Of Spiders and Flies


'Will you walk into my parlour?' said the Spider to the Fly,
''Tis the prettiest parlour that ever did you spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to show when you are there.'
'Oh no, no,' said the little Fly, 'to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again.'

'I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?' said the Spider to the Fly.
'There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin;

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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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