Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I NEVER associated shopping with Thanksgiving. For as long as my great grandmother was alive (until i was 11); it meant a huge meal, and if my sister and I were lucky, meaning that there were 13 grownups to be at the table, we got included (one aunt was superstitious).  Otherwise we ate in the kitchen (I wasn't too fond of raw oysters then having watched Netsie, the German nurse of my grandmother and her siblings, pull a gallon size mason jar of oysters out of the frig and unscrew the top, pick out one and swallow it while standing at the open frig door. Her head thrown back, you could watch her throat work that oyster down...gag). But when included I recall staring at my knife a lot while the grow-ups argued...Grampsie was a Yankee, Uncle Dixie, not! Oh, it was all about FOOD and drink and politics. 
Oyster stew was the first course, and though I avoided the oysters, I loved the soup. Then a salad whose dressing I have never been able to replicate, falling somewhere between thousand island and a remoulade. Grampsie carved the ham; Uncle Dixie (who called my sister and me, "Red Beans" and "Rice") handled the turkey; both portly men with what seemed like extra large carving tools. I can't recall the food on my plate, more than i could consume, no doubt. I'm fairly certain there were whipped sweet potatoes, and creamed spinach (I still make creamed spinach, but I ditched mashed sweet potatoes for roasted ones). Desert included a new box of Whitman Sampler, that I looked forward to. 


Monday, November 25, 2013

surprise at the chicken house

Wild Thing

last week I found an unfinished tunnel by the hen house
larger than a mole would make;
I gathered rocks from the dry creek bed
to cover the hole, to thwart the invader.
Last night, late from hearing Wendell Berry,
I strode out to shut the chickens.
It was pitch
at the corner of fence and house
where the tunnel mouth had gaped.
But I thought a hen huddled
and I reached out to retrieve her
but my fingers grazed coarse fur,
so I bent down to peer closer: opossum!
I repelled, disgusted, yet slowly delighted,
I had just touched a wild thing.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

drama in the green house

My lime tree's leaves look drawn, dehydrated
last week it threw down two fruit.
I suspect it is pissed that it was the only plant I failed
to pull out to the deck this summer.
Now that the green house is filled again
with chatty neighbors, the lime divests its own lament. 


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lush, a student

Have you noticed my pause / are you piercing
the space / conscious of the see-saw?

Am I walking through your seminary ghost, or do
those huge brown eyes lure from another cell?

Is there affinity in our shared history of detention
or merely our vulnerability -

a surface tension that
rapes the moment?

                           My hands are sweaty on the keys,
I tire at the filling of the script -
                                              are you an actor
am I? 


(I've been reworking poems, meeting with Ann and Diane who are keen editors and responders. Encouraging. Inspiring, I find more draw to the process of writing.)


Monday, November 11, 2013

Still Recovering

Relieved that election 2013 is over, well, except for who will be our new Attorney General. Cheers to McAuliffe. Too bad we couldn't pull off more Democratic wins to change the dynamics of the House of Delegates. I can only blow my nose on the situation, I would thumb, but I've a cold.

The light is so dramatically shortening the afternoon. I walked up to the Blue House to play with grand ones while their parents did garden work. It was three o'clock, I closed the vent to the green house when I left as the sun went low on Red Bud. But up at the Blue House, I took off my jacket and played with the kids on their porch. It was still light at four when I donned my jacket for a trip down through the now dark pine woods. We are in for several very cold days, maybe snow.


wounded deer

Wounded deer

but the rush of the river as I sit
by the stark clear water
sycamores stretching out, not a leaf more

to fall
the wounded deer on the path, skirting me
slowly following a higher trail painful to watch
season of dying


veteran's day

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Dias de los Muertos

The first brave souls to trick or treat in the holler! They didn't eat at all; just clacked about, having to return to their baby in his car seat - cute little skeleton. 
Day light savings ends this weekend, just in time to lighten my pre-dawn work on Tuesday to set political signs on the driveway of the polling place in Bethel. Better yet, the forecast is for above freezing morning rising into the 50's by afternoon. Today a rally at the government center; perhaps I will survive another year. No less disgusted by the campaign, the money and the nasty barbs. One would think that all elected officials would want to put an end to the horror, especially having to raise so much money; but, NO. Je ne comprend pas.