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 misshawklet.com

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.