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...

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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

Friday, July 4, 2008

genteel poets?

I've worked with sailors and construction workers my whole life,
but I've never met a more vulgar group of people
than poets.


Quiet After the Rain of Morning

Quiet After the Rain of Morning

by Joseph Trumbull Stickney

Quiet after the rain of morning
Midday covers the dampened trees;
Sweet and fresh in the languid breeze
Still returning
Birds are twittering at ease.

And to me in the far and foreign
Land as further I go and come,
Sweetly over the wearisome
Endless barren
Flutter whisperings of home.

There between the two hillocks lightens
Straight and little a bluish bar:
I feel the strain of the mariner
Grows and tightens
After home and after her.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

wild and precious life

The Summer Day

by Mary Oliver

from The Truro Bear and Other Adventures: Poems and Essays

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?