Saturday, September 26, 2015

on the edge of autumn

 it's colder
and we have to light the furnace
if only to take the edge off the cold.
i hate doing this.
but this year it's remarkably late in coming,

 we're on the edge
and soon the birds will be gluttons
stripping berries and grapes.
here at home.
 and over at the new place i'm also calling home
 i went walking over west
toward the gorge
made by rocky ridge and trout lake drainage
and found a microworld to squint my evening-strained eyes.
mosses and lichens inhabit this small zone
little red caps always please me
 where did the small waterfall go?
the gorge?
 such a dry summer and fall so far
that i came right into the streambed before i noticed
i was in the gorge
but there was no water music.
water barely moving at all.
 this is so strange.
i could easily step across
when normally, well i've thought of building a coracle
or, more likely, buying a wee kayak
just to get out on the pond. 
where's that pond?
 so i found a gift of rosiness
 the thing just would not stay still
as the night wind blew up

 the next day i found bounty for printing,
and had grand results.
autumnal equinox.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

x o x o

my amazing nephew rich macdonald took this photo this summer
he runs the natural history center in bar harbor maine.
what he doesn't know (yet) is that i've lifted his photo
just to show you all
a little sweet bit of mark making.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

other edges, rich as usual

 the last evening walk here i noticed a few things.
 i love this deep duff,
where humus is built, and the creeping 
and the many-leggeds 
 further on down the road i looked back
to see a long me
stretching across the hay meadow
 right before i came to its edge.
and again i thought,
how rich this edge is.
thinking of the ecotone that holds
huge fecundity,
the very opposite of monoculture.
even the color is beautiful.

 having just made milkweed paper
and having seen a few monarch butterflies this year 
(thank goodness)
i give you pods, though some have already burst.
 i continued on to find these bracts almost 
grey dogwood berries
food of birds including woodcock
who nested close, 
i saw them many times this summer.
sun is usually setting on my way home
and the warm weather that night 
didn't warn (exactly) that in two nights we would be
on the edge of frost.
they say it might come tonight
over ten days later than normal.
a speedy whitetail visitor escaped 
my lens
 on saturday we went for maple syrup
and found this
 at home i went through the mail
 and found some nice things,
tom and rima's little thank you book 
for helping with crowdsourcing hedgespoken
shown here with the cloth book i'm making
 and the catalog from 
dorothy caldwell's exhibition
i love these marks
 i just called the art gallery of peterborough
and they most graciously posted this to me.
and i found out that my credit card had issues,
as we say,
those issues made it impossible to use again
the charges were dropped.
finishing up the odd ball copies
the ones i played with a little
 we are almost ready to launch the book
i had some stitching to do on a few
 so a few of them will have mendings
we decided that was ok. 
even good.
november, a map is almost ready,

Thursday, September 17, 2015


 i found that there was a bit
of wet pulp about myself
last saturday
that i removed and placed on the dashboard.
a reminder of who i am
what i do.
i am a papermaker.
 i used to remove pulp
from the tiny hairs on my forearms
in the line at the grocery store
or at the library, searching for a good book.
 i am also a teacher, 
and the above jiggly photo was taken on my way to work
one morning this week.
below is recorded the time and temperature.
we've had a week of very warm weather 
for september.
and that little piece of paper pleases me.
that evening i walked and looked at the light
which is going so quickly now
but the colors, like the temperatures,
have been slow to change.
but change it will.
and this is what i know,
despite me digging in my heels,

Sunday, September 13, 2015

glorious chaos

the glorious chaos that is 
a community papermaking project.
the energy was very, very good
 todd making milkweed paper
 esthela and todd looking carefully
and chief cook and organizer
sarah barber
the genius behind the planted poems project
(a collaborative arts project with the community and the university)
 hannah brought in some more pulp
leftover from drew matott's visit
and we added badger pulp to our vats
 abaca soaking, 
and a nepalese mould holding 3/4 inch 
of badger pulp
leftover from the week of public papermaking on campus
and at TAUNY.
 we had rain for the first time in ages
so we pressed sheets
and took them home to dry.
 next to the porch the ground is a little roughed up
that was my fiber garden
long ago
 the community got into it
and here's my little arnold grummer press
doing duty
(it's a lot easier
 to cart around than my iron book press)
my dear friend
sent me this
so sweet-i walk by my work table and see this
we had parent orientation thursday night
and the sky was dancing with the promise of rain
 before, though,
we had a foggy but clear morning
sparkling from the heavy dew
 and this is the wetland i travel through
on my way to school
 the air was charged with life
and light
 and so was i.
sunday, a little r & r 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

poetry and paper

i'm helping with 
a collaboration: SLU's arts collaborative, the 
 sustainability semester, TAUNY (traditional arts in upstate ny)
we're making a poetry garden which
"makes paper from local plants as a way to celebrate the environment, engage community and teach traditional hand papermaking practices".
 the sustainability semester folks have a nice big garden
and they planted  
some flax and some milkweed
 three of us showed up on the hottest saturday of the summer
only it was september
to process some 
 iris and daylily leaves
 this little building i'd like to take home, 
it's a storage/drying shed
 sarah (the driving force behind this collaborative) and esthela
poets and slu faculty
showed up for the grunt work.
 we three attempted to prep enough plant fibers
for saturday's plant papermaking class at st lawrence
 we three
 got a lot of plants chopped, 
scraped and 
and the papers we make
will be substrate for poems
which will be planted
along with some bulbs and roots and rhizomes
for spring surprises
at the sustainability farm. (click for info)
oh, and that sustainability farmhouse
used to be the local cooperative extension office
where i worked 
(and grew a fiber/papermaking garden)
for five years or so in the 90's.
i'm so glad to be making paper here again.

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