Seattle Summer, 2015

Ilka Blade O' Grass Keps Its Ain Drap O' Dew

Confide ye aye in Providence, for Providence is kind,
And bear ye a' life's changes, wi' a calm and tranquil mind,
Though pressed and hemmed on every side, ha'e faith and ye 'll win through,
For ilka blade o' grass keps its ain drap o' dew.

Gin reft frae friends or crest in love, as whiles nae doubt ye've been,
Grief lies deep hidden in your heart or tears flow frae your een,

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I don't think I've posted this one before. My friend Mary is a Scotswoman, now living in Massachusetts, who likes to ski. We were two of the Radical Women of Door County back in the 70's. I wrote a series of poems about a few of the women I knew then. This one is Mary's. She always reminds me of my favorite things.

Mary gentle hands to touch
Blackberry a wilding bramble
Butternut a sapling springing
Hundred feet a hundred years.

Silent snow is soft and cold
And deep along the river shallows
Down she follows, glistening rocks
An ice-glow road of full moon tears

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With our national holiday of praise and thanksgiving for the Native Americans, who welcomed us to this new world, nearly upon us, I choose this poem by Mary Oliver, one of us, who wrote in honest tribute to one of them.


I went down not long ago
to the Mad River, under the willows
I knelt and drank from that crumpled flow, call it
what madness you will, there's a sickness
worse than the risk of death and that's

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The Love of October

A child looking at ruins grows younger
but cold
and wants to wake to a new name
I have been younger in October
than in all the months of spring
walnut and may leaves the color
of shoulders at the end of summer
a month that has been to the mountain
and become light there
the long grass lies pointing uphill
even in death for a reason
that none of us knows
and the wren laughs in the early shade now
come again shining glance in your good time
naked air late morning
my love is for lightness
of touch foot feather
the day is yet one more yellow leaf

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