Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A face to love

Roscoe, August 2008, Goveneur, NY
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quite a smile

The Crocodile

by Lewis Carroll

How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!

How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in,
With gently smiling jaws!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

snowfall in the afternoon...

Snowfall In The Afternoon

by Robert Bly

The grass is half-covered with snow.
It was the sort of snowfall that starts in late afternoon,
And now the little houses of the grass are growing

If I could reach down, near the earth,
I could take handfuls of darkness!
A darkness that was always there, which we never

As the snow grows heavier, the cornstalks fade farther
And the barn moves nearer to the house.
The barn moves all alone in the growing storm.

The barn is full of corn, and moving toward us now,
Like a hulk blown toward us in a storm at sea;
All the sailors on deck have been blind for many

Thursday, January 22, 2009

frosty Adirondacks


Stumbled on some surprisingly open water when snowshoeing Monday. The closer I got, the frostier the brush around me.
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

self-portrait in Adirondack snow

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Out for an afternoon stroll in the snow

Saturday, January 17, 2009

sleepy sheep


A sleepy sheep at the NYS Sheep & Wool Festival, 2007
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iced cage detail

I posted a larger version of this cage a while back with the other ice storm shots, but I like this cropped version better.

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Dogwood Snow (poem in progress)

Dogwood Snow

Driving home through a January squall,

I squint through the windshield at the highway.

In the passenger seat you snore lightly

as the car whooshes through

this thick, pallid curtain.

Then a tractor trailer’s beams

cut quickly

through the white

and I see

how quietly,

how easily

we could slip


the center line.

If we do,

please scatter our ashes

beneath a late spring–budding dogwood,

so we can look up

through the blooms

at every phase of the summer moon.

Or, if it is winter,

just go out

into a midmorning snowfall

and walk through the hush,

into the very bones of winter.

By the time we creep

into the driveway,

trailer long behind us,

I get out of the car,

walk through the new snow,

palms upward,

catching snowflakes,

catching dogwood petals.


(Note, photo actually of a star magnolia, but the image fits.)

Friday, January 16, 2009


(Thank you, Laura, for bringing this poem to my attention!)


Where the snow effigies stood
hard-packed and hosed to ice
in front of the frat houses,
in the middle of the little bridge
over the stopped river,
my leased car spun three times

before the chainless tires caught.
Each time round I saw a face:
the man who imagined he loved me;
the woman who confided in me,
the child who cried "no" upon meeting me,
as if he saw at once to what use

we put those vanishing invented selves.
The slurred tracks, ringed dark
on the outbound path, froze and unfroze
for weeks after the party to celebrate spring.
Down the road, the local museum
considered the Ice Age. The glacier

slid in and out of its lit shape
through a fan of color transparencies,
each ray labelled with an age, a thaw,
the gauged bed of the moraine. Showed how
the ice junkheap hauled the broken shapes
in which we live, cave and gully and flat.

And a further dissolution, part of
a shape we would not recognize for centuries,—
like the coins that tumble down the dark slide
to the weighted spar that triggers the mechanism
that lifts the needle to the jukebox disk: "Blue Moon"—
you saw it standing like an atomic field,

charged with particles: little "you's" and "me's,"
estranged suddenly from the vanity of their motion—
and the prefigured feel of it, music and moon,
turning full force into its mindless will
then stopping, my foot on the accelerator.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

the good coffee


by Lasana M. Sekou

the mornings are fewer

the nights longer

love is fine and full

here the fight rewards the future

and everybody else but you

makes bad coffee.

Friday, January 9, 2009

PSALM Retreat coming up!

January 18-20, 2009
Retreat begins @ 4pm on Sunday and concludes after lunch Tuesday.

Speculator, NY

View over the lake at sunset. Well worth the frozen fingers!

Fowler has a unique stillness during the wintertime, which is 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 time for inspiration and creativity.

WHAT TO DO . . .

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.

Chi Ro Bard

Taking the time for pause and/or silence is a key theme of these two days. The structure will be minimal, but we will begin each day with a short reflection from the scriptures to guide our time. The opening session after Sunday evening dinner will include a little music and story as well as an outline of the retreat and some suggestions for ways to use your time. We will leave Monday evening open for a time of coming together as a group to share our creations.

COST: $100 includes lodging & all meals (double occupancy)

Open to anyone who enjoys expressing themselves through art. Musicians, storytellers, dancers, writers, painters, sculptors, as well as art appreciators in any capacity are welcome.

Camp Fowler is located on Pelcher Rd., 2 miles West of Speculator, NY.

To register online... http://www.campfowler.org/retreats/psalmretreat/psalmretreat.htm

some Tennyson for today

Crossing the Bar

~Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

(Thanks to Laurie for reminding me of this poem.)

praise the beauty of the ordinary

Asking for Directions

by Linda Gregg

We could have been mistaken for a married couple
riding on the train from Manhattan to Chicago
that last time we were together. I remember
looking out the window and praising the beauty
of the ordinary: the in-between places, the world
with its back turned to us, the small neglected
stations of our history. I slept across your
chest and stomach without asking permission
because they were the last hours. There was
a smell to the sheepskin lining of your new
Chinese vest that I didn't recognize. I felt
it deliberately. I woke early and asked you
to come with me for coffee. You said, sleep more,
and I said we only had one hour and you came.
We didn't say much after that. In the station,
you took your things and handed me the vest,
then left as we had planned. So you would have
ten minutes to meet your family and leave.
I stood by the seat dazed by exhaustion
and the absoluteness of the end, so still I was
aware of myself breathing. I put on the vest
and my coat, got my bag and, turning, saw you
through the dirty window standing outside looking
up at me. We looked at each other without any
expression at all. Invisible, unnoticed, still.
That moment is what I will tell of as proof
that you loved me permanently. After that I was
a woman alone carrying her bag, asking a worker
which direction to walk to find a taxi.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

wonderful trees

Unfortunate Location

by Louis Jenkins

In the front yard there are three big white pines, older
than anything in the neighborhood except the stones.
Magnificent trees that toss their heads in the wind
like the spirited black horses of a troika. It's hard to
know what to do, tall dark trees on the south side of
the house, an unfortunate location, blocking the
winter sun. Dark and damp. Moss grows on the roof,
the porch timbers rot and surely the roots have
reached the old bluestone foundation. At night, in
the wind, a tree could stumble and fall killing us in
our beds. The needles fall year after year making an
acid soil where no grass grows. We rake the fallen
debris, nothing to be done, we stand around with
sticks in our hands. Wonderful trees.

Monday, January 5, 2009

birthday follow up...

The birthday crown was a huge success, so here are a coupla pics of the younger birthday girl sporting her birthday hat:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

So there IS poetry in the grocery store. Who knew?

In the Produce Aisle

by Kirsten Dierking

In the vivid red
of the fresh berries,
in the pebbled skin
of an emerald lime,
in the bright colors
of things made
to be transitory,

you see the same
you find in your own
delicate flesh,
the lines fanned
around your eyes
charming like
the burnish
of plums,

your life like
all the other
fragile organics,
your soft hand
hovering over
the succulent apple,
you reach for it,
already transforming.