Tuesday, October 29, 2013

hard frost, coyote scat and porcupine

it was a tough weekend
a memorial for a friend and later
i was sick
with a foul intestinal scourge
 so for four days i had no walk
 i'm tutoring a student after school
 but today i set out
in late october sunshine
after last night's hard frost
22 degrees at 7 am.
 today was my third encounter with this
small one
 i become disconcerted when it walked straight towards me: bold!
eyes on me
on the roadside
what's up, little one?
i side stepped, and asked 
 why are you risking yourself
you who are called varmint?
why come out to the roadside
just to savor the new growth,
succulent though it is
when hunters are out with guns everywhere?
 the response was uncanny, 
but i know i was heard
and i know that this one decided to go back
 across to the north side of the road
and into the thicket
gray dogwood and poplars
as i marveled at those amazing feet, 
turning in toes, long, strong, and clever.
it was a walk in the crisp
colorful and cidery cold afternoon
and along the road, 
here and there
coyote scat. 
just to remind me there are jokes
i don't understand.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

books and play

susan's book
 i can barely wait until i have
this book in my hands
(i did get to read it electronically)
lucky me!
this book came recommended
in a roundabout way from glennis dolce.
and i am so happily reading, savoring each page
every page has wisdom, and is framing experience for me.
i've found that dr. kimmerer is a neighbor (almost) 
her ted talk spoke to my heart.
she brings students to cranberry lake, 
each summer. 
cranberry lake is where my son first swam, 
and where i discovered a book in their tiny library
about something called designer bookbinding.
and then i met sally smith, who spent summers there
and winters in london teaching bookbinding.
she was my first binding teacher.
circles, connections, and love.
 fetching the mail i found this little one
the chickadees love the ditch there
right by the raod
 on my new path home
 more path treasures
 and i was playing 
with shadows
and sunset
and leaves
we country folk have 
a need for amusement--
books and walks serve me well.
students this year have healthy funny bones 
and leave behind
so do other folks...at home today
  i found three stashes
this one in a towel awaiting me by the tub.
there was a very sweet mention
of one of my hortus siccus books
by bryan from when he visited jean.
thank you!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

singing shifu

my four selvedge lokta shifu
it's almost ready for us all,
a definitive work about my heart's delight!
here's my story:
a very long time ago i read an article
in (the sorely missed) journal fiberarts... it was about a paper textile
japanese made, called shifu.
 written by dorothy miller.
well, as a weaver and papermaker, i was captivated.
thus began my search for the elusive textile shifu.
not long after this event, i found that dorothy miller was teaching a class 
in indigo dyeing and in paper spinning for shifu.
so i made my way to that midwest fiber conference and spun and dyed.
thus began my journey.
 susan byrd's new book, A SONG OF PRAISE FOR SHIFU
will be available very soon for purchase.
i have been a privileged first reader.
 i have seen the faces of the weavers,
photographs of the ones
susan studied with.
 i have seen their brilliant hands
 spinning and weaving.
susan has asked me
to send you all to her site through the hot link above.
her text is rich and detailed
the photographs, copious
the footnotes are worth a book of their own (almost).
this book kept ringing out peals of music
as i read. 
now, here's really really good news:
this book is pricey
and the proceeds, all of them,
are going to the shifu weavers themselves.
susan is taking the book to japan
(the money, too)
a gift to her teachers, the traditional shifu weavers themselves.
amazing, a full circle.
another gift:
the first copies will have
amazing and beautiful samples
paper and shifu.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

the nearby

 i was driving to the mountains
from home
and this thing caught my eye.
so i turned around
and...was still puzzled
 got as close as the canon would let me.
still wondering.

Friday, October 18, 2013

around the place...

...i'll know that fall is here
 recent prints
  summer holdouts in my neighbor's garden
 softer color this fall
 moonrise and sunset on wednesday
and now the moon is really big

 old mystery full of books
 this fall and last fall color studies
genevieve sent me my studies from asao's class
 and a new book
 half sendack
 half blake it seems
wholly amazing.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


 the crescent moon appeared
 in puddles
 seen through the maze of brush
  the brush and the big trees 
were still 
changing clothes
 and i found someone's mapping
 and remembered that wooly bears track their own stories
with a plan on their backs
telling of the sort of winter we have in store
 this flower is growing in my sugar maple garden,
ok, a tree that the county workers felled
and brought the logs to me
to warm me in a cold winter,
that is, if the wooly bears
share their secrets.
and don't play games.
hey, maybe that grid
is the wooly bear score card!

Friday, October 11, 2013


 i looked 
as always
to the immense hilltop sky
 and saw a bruising
the word that hurts as you speak it
 but i looked longer,
past the sad colors
 and watched the sunset
take charge and play the clouds
 and even through the sadness
in my heart
 and this
 and as i returned, this.
an old friend from my early days here
who had huge kindness in his heart,
 todd, has passed. 
we will all miss him.

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