Monday, March 23, 2015

a weariness

i'm feeling a huge weariness.
it irritates me.
spring is really coming
 but i am feeling this great
heavy blanket of weary.
it will leave
  as the snow finally leaves for the season.
the land will absorb heat.
 the long days
increase the thaw
 and the punky snow 
 will completely decay,
leaving behind piles of road salty-sand
the crews will shovel up and away.
 this little doe had an entire field.
i wish you could have seen her shake her head
as she found a nice morsel,
corn to chew off the cob,
the leaf went flying, 
but my camera wasn't quick enough!
 there are reminders of flowers in the garden
and the meadows,
if no blossoms yet.
i've been using these black eyed susan seeds
to print with.
that and hosta seed pods
and many more plants,
goldenrod and sensitive fern and aster skeletons
arbor vitae 
there is so very much out there, 
even when thigh high snow kept me on the edges.
who knew i needed to break and maintain trails this year
so that job got away from me.
i have almost enough perfect prints,
for the edition.
and a few not-so-perfect.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

changes

i was thinking about work today
and how i can't make change happen
for a teenager...
or for anyone,
really,
only myself.
i can count on some changes, though.
mud season
 begins with melt.
 snowmelt in the fields all week long,
sunshine most days
but not today. 
this is a time i love.
march
&
november
are both favorite months.
 i've been visiting caliban press
 and printing
learning 
arranging type
a new grammar 
em.
i know what that is now
(at least, i know it when i'm there) 
i'm taking a risk with a poem and
a press
and a weft-faced shifu piece
contact printed 
 that looks remarkably like
the landscape right now
 detritus 
and colors muted and 
mud.
glorious and messy 
mud season.
 a sky 
everchanging 
 but that old sunset
sneaks through grandmothermaple's 
boughs.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

six feet deep

march
turkey trail
everyone knows this winter's a tough one.
snowshores
it's been so cold
highlanders
i'm ashamed to say
that i've not skied since before
the bitterness set in.
the experts have said that the frost
is six feet into the ground.
new neighbors
now that's pretty darned cold!
and problematic for several adirondack 
and north country municipal water services
not to mention 
people with wells
and frozen faucets.
found roadsalt heart
 bear with me: 
our national bird--almost
this morning it's snowing. 
hard.
 round bales
the "english" farmers
 and the amish farmers
 corn ladies
have moved so much snow around
just to do their chores.
i know what that's like. 
once upon a time,
i hauled 12 five gallon buckets
filled with warm water
 every day to the barn
from my bathtub.
backyard visitor 
i am thankful that this winter
i don't have any animal chores.
i buy these in town.
 susan's eggs.
yokes are a marvelous orange
and the shells and sizes are delightful!
delicious.
and i'm working away 
between school dayz and full moon sleeps 
on a new hortus siccus book.
and
have heard that my april class in maine
is filling up.
it will be a wonderful and busy class.
with the book arts bazaar 
the next day.

Monday, March 2, 2015

april workshop!

if you would care to join me for
a day of contact printing 
on paper
in portland, maine
in april,
give this a look see.
i'd love to have you join in.
or come by the next day
for the book arts bazaar.
this, below, from the new england
guild of bookworkers:
Spirit Papers: Mapping Place with Velma Bolyard
Kate Cheney Chappell ’83 Center for Book Arts
Date: April 11, 2015
Location: Wishcamper Center Multi-Purpose Room, Portland, ME
Fee: $125
Register on line at http://usm.maine.edu/bookarts or call (207)780-5900
bolyard
In this one-day intensive we will explore the art of the eco- or contact print, on paper. Students will learn the basics of creating prints using the flora available in their ecosystem, essentially making a map of the plants inhabiting this particular place on the east coast. Each student will prepare bundles for the dyepot, using found metals and local waters for mordanting. The resulting prints will describe place and we’ll discuss the possibilities of how to use these printed papers in book arts and further printing processes.
...and my friend ann 
said that the snow on her cat's coat 
when she came inside yesterday 
smelt like spring. 
now THAT'S news!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

hill of the chickadee

deep snow is poor man's fertilizer.
 and the corn ladies
lean away from the west wind,
the wind that here means business and
sometimes destruction.
they who were so tall
bend and almost break in this fierce
cold bluster.
 some endings are so small
they seem pointless,
the why.
this one i lifted to my face.
touched it's silken down,
amazed,
and i brought it to my frozen garden
to be this woman's rich fertilizer.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

printing paper and books

todd pattison is the president of the new england branch of the guild of bookworkers.
he is one of those people who is delightfully surprising.
last year i received in the mail a small book he made
with my contact printed paper as cover.
lizard spine, maybe?
filled with katie macgregor's light blue handmade papers.
an absolute surprise, i might add. 
i did a happy dance.
it's one of those things i tootled out to show
hannah and nicole
who came by on saturday
 after i met them friday
at caliban press
 where they are slu students, employees of caliban
learning the letterpress trade
 with mark mcmurray
hannah bravely asked me if she could see me working
something i always say no to
(but i said yes
thanks to fred, who has been plowing my driveway this winter
has had an effect on my doing unto others)
for a wee look at the doings in my dye kitchen. 
 the mill is closed down for the winter
so my wet studio is my kitchen right now.
and i tried printing on some old japanese papers
complete with worm holes...
in my kitchen sink
 i wash my wool socks 
my daughter hannah's knitting
 and the dining table acts as the bottom plate 
for pressing dyed papers.
the young women brought with them such positive energy
full of purpose.
it fed my soul somehow,
so it was a good two hours.
~~~
...and over at jasper's
church may indeed be in session.
though i've never spotted anyone there
during worship hours.