Monday, April 30, 2012


wake robin is the red one
deep red petals
*stink pots*
*stinkin' willie*
beloved of northern woods
wendy plays with a stick
on our walk
once common,
now very occasional
as she ages
 asao shimura's book
 came today 
with little shifu samples
i mean tiny
and it was wrapped in this lovely thai kozo
a treat
after a fine day 
at bittersweet farm.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

new and new

i have spent delicious time
inside a new book
reading and waiting
terry tempest williams has published this:
when women were birds
fifty four variations on voice
it is beautiful, hard, confusing
compelling, comforting, solid
and light as a feather.
(the physical book is also beautiful)
 the rock there
it connects me to what i've been seeing
birds birds birds birds birds birds birds
i watch the heron nest,
there are three fledgelings now
with wind sounding like ocean.
and at home i watch my place here
and the new place i will inhabit
in a year or so
a new ecotone
all ecotone in fact
an old farm
long in decay
now a private place open to sky and dreams
and land. old geography, new to me.

we will honor a dream begun by a young family
but reshape it into
a place to grow old in
it will change
it will be the same.
little fiber, except yet more shifu
but spring and change is here.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

a little precarious,

but fine

 i will live in a house
someday soon
that looks
 out over this water
a stream
work often
leaves me feeling
like this tree
or like this 
dammed and fruitlessly
looking for release
but today a writer friend visited
and read her novel to us
they, we, LISTENED
with, what my teachers called 
our thinking caps on
(found on the way to school 
at st. lawrence university this morning)
 cooler weather with rain.
and birds are calling away
in joy
each morning.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

natural history of a daughter

news news news! 
this border collie wishes to make an announcement:
her family's hannah was given the gaylord brothers internship 
at syracuse university library special collections
she will be looking for a place to live
in/near syracuse,
so email velma if you have a lead.
i like to read natural history
above you see four books
my favorite has these 
hand colored plates:
 a blue jay
and an elephant 
from 200 years ago.
this is the kind of book
hannah will get to know!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

marsh news

 beaver plus josh
 josh and louise did some woods work
in the marsh by their place
while the marsh was in ice
 it was beautiful last week
one morning
on my way to work
 quite beautiful
 in this tiny, rich ecotone
i haven't checked in on the herons this weekend
i've been feverish
and sleeping half again as much as usual
i watch this heron drama
on my table, sometimes drinking tea
and making funny pictures.

earth day, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

on any day around here

 so i took a little walk
along the perennials
and spied one slippery elm
 which i sawed down
and peeled
 and i have had narcissi 
on the table for several days
 and i washed up 
some more amazing silk
ready for the next thing
and there they sit,
other things on my mind
they look so monochromatic
 and i wrote in the journal
and found a treasure
 flattened fauna
 so small
so real,
so paperlike, leatherlike
so they're all on the table where i sat for a while
between naps
as i'm in the heyday 
of a spring cold

Monday, April 16, 2012


pulp clouds:
this summer i will be teaching at several venues
daylily paper, case paper, stationer's binding
my news is that the amazing nancy zeller 
inspired by milkweed and clouds of pulp
has asked me to teach at long ridge farm.
here's the blurb:
it's going to be a grand time!
do join us 

"Pulp Clouds: Hand Papermaking"  August 3-5(3 days), 2012  Instructor: Velma Bolyard
Handmade papers from locally sourced plants provide a connection to place that is profound. Utilizing those papers in your own work as substrate, structure, or design element furthers that connection. Join us making paper at Long Ridge Farm in August where we will gather plants, cook pulp, form and dry sheets of your own papers. Expect to make strong, useable, and beautiful waterleaf (un-sized) sheets.We will each make a book from our papers, binding sheets into sample books utilizing structures that allow us to explore bookbinding as well. Each participant may expect to make a portfolio of sheets of various sizes from at least five different plants. Pulp combinations result in endless variations as we experiment. There will be a surprise or three as we move through our days, culminating in making a book that reflects your time here. You will leave with the ability to make paper, thorough haptic understanding of the necessary steps, and the ability to tailor papermaking to your home studio (even if that is your porch).
there will be some exploration,
some discoveries 
and some play with
slippery elm,
and a few more
we will make pulp, color, and,
well, you'll have to come.
i'm really looking forward to learning this landscape
through fiber.
bloodroot on lokta paper and
sugar maple
braided slippery elm

Sunday, April 15, 2012

the great blue herons of cornell

find the cornell herons here
make sure you get the highest definition video,
and the sound.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

playing catch up

this week away from teaching hooligans 
has been respite.
however, i have been 
busy to crazy busy
playing catch up.

thank you, carol! 
there were mail presents
and an order came in
which included seeds
 i continued with my new book
(thanks, lee) 
 and finished up the zine
 that goes with the zine.
 bloodroot is marvelous
 protected by those big leaves
 clouds and cool weather
(there was snow in the mountains
but not here)
 fiddleheads beginning
 and heron events.
i have been looking at the eagles, too
 but the herons
i have fallen hard for them!
more news tomorrow, i think!

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