Kirsten Vanderscheuren was one of the admins of Casual Writers' Critique here in Madison. We met on Saturday afternoons. I knew her for less than two years, and only for a few Saturday afternoons. Being a devotee of Live from the Met in HD, I had to skip the last two of these, and looked forward to the April meeting when I was planning to read the last of the short story I had been working on here. Kirsten will never get to read it, and I will not be able to follow the adventures of her talking animals and their rebellion. A bout of pneumonia with lethal side effects took her from us. Read more about I Am From
I do not read the papers in the morning, but I do check the NYT and WaPo headline sites. I was looking for a poem for March and, looking out on the still-frozen barricades of snow, and feeling this March wind on my face like a fusillade of shattered crystal, I chose this poem of death read with "cold, sharp eyes." Read more about Every Morning
If there ever was a day to post this poem, this is the day. It is the coldest day of the 2019 Polar Vortex. Twenty-seven below zero this morning in Madison, Wisconsin, and that's without wind chill. Bemidji, where a little brother lives, is even colder.
Read more about A Poem for Boxing Day>
I had seen her before in the spring and summer
The homeless lady sitting on the church steps
She would ask for help from people going into the church
She mostly was given spare change and occasionally a dollar or two
No matter how small the amount given, she would give a genuine smile and say thank you
I shall not sing a May song.
A May song should be gay.
I'll wait until November
And sing a song of gray.
I'll wait until November
That is the time for me.
I'll go out in the frosty dark
And sing most terribly.
And all the little people
Will stare at me and say,
"That is the Crazy Woman
Who would not sing in May."
Ay, thou art welcome, heaven's delicious breath!
When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf,
And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief
And the year smiles as it draws near its death.
Wind of the sunny south! oh, still delay
In the gay woods and in the golden air,
Like to a good old age released from care,
Journeying, in long serenity, away.
In such a bright, late quiet, would that I
Might wear out life like thee, 'mid bowers and brooks
And dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks,
And music of kind voices ever nigh; Read more about October
Mary Aubrey is a friend I met while living in Door County, WI. We were fellow members of the local N.O.W.
coven chapter, the radical women on the Thumb. Then she went off on adventures and landed in Massachusetts and I went off on adventures and landed in Seattle. On Monday, she and her wife, Nancy, arrived at my house for a week-long visit, and it is a joy surpassing most other joys to spend time with her and with Nancy, who is an absolutely amazing woman in her own right. Read more about A Song for Mary
Looking for a July poem - who the hell writes poetry about July? "On hot, mosquito-ridden nights, I think of you." Not so promising. Then I found Billy Collins:
Read more about Fishing Story>
I have never been fishing on the Susquehanna
or on any river for that matter
to be perfectly honest.
In the Sun's Last Glow
Read more about A May Memorial>
On her terrace where she once had viewed a crimson field,
she stands recalling heroes who were battling their foe.
She still can feel the terror! How her poor heart reeled
thinking of her lover fighting on the field below,
with others on that plain bathed red as the sun dipped low.