Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy birthday

Happy birthday, Zoe & Mom. Maybe I should have knitted one for Mom, too!

I have been eyeing this pattern for Z's birthday for a few years now, so finally for her 10th, I managed to do it! It is knitted with blue crepe paper and while ribbon with white & copper ribbon streamers. Abbey donated beads for jewels. I lined it with blue fleece, so it won't itch. I hope Zoe likes it. I know I enjoyed trying it on earlier!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

a poem for Christmas

little tree

by E. E. Cummings

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid

look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you're quite dressed
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they'll stare!
oh but you'll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we'll dance and sing
"Noel Noel"

Friday, December 19, 2008

December Ice Storm, Part II: Afternoon

After thawing out a bit by the woodstove, the sun came out. A little surreal after all the snow, ice, and greyness of the morning. I had a migraine, but I couldn't resist going out anyway. No wonderful shots, but interesting...

Iced basket.

Chilly birdbath.

Cage back in the veggie garden.

Perennial garden from the roof (much of the downed trees were down before the strom, my dad took down some dead branches).



Rosehip leaf.


Looking toward the Catskills.

Still more to come...stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December Ice Storm, Part I: Immediate Aftermath

It was a raw 27*F all day Wednesday, December 10. It was grey and somehow rained all day, despite below-freezing temperatures. Ice was building up.

By 10:30 pm our power flashed intermittently a few times (I had just mailed out an edited file to meet a deadline the next day, Ryan had just hopped out of the shower!) and then went out.

We saw this coming (how could we not, the way the weather forecasters went on about it?), so we were fairly prepared: coffee roasted and ground (we have priorities, you know), drinking water at the ready, flashlights with fresh batteries.

We tried to sleep, but it was a restless night, branches cracking and crashing down all around the barn. It was curiously light out all night, too.

A bleary-eyed Ryan was up at the crack of dawn, if not before, surveying the damage. We made coffee over the backpacking stove. He and a couple neighbors got out some chainsaws to clear out the driveway. I stayed in bed, drinking coffee and reading, ensconced in much fleece.

Looking across the driveway.

Soon the rain changed to snow as I scurried up the driveway to shoot some photos. I had to be careful not to linger beneath any trees. There was a din of crashing, cracking branches and limbs.

Snowy orchard.
(If you click on the photo, you may be able to see one of many branches broken off.)

For all the coffee we had ground, we were still without heat. With the snow falling fast, we were lured over to my folk's house where a wood stove was cranking out some warmth. Our road was down to one lane, and we just narrowly squeaked under a downed line. At one point we had to find an alternate route, because a tree had fallen across several lanes of highway. When we pulled into their road, we saw more downed limbs.

More to come...

Monday, December 8, 2008

a typical squint....

from my dad.

snow on snow on snow....

Went out walking in the season's first snow yesterday, of course. Some pics of my snowy saunter...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

poem in progress again....


After all these years
we’ll meet again.

The whole week before,
I remember
in glaring Polaroid flares,
faded and stained
around the edges.
Brittle little memories
in disregarded leather covers,
crumbled corners of this fiction,
crack and flake to sift
through fingers.
They settle in the floorboards.

Still, here you are—
standing on the stoop,
reaching for the bell.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

wishing for it

How Is It That the Snow
by Robert Haight

How is it that the snow
amplifies the silence,
slathers the black bark on limbs,
heaps along the brush rows?

Some deer have stood on their hind legs
to pull the berries down.
Now they are ghosts along the path,
snow flecked with red wine stains.

This silence in the timbers.
A woodpecker on one of the trees
taps out its story,
stopping now and then in the lapse
of one white moment into another.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

the song of cracked wood


by Patrick Phillips

Touched by your goodness, I am like
that grand piano we found one night on Willoughby
that someone had smashed and somehow
heaved through an open window.

And you might think by this I mean I'm broken
or abandoned, or unloved. Truth is, I don't
know exactly what I am, any more
than the wreckage in the alley knows
it's a piano, filling with trash and yellow leaves.

Maybe I'm all that's left of what I was.
But touching me, I know, you are the good
breeze blowing across its rusted strings.

What would you call that feeling when the wood,
even with its cracked harp, starts to sing?

Monday, December 1, 2008

spring seems far away, and yet...

In Early April

by Melissa Green

Forsythia foamed for us fifty miles ago, but the farm is stark, a wintry Serengeti.
My nieces' cello, viola and violin beguile us in the parlor where we celebrate
a birthday, their coltish poise poised to—

My father, long dead, would have loved them.
We—their passionate triptych—those upwelling melodies—have already disappeared
as chickadees' crosshatchings on the last of the north-facing, smoke-colored snow.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And a bit more thanks...

by Mary Oliver

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

Some thanks....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A little poem still in progress, I think.


After all these years
we’ll meet again.

The whole week before,
I remember
in glaring Polaroid flares,
faded and stained
around the edges.
Brittle little memories crack
and crumble,
disregarded leather covers
at the corners of this fiction,
leave flakes to sift
through fingers
and settle in the floorboards.

Still, here you are--
standing on the stoop,
reaching for the bell.


Monday, November 24, 2008

pieces of shredded letter

To Be Saved You Must Be Spent

by Michael Chitwood

The blast from the bees' wings
is enough to knock the blossoms
from the wisteria, late spring
and the sexual clouds of pollen
are dissipating in the backyard.
The blooms' purple confetti litters
the yard, the parade gone by,
and the dogwood is dropping pieces
of a letter it's shredded,
white scraps with just a dab
of ink staining each one.
The words might have proclaimed love
or been an official notice of death.
All that can be said for sure
is that the blue torque of the sky
has tightened.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"that back-of-the-neck lick of chill"

Finding a Bible in an Abandoned Cabin
-Robert Wrigley

Under dust plush as a moth's wing,
the book's leather cover still darkly shown,
and everywhere else but this spot was sodden
beneath the roof's unraveling shingles.
There was that back-of-the-neck lick of chill
and then, from my index finger, the book

opened like a blasted bird. In its box
of familiar and miraculous inks,
a construction of filaments and dust,
thoroughfares of worms, and a silage
of silverfish husks: in the autumn light,
eight hundred pages of perfect wordless lace.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Waste Management

Every night a bear comes round our house to scare up
some windfall pears or to forage for fragrant garbage,
trudging on soft-padded feet & slightly open-mouthed.
He's an ursine Tony Soprano, I think, seeking refuge

from autumnal hungers as he forages the town's alleys.
Burly as a nightclub bouncer, near-sighted, he browses
through our lives' detritus, appearing as a refugee
from day's ample shadows. Our bear noisily chases

a neighborhood cat, a disemboweler of mouses,
then he eats the worst types of underworld scum—
larval worms in day-glow trousers-food storehoused
in a huge belly that sways to & fro when he travels.

Despite his slovenly slouch, our bear's a marvel
of Mafia etiquette as he curses & wantonly carouses
in the dim byways of the forest, as he sways in raveling air
to snap the bark off trees with his tough teeth & calluses.

We curse the furry rampages of our famished bear
who's surely gotten high on gruff power as he struggles
to grip trashcan rims with iron fingers—ever roused
to action by brisk whiffs of winter or our ribald catcalls.

O made man, living drunk or dour, don't settle
for trudging on soft-padded feet, staying tight-hearted—
know, as I do, how fear & desire drive us all. Look how
nightly a bear circumambulates our lives with such ardor.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

iced rosehip

an old poem found

On Spilled Milk

I spilled milk
on that sweet
heart note
you wrote.

You stuck
it to my screen
right where you knew
I would look.

Some time, during the day,
during the hustling
rustle and shuffle
I guess it let loose.

Found again later
on the desk,
it is still damp,
and slowly souring.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cider Days

Cider samples

No one says it like Wendell Berry

How To Be a Poet

by Wendell Berry

(to remind myself)

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your work,
doubt their judgment.

Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.

Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.

Friday, November 7, 2008

like a root

Eye Mask
-Denise Levertov

In this dark I rest,
unready for the light which dawns
day after day
eager to be shared.
Black silk, shelter me.
I need
more of the night before I open
eyes and heart
to illumination. I must still
grow in the dark like a root
not ready, not ready at all.

Monday, November 3, 2008

good night

A Clear Midnight
--Walt Whitman

This is thy hour, O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best.
Night, sleep, and the stars.

on the cusp on winter...

At sundown when a day's words
have gathered at the feet of the trees
lining up in silence
to enter the long corridors
of the roots into which they
pass one by one thinking
that they remember the place
as they feel themselves climbing
away from their only sound
while they are being forgotten
by their bright circumstances
they rise through all of the rings
listening again
afterward as they
listened once and they come
to where the leaves used to live
during their lives but have gone now
and they too take the next step
beyond the reach of meaning

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I try to tune out the boom! boom! boom!
from the shooting range two miles from my house,
and think of the people who live next door

to the targets, or in the din of London and Berlin
where nightingales now sing fourteen decibels louder
to be heard by mates, quintupling the pressure

in their lungs. I've never heard a nightingale,
but I know noise came from nausea, and bulls-
names the goal for some blurry desire.

Bullseye is a band in Norway playing gung-ho rock and roll,
like the kid down the street whose car speakers rumble
through his closed windows and mine,

drums pummeling our insides. If I told him I once hiked
among redwoods, heard ghostly calls in the stillness,
branches somewhere in the canopy sky

moaning as they swayed, would he say Cool
or Whatever, the way my sons have mumbled it,
intending that I shouldn't—or maybe should—hear,

all talk target practice, ricochet and sashay, headache
and heartache, duck and cover. In a fable, Lion realizes
too late his vulnerability, the tunnel of his ear,

tiny Mosquito zooming in. Out beyond Pluto, Voyager's
golden disc offers mud pots, thunder, footsteps,
a Brandenburg Concerto and Johnny B. Goode.

Was the very first song a hum or a shout, laughter
or weeping? When my friend, at forty, praised
her cochlear implants, she complained about work,

the ringing office phones—How do people concentrate?
I consider her vacations—wind surfing, rock climbing,
marathons—how different now that she hears

each splash and scrape, the huh of heavy exhalation.
I wish I could adorn my ears the way warriors in India did,
with metallic green beetle wings, an iridescent

clacking and tinkling at the Feast of Courage. Imagine
if we could hear bread rising, dew forming, the budding
of raspberries, the tear of a cocoon, a minnow's pulse,

our own cells growing, dying. When my husband
kisses my ear, I love the swoosh, the quiver, his breath
sand driven by wind, my whispered name.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A poetry bailout! Thank goodness!

With thanks to Carol for bringing it to my attention.

Poetry Bailout Will Restore Confidence of Readers

By Charles Bernstein

From a statement read at an event marking the release of Best American Poetry 2008, held last night at The New School, in New York City. David Lehman is the series editor of Best American Poetry, and Robert Polito is the director of the writing program at The New School.

Chairman Lehman, Secretary Polito, distinguished poets and readers—I regret having to interrupt the celebrations tonight with an important announcement. As you know, the glut of illiquid, insolvent, and troubled poems is clogging the literary arteries of the West. These debt-ridden poems threaten to infect other areas of the literary sector and ultimately to topple our culture industry.

Cultural leaders have come together to announce a massive poetry buyout: leveraged and unsecured poems, poetry derivatives, delinquent poems, and subprime poems will be removed from circulation in the biggest poetry bailout since the Victorian era. We believe the plan is a comprehensive approach to relieving the stresses on our literary institutions and markets...

Full article here (and well worth it, if you ask me)

A Halloween Favorite...

One of my favorite Tim Burton pieces. Enjoy as the days of autumn grow colder & darker...

"how the cup holds the tea"

It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they're supposed to be.
I've been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?

Monday, October 20, 2008

wild & woolly

At the NYS Sheep & Wool Festival...

Some Byron for Monday

I was just reminded of this poem . . .

When We Two Parted

by George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron

When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning
Sank chill on my brow -
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
A knell in mine ear;
A shudder come o'er me -
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well: -
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met -
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee? -
With silence and tears.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

yet again, we know nothing.

by James Lenfestey

A daughter is not a passing cloud, but permanent,
holding earth and sky together with her shadow.
She sleeps upstairs like mystery in a story,
blowing leaves down the stairs, then cold air, then warm.
We who at sixty should know everything, know nothing.
We become dull and disoriented by uncertain weather.
We kneel, palms together, before this blossoming altar.

more knitting in progress

Fall colds are no fun, but they do mean more time for knitting...




Thursday, October 9, 2008

when there is no rain

Sleep Impression
by Carl Sandburg

The dark blue wind of early autumn
ran on the early autumn sky
in the fields of yellow moon harvest.
I slept, I almost slept,
I said listening:
Trees you have leaves rustling like rain
When there is no rain.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

knitting in progress . . .

This is my first attempt at cables. So far, so good! This is some wool & mohair yarn spun & dyed by my friend Holly. More of her luscious yarny goodness can be found at

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

toothaches in the wind

Heard & read this poem thanks to The Writer's Almanac today, and it won't let me be.


by Greg Watson

I told you once when we were young that
we would someday meet again.
Now, the years flown past, the letters
unwritten, I am not so certain.

It is autumn. There are toothaches hidden
in this wind, there are those determined
to bring forth winter at any cost.
I am resigned to dark blonde shadows

at stoplights, lost in the roadmaps of leaves
which point in every direction at once.
But I am wearing the shirt you stitched
two separate lifetimes ago. It is old

and falling to ash, yet every button blooms
the flowers of your design. I think of this
and I am happy, to have kissed
your mouth with the force of language,

to have spoken your name at all.

"Now" by Greg Watson from The Distance Between Two Hands. © March Street Press, 2008.

Monday, October 6, 2008

moon in stained glass

I took this in the spring of 2005, in an abandoned Massachusetts church, but it always reminds me of the dark days of autumn.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Autumn Road

in western New York last fall

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

autumn leaf & poem

This shot was taken last year on the cusp of winter, over at Borden Pond.

Gathering Leaves in Grade School
by Judith Harris

They were smooth ovals,
and some the shade of potatoes—
some had been moth-eaten
or spotted, the maples
were starched, and crackled
like campfire.

We put them under tracing paper
and rubbed our crayons
over them, X-raying
the spread of their bones
and black, veined catacombs.

We colored them green and brown
and orange, and
cut them out along the edges,
labeling them deciduous
or evergreen.

All day, in the stuffy air of the classroom,
with its cockeyed globe,
and nautical maps of ocean floors,
I watched those leaves

lost in their own worlds
flap on the pins of the bulletin boards:
without branches or roots,
or even a sky to hold on to.

Morning glory

Morning glories have taken over the garden.
Things could be worse, really.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Prayer for the Dead

Stuart Kestenbaum, the author of this week's poem, lost his brother Howard in the destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. We thought it appropriate to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001, by sharing this poem. The poet is the director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts on Deer Isle, Maine.

Prayer for the Dead

The light snow started late last night and continued
all night long while I slept and could hear it occasionally
enter my sleep, where I dreamed my brother
was alive again and possessing the beauty of youth, aware
that he would be leaving again shortly and that is the lesson
of the snow falling and of the seeds of death that are in everything
that is born: we are here for a moment
of a story that is longer than all of us and few of us
remember, the wind is blowing out of someplace
we don't know, and each moment contains rhythms
within rhythms, and if you discover some old piece
of your own writing, or an old photograph,
you may not remember that it was you and even if it was once you,
it's not you now, not this moment that the synapses fire
and your hands move to cover your face in a gesture
of grief and remembrance.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Time to start thinking about migration

Evolution in Indiana

by Richard Cecil

I thought that species took ten thousand years
to gradually evolve new strategies
to deal with shifts in climate or environment,
but after two snow-free years in a row
the local robins all at once decided
to winter here instead of flying south.
I watched them pace my lawn in late November,
debating like small Hamlets with their instincts:
"It's way past time to migrate; why haven't I?"
Since, every fall, a few old feeble ones
decide they'd rather risk starvation here
than drop off dead of fatigue in Alabama,
at first I thought it was their kind I glimpsed
rummaging discarded Christmas trees
for grubs and squabbling with the greedy squirrels
stealing birdseed from my neighbor's feeder.
But then, one drizzly January walk,
I spotted dozens, looking sleek and healthy,
plucking worms who'd washed up on my sidewalk.
Why here, where I was forced to grub for money
all winter long, when they could fly away,
I wondered as they hopped out of my path.
Does flying hurt so much they'd rather shiver
and see the sun once every other week
than perch in palms swayed by an ocean breeze?
If I had wings, I'd use them…and on and on
I muttered as I trudged around the block
in pointless circles, just for exercise,
hands thrust into my pockets, arms tight to sides,
like some huge flightless bird, while overhead
the most successful members of my species
winged effortlessly southward in high Boeings
invisible from our side of the clouds —
we well-fed and hard-working flock of Dodos.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

quote, unquote

"Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail." -Theodore Dreiser

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Week in the 'Dacks

Some shots from this week in the Adirondacks. Yes, there were a couple of nice sunsets. More to come...

Midday sun

Obligatory self-portrait


Kent & canoe

Jason & Heath

Sunset story time

Friday, August 15, 2008

Forcing forsythia (revised)

An earlier draft can be found here. I'm interested in hearing from anyone who is unfamiliar with "forcing" flowering shrubs in the springtime. Is there confusion?

Forcing Forsythia

After so many years
I finally reply.

Barren seasons stretched
across all those snowy
New England winters,
hushed and swathed thick
in white and ice.
Our first words
flared fast
until I hardly remember
what cooled them.

Though I prune
short slips
carried in from the cold,
when I finally write you,
my words
are narrow gnarled stubs,
tight fists,
hardly budded.
after so much
raw rain.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Great blue heron, Montezuma Wildlife Refuge

Late Afternoon, St. John
by Linda Pastan

A little blue heron has landed
on the roof.
It is as if a small angel had parked
in our lives, shielding us
briefly with its wings.
In the cove the old turtle
surfaces again; shadows
of reef fish shiver by.
On the stones chameleons
go through their wheel of colors.
Rustle of coconut fronds
combing the soft air...glitter
of passing raindrops.
Let go. Let go.
Soon the sun will plunge
into the sea dragging its plumage
of pinks and purples.
I can almost taste
the oleander, smell
the salt on your skin.
Soon we will drown
in our five exploding senses.
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Monday, August 11, 2008

a good hiking poem . . . to placate me as I nurse a sprained ankle

by Billy Collins

You know the brick path in the back of the house,
the one you see from the kitchen window,
the one that bends around the far end of the garden
where all the yellow primroses are?
And you know how if you leave the path
and walk into the woods you come
to a heap of rocks, probably pushed
down during the horrors of the Ice Age,
and a grove of tall hemlocks, dark green now
against the light-brown fallen leaves?
And farther on, you know
the small footbridge with the broken railing
and if you go beyond the you arrive
at the bottom of sheep's head hill?
Well, if you start climbing, and you
might have to grab on to a sapling
when the going gets steep,
you will eventually come to a long stone
ridge with a border of pine trees
which is a high as you can go
and a good enough place to stop.

The best time for this is late afternoon
en the sun strobes through
the columns of trees as you are hiking up,
and when you find an agreeable rock
to sit on, you will be able to see
the light pouring down into the woods
and breaking into the shapes and tones
of things and you will hear nothing
but a sprig of a birdsong or leafy
falling of a cone or t through the trees,
and if this is your day you might even
spot a hare or feel the wing-beats of geese
driving overhead toward some destination.

But it is hard to speak of these things
how the voices of light enter the body
and begin to recite their stories
how the earth holds us painfully against
ts breast made of humus and brambles
how we will soon be gone regard
the entities that continue to return
greener than ever, spring water flowing
through a meadow and the shadows of clouds
passing over the hills and the ground
where we stand in the tremble of thought
taking the vast outside into ourselves.

Still, let me know before you set out.
Come knock on my door
and I will walk with you as far as the garden
with one hand on your shoulder.
I will even watch after you and not turn back
to the house until you disappear
into the crowd of maple and ash,
heading up toward the hill,
percing the ground with your stick.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Unexpected Action at Eve of Destruction*

*Eve of Destruction was a demolition derby night with all kinds of crazy races such as the backwards race, a school bus race, a race with campers & trailers and so on. Many things were set aflame & crushed, to the cheers of the crowd.

The sun sets on Eve of Destruction

happy birthday to poet Wendell Berry

The Peace of Wild Things

by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Monday, July 28, 2008

poem in progress...."Forcing Forsythia"

Forcing Forsythia

After so many years
I finally reply.

Barren seasons stretched
across all those snowy
New England winters,
hushed and swathed thick
in white and ice.
Our first words flared
fast and faded
until I hardly remember
what cooled them.

When I finally write you,
my words
are narrow gnarled stubs,
tight fists, hardly budded
and shivering
after so much
cold rain.


blueberry fest

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Sunday, July 27, 2008


"The Muse of Poetry is a fickle and wayward lady."
--Michael Longley

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lou's garlic

I was leaving my friend Lou's house on a warm rainy night when I mentioned that I should stop for garlic on the way home, envisioning some savory dish for supper.

"Oh!" she said, "We have some in the garden, want some?"

"Of course!" I said, as her husband Bryan started telling me about how mild & tasty it was, how he had it on his pizza the other night.

Meanwhile, Lou ran through the pouring summer rain and returned with the most fascinating garlic bulbs I have ever seen! I wish you could have seen them all glistening with rain, but I did snap a few shots before cooking up an ample bulb for supper...

Posted by Picasa

It is as delicious as it is lovely!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

berry season

Blackberry Eating
by Galway Kinnell

I love to go out in late September
among the fat, overripe, icy, black blackberries
to eat blackberries for breakfast,
the stalks very prickly, a penalty
they earn for knowing the black art
of blackberry-making; and as I stand among them
lifting the stalks to my mouth, the ripest berries
fall almost unbidden to my tongue,
as words sometimes do, certain peculiar words
like strengths or squinched,
many-lettered, one-syllabled lumps,
which I squeeze, squinch open, and splurge well
in the silent, startled, icy, black language
of blackberry
-eating in late September.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I'm sure she does not have red hair.

I have a neighbor
by Rosellen Brown

I have a neighbor
who is always deep
in a book or two.

High tides of clutter
rise in her kitchen.

Which last longer, words,
words in her bent head,
or the clean spaces

between one perfect
dusting and the next?

the splendor of roots

It's the birthday of one of my favorite poets, Pablo Neruda

from The Book of Questions

by Pablo Neruda
Translated by William O'Daly


Tell me, is the rose naked
or is that her only dress?

Why do trees conceal
the splendor of their roots?

Who hears the regrets
of the thieving automobile?

Is there anything in the world sadder
than a train standing in the rain?

Thursday, July 10, 2008


"People's lives in [my home town] were dull, simple, amazing, unfathomable—deep caves paved with linoleum. It did not occur to me [as a child] that one day I would be so greedy for [my hometown] ... to want every last thing, every layer of speech and thought, stroke of light on bark or walls, every smell, pothole, pain, crack, delusion, held still and held together—radiant, everlasting."

Alice Munro

Wednesday, July 9, 2008