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.

Monday, November 24, 2014

snow comes and goes and...

i've visited this hobbit house
for many years.
i can't believe it's still (barely) standing.
 but it is.
and the little river
(that's its name)
is still meandering through
the woods john green first showed me
when my son was four, and daughter one,
 and even the beaver stump
hasn't fallen
to weather or hooligans or critters.
 and brave me
i went in on 6 or so inches
on a cold morning 
and happiness
 and my very old skis.
no worries about equipment,
and my knees, 
and my niece's old rossies
do me proud.
 that was saturday and then 
here, sunday
the snow is mostly gone. 
 and the water is singing
and i have experienced 
a warm day today, monday.
old green and palest ochre.
and my windows were wide open.
it's november,
and things keep changing
 bones of the adirondack foothills show
over at the new place 
riblike ridges herringbone into the meadow.
it's my favorite time.
 i have seen a bald eagle soaring the oswegatchie, 
a ruffed grouse on a telephone line,
and dandelions in blossom,
and husks for wild cucumber and milkweed pods
were part of the last print pods.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


night watch,
a game between human and white tail deer.
after the big snow
down the hill as we say
you can see tracks there.
but more, there are tracks
like a stitcher gone mad
all over my lawn.
made a little later than this.
for me, i am glad it's winter now
and their tick passengers
have hunkered down deep 
and aren't peppering my lawn or
the hill.
or, for that matter,
my tender skin.
 lazy time stitching 
echoes outdoor activity.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

a light in the sky

 my eyes were dazzled by the late afternoon light today
as i drove home
along the river
and spotted heron, or, well,wide wings.
it was very large, but no trailing long legs, and
well, a different kind of 
it was large large 
and white bounced off the dark body
but no, it was a white head.
bald eagle.
bald eagle!
before i could pull over 
gone, gone into the blue-white wildness.
 down the road,
the amish have made corn ladies 
they stand starkly on the land
 next to the river
an abandoned place
shadow played there.
 and then deep fields
 with the big snow clouds 
that have been causing a little trouble hereabouts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


all around the north country
clouds, snow, wind
 it started out cold and strangely golden 
early just after dawn
and the clouds were strange colors.
 i spotted two ends of a snowbow
 as i drove down the amish road.
 all day we heard stories of 
blizzard-like conditions nearby
(lake ontario)
and on the other big lake
(lake erie)
 so i drove home with courage and a high glorious joy
hoping to avoid whiteouts,
relieved to be going home to warm up the house
for whatever weather arrives.
and on the road
a pair of snow buntings
 they are back
  having traveled south for the winter.
i soon saw a flock
gathered on the gravel shoulders.

 there were some prints last night
i used up the last of the late fall harvests
before the snow came.
 and here, 
back home,
there's a snow dance
a crazy little spiral in our four inches or so.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

recent events

 aimee is in korea
and this is what she found at her teacher's place. 
a traditional covering
 for the wood pile.
here, folks use old paper machine felts,
tin roofing, old scrap siding
no plaited straw.
 two days off this week, 
i made prints
on paper.
 and residual and accidental prints
on peony and gingko leaves
in the backyard
it's looking bleak.
we had wintertime come to visit
after indian summer-67 degrees-
on tuesday
 the cold blew in
taking down leaves and seed fluff
 making my heart
sad with november
 school was tough tough tough.
but on friday
two old students came by to visit,
and all is well with them.
such great news 
the only good news this school year.
 peeping in the old barn's doors
more bad news
i just wish this place
could be re-furbished.
 i visited a dear friend today
she just celebrated her birthday

i'm in my 90th year, she said,
89 is a venerable age.

this quilt might be that age 
or older
being finally used
to cover the machine from chicken roosting.

Monday, November 10, 2014

some maps

mapping a book 
ink and lokta
 mapping friendship
 map of a flea market
 and knowledge!
 and a body map 
i love these mannikins
 complete with many foldouts
a different sort of centerfold!
a forester's map 
a timber cruiser's? 
 i've found some local bits--
long lake is mentioned 
 a rose map
 the second try at a big map
a hortus siccus.
 both home places,
old and new
their gifts both here.
a full sheet.
 now i want to go and weave something.
but first, 
i went out to gather some sumac
and wasn't mindful
until i cut my palm with my felco's.
there was blood, but not enough for a stitch.
i was reminded to thank the sumac
the hard way.
it's important to remember one's obligations.

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