Sunday, January 31, 2016


simple gifts,
simple things:
a honey
house warming.
clair van vleit
who runs janus press taught this
simple structure tome in a class 
she taught at the paper trail in ottawa. 
a LONG time ago.
 using it with amazing paper deepens the experience of simple
this paper is rhubarb with abaca
a paper i have only once been able to duplicate.
simple old rhubarb
 hides its fiber
 and then the season for papermaking is past.
 like these little squares, 
also simple
 truly good work 
can be woven on the simplest of looms.
 i had thought to make a simple booklet
to explain a bit about shifu
and contact printing on papers,
 i wrote about it,
 and so a dummy appeared in my mail,
my designer, printer, and dear friend carol
and i have been cooking up a project
for me to share
with students and friends.
i'm heading to australia in a month.
teaching and traveling and being in
for a short while.
i've been swamped and forgetting things
simple things that made me happy:
a new year greeting
from the cave
 and another
from jennifer
a message i am loving, 
good madness.
 and i will continue
to make little things
 and bigger things.

Monday, January 25, 2016


not sure if its a lawn ornament
a give away
an artistic statement
or just a place for the weary
but it decorates a front yard down the road from my place.
 being prepared has different manifestations.
because the recent big snow 
didn't swing north.
blanketed the mid-atlantic states with lovely fresh stuff,
we've had little snow
and little ice
but we are prepared.
 it was cold this weekend
 with one sunshiny day
 and the tree with the lights in it.
 old pasture fence
propped up to keep young steers in.
 disappearing silo,
 braided ice along the cliff
 with a dusting of new snow.
 i didn't sample this ice
though i licked one icicle from that woodshed.
days are lengthening some
at home, 
 and there were two rainbow feet
 around behind my old farm,
 the big arc between filled with sunset.
it's hard not to look to the sky.
 but i look down,

Thursday, January 21, 2016

ian's shop

i have a son who is trying to make a business of
house portrait drawing. 
ian moved to portland, oregon
a long time ago...
in the, is it eight? years he's been away
i've seen him twice.
he does keep in touch, and lately decided to try
making a living from his 
amazing "hoosies".
                                       here are some of his most recent drawings:

in process:
 a note-tag for a bigger drawing

funky house of worship
 a place to play

if you like this work, ask him to show you his heart.
it's amazing!
his portraits have such soul and humor,
and sometimes 
a great, lovely sadness, 
like life.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


as i prepare myself
for the wonderful inevitability of teaching
this march,
i'm spinning and weaving and dyeing and
and getting this brain
(so often addled by teenaged emotional turmoil
 and the fallout
present in public school)
i return to my heart work
and of course, keep reading.
 how in photographs these things look like the skin
that paper makes
flax and milkweed, for example,
to work on,
to wear for protection.
 and walking slows this mind down
to consider these things
 to see
 up close how beautiful these skins are
here, the blue skin of atmosphere
the red skin of berry
the hidden sinews
of milkweed
twined into threads to weave 
weave a skin to keep warm and safe.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

winter sky

the wonderful winter sky
is companion to this walker.
some little snow
 came on.
only a little and very icy
for me that means i won't ski.
 barnhenge is leaning
without a skin to hold it taut
it is leaving, leaning, leaning. 
 and still the clouds
 this old yard table sinks deeper 
 into the snow
 small doings
stitch footprints through the few inches.
 i peep through the one mulberry that lived
from a planting of eight.
 there was a small deer visiting the black eyed susan
seed heads
 not much was eaten
probably not tasty 
(though that one was bold to come close to the house)
 leaving plenty of seed
for dyework and
for the new garden at the place
called home.
going home.

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