So I slip

into my strange and sudden new name

and find it far less comfortable

than that slyly mentioned negligée.

This should be no surprise.

Weeks earlier the two of us held hands in front of that cold, grey desk

as she sat with her ballpoint hovering over the blank.

She blinked and asked me, What is your name?

In a quick scribble,

a bright penflash across the page or a check,

here’s another inky red link between us at the end of my poems.


Nov. 2007

Thursday, November 1, 2007

RIP SammyDog

We'll miss you, SammyDog! I mean to write something of my own ode to Sammy or whatnot, but for now, do enjoy this Pablo Neruda poem, sent to me by a good friend...

A Dog Has Died

My dog has died.
I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.

Some day I'll join him right there,
but now he's gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I'll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.

Ai, I'll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
he never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of his hair or his mange,
he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.

No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he'd keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.

Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea's movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean's spray.

Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don't now and never did lie to each other.

So now he's gone and I buried him,
and that's all there is to it.

Translated, from the Spanish, by Alfred Yankauer

Friday, October 26, 2007

Small potatoes can be the tastiest

I've always liked small potatoes...those tasty little red or purple orbs just carry along the garlic so well. They can pack a powerful punch.

And speaking of small spuds, I entered a few of my photos into the New York Sheep & Wool Fest last weekend. I have never been so bold as to show my shots to much more than family & friends, so this was a big step for me, even into a little contest.

"Rusty Mug" (category: scenes)

"Spring Rolling In" (scenes)

"She Revels in Cocoa and Snow" (people)

"Tired Trailblazer" (animals)

Monday, October 15, 2007

If there was ever an appropriate time for a barbaric YAWP.... is now.

I just found out that a poem I wrote called "Sugar" has been accepted for publication in Pathways: A Journal of Literature & Art, a smaller publication put out by those fine folks at The Berkshire Writers Room, who publish the annual Berkshire Review.


We rise in the bleak half hours

of early March

and cocoon in layers

—Carharts, boots, hats—

thankfully drawn outside into the snow or mud and sugar maples.

We peer into the sky, read the clouds

for signs of snow or rain,

watch for buds in the trees:

their beginning and our sweet end.

Soon the fire crackles in the arch’s warm womb,

its oily black paint bubbling and flaking,

and sweet steam billows up

from the steel streak of the narrow boiling pan.

It won’t be long before we lean into it

for the first whiffs.

All day we feed the flame,

chop and stack wood,

pour clear sap into the golden roil.

Check the galvanized buckets again after the day warms,

peer at the dripping tin tongues with wrinkled foreheads,

and listen for the hollow plunk or splash.

We breathe quick parched prayers

patience, thanks, strength

into the wind.

And ladle more sap into the frothy boil.

We stomp cold, sore feet.

We wait, patient.

Even into the starry, howling morning hours,

sticky and smoky,

we wait.

Such slow hours pass in this glad, weary rhythm.


Thursday, October 11, 2007


I took this earlier in the week while on a walk through the local nature sanctuary. The leaves have been pretty subdued so far this season. Such dry conditions supposedly mean lackluster foiage again this year, but isn't it always lovely?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I manifest in mysterious & loud ways...

Loud? Really? OK, maybe. Sometimes.
I guess I should read this now, huh? I am pretty sure I have it somewhere around here, 'neath a stack of other teetering titles...

You're A Prayer for Owen Meany!

by John Irving

Despite humble and perhaps literally small beginnings, you inspire
faith in almost everyone you know. You are an agent of higher powers, and you manifest
this fact in mysterious and loud ways. A sense of destiny pervades your every waking
moment, and you prepare with great detail for destiny fulfilled. When you speak, IT

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Something blushing this way comes...

"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore..."

And so begins my foray into the vast landscape of blogdom.

Poetry, musings, photos, rants. More to come. Stay tuned.