Thursday, December 11, 2014

warmth and dirt

i like black and white 
skinny stripes
 my daughter hannah knit me a hat
for my birthday
i've been twining thread.
dogbane fiber
chose me when i was thinking of what could get me out 
into the meadow
before the snows.
not milkweed this time,
 do you see this lovely book?
made by elina lundahl
this book entices me, 
and elina's blog informs.
 isn't it fine?
and this little one i like
but has several editorial slips.
these are models of bindings
made by j. a. szirmai who wrote
the archaeology of medieval bookbinding.
 they inspire me
as did my medieval binding teacher jim croft.
i was listening to dr. kimmerer 
talk yesterday during my snow day
(for some of you, 
a snow day is a day off due to
 ~as i twined yesterday~
it grew and grew
 this fiber wasn't neatly harvested
or harvested early enough
 but it holds together
and i was keeping my fingers employed
 as the big snow came down and the wind played tricks.
and i listened and thought,
hands informing heart informing brain...
an opportunity came along during the afternoon
which was inspiring.
(keeping it close for now)
  the snow came all day yesterday,
and today my neighbor fred from down the road
swung by 
and plowed out my driveway
 he won't take money
but i will repay that kindness
when and how i can.
only about a foot, 
but heavy, wet, and slippery
this snow.
here's the dogbane 
and two small pieces of my hosta paper
with applied ochers gathered over the weekend from a road cut 
over by richville.
i think there are possibilities
for north country dirt!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


light is necessary
and causes a stir deep in my heart 
this time of year
can you smell the beeswax?
 light comes from within
 thin ice
framing rocks and twigs
 and makes riverscape on frozen rivulet
 light on my old barn
 burns it brightly
until it may, perhaps
catch fire and fly away.
 as usual i'm looking for light,
and junko oki has made a new book
a real catalog of work
 bound with an industrial sewing
 encased in a slipcase
 her stitches
(so many stitches) 
 i love how her needle dances
and sings
and tells stories, jokes,
her book is here
and is worth the bother to find.
and another book
by jean is a new shimacho
a sample book
 and i am deeply honored that
the pages are my handmade paper
there was yet more light,
from my realtor
homemade wine.
the house is still waiting for a buyer.
my back is doing much better, thank you for the advice and good wishes.
though school stumbles along, limping and dancing, mostly limping
as we wind down toward solstice
and little tiny light.

Friday, December 5, 2014

sunsets quietly

 this week
all week
my back, my strong never achy back
 got injured somehow...
stress, age, old injury
 i have taken to doing core strengtheners
some exercises and heat
and a couple of pharmaceuticals.
the back is doing better now, but i am tired
my bones are tired, my brain feels fuzzy.
 it's been quite cold
but the snow is gone again.
 and school, my work
has been, shall we say, theatrical.
you would hardly believe what's happening in public education
it makes my back ache, my head spin.
there are some things that brighten my days
like this sunset yesterday.
 i am hoping december will soften things a bit
some snow, 
some caring, 
some love
i will miss the small miracles
for grumpinesses.

Monday, December 1, 2014

playing soccer with a walrus skull

this is reportedly one explanation
 for the northern lights
 i prefer the notion that 
northern lights,
while perfect gifts when seen,
 are visible in the daylight, too,
maybe not in the chickadee's eyes anymore, 
 they are perfect in between
the hollow grasses of winter
brittle and sharp
 or seen as frosting on the substrate
 of the great northern woods in winter
as here,
early winter.
not yet solstice
 but damned cold anyway.
the woods seems to dance 
this time of year,
and only the deer hunters are out late
to witness woods wildness.
and in town, 
a green miracle
by the gaming store, under the law office.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

by the crooked tree, thanks

by the crooked tree:
this is a place keeper, 
a marker pose,
a surprise old life glorious on a ridgetop.
this is your landmark,
 this crooked tree.
 this is the land 
all horizontal ridges that herringbone down to a meadow
bordered in by beaver
outlet under the roadway.
 this is the place
i will learn to call home. 
 streams bisecting the land 
stitching a crazy quilted pattern of rock and spruce and maple and juneberry
 lichen and virginia chain fern 
and cardinal flowers in july.
the streams trace outlines that the deer follow
bucks serious about finding breeding does
and the cold water splashes on and on.
past a little friend,
almost in the middle here.
 hairy woodpecker will tell you the facts:
there's no such thing as free lunch.
and everyone give thanks.
as do i.