Wednesday, December 31, 2008
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
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
Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
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.
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
Sunday, December 7, 2008
After all these years
we’ll meet again.
The whole week before,
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
They settle in the floorboards.
Still, here you are—
standing on the stoop,
reaching for the bell.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
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
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
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—
as chickadees' crosshatchings on the last of the north-facing, smoke-colored snow.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
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.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
After all these years
we’ll meet again.
The whole week before,
in glaring Polaroid flares,
faded and stained
around the edges.
Brittle little memories crack
disregarded leather covers
at the corners of this fiction,
leave flakes to sift
and settle in the floorboards.
Still, here you are--
standing on the stoop,
reaching for the bell.
Monday, November 24, 2008
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
Thursday, November 20, 2008
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
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
I spilled milk
on that sweet
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
How To Be a Poet
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
In this dark I rest,
unready for the light which dawns
day after day
eager to be shared.
Black silk, shelter me.
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
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.
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
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
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-
eye 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
Poetry Bailout Will Restore Confidence of Readers
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)
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
When We Two Parted
by George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron
When we two parted
In silence and tears,
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
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.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
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
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 misshawklet.com
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
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.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
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
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
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.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
by Ted Kooser
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
Evolution in Indiana
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
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
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
until I hardly remember
what cooled them.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
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.
Monday, August 11, 2008
You know the brick path in the back of the house,
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
The Peace of Wild Things
Monday, July 28, 2008
After so many years
I finally reply.
When I finally write you,
are narrow gnarled stubs,
tight fists, hardly budded
after so much
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
"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...
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
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
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?
from The Book of Questions
| by Pablo Neruda |
Translated by William O'Daly
Thursday, July 10, 2008