Saturday, November 14, 2020

Choice of Writing Method


Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

EVERYONE has their own preference of getting words down on a page.  Mine will vary from time to time and depend upon what the writing is for.  For instance if I am journal writing I like to use a fountain pin. My partiality is a thin nib. I have found over the years that these can be delicate. If they are slightly bent from a drop, they may still write but the flow is not as smooth. When journaling, there is no feeling quite like laying down the words like spreading soft butter across a page. 

My journal goes practically everywhere with me.  That is because my journal serves as a multi-functional book.  It contains periodic (almost daily entries), drafts of writing (most frequently poems), notes from workshops, quotes from passages I've read, etc.  When writing in my journal I like to use Private Reserve Ink - Copper Burst. Against the soft yellow ivory pages it has an almost antique appearance. But if you leaf through my journal you will find that at times there is blue or black ink and it may or may not be from a fountain pen. If it is 

When I start a new journal I'm always conscious of my penmanship. I don't want any crossed out words or messy writing. That will usually last two maybe three days and then its oh hell, and just move on and write. 

When I am ready to work from a draft to refine, that is when I will likely move from the Journal to my Mac Book Air. There might be a couple or more versions in the journal, but getting it to the laptop gives me a better feel for the visual aspect of the work. Visual is real important to me in poetry. I like to see how the words fill up the page or don't.  White space can be as significant as ink. This also allows me to work much easier with line breaks. 

I know people who exclusively write on their computer. If that works for you, by all means do it. The important thing about writing is to create as much comfort as possible. Routine writing is like exercising muscles, and just as important to a writer. You should find what is agreeable to you. That is where good writing start. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

A Late Afternoon Shower

The sky is a negative shadow. We walk hurriedly in avoidance of oncoming rain. Our walk snaps our pant legs in an escalating rhythm breaking into a run the last 300 feet as the rain falls straight downward, hard and fast like it's on steroids. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Just finished reading...

This week I finished a chapbook by Jennifer Moore. Smaller Ghosts is a collection of poems in the cento form. Moore is a favorite poet of mine. She previously won me over with her collection The Veronica Maneuver.

Smaller Ghosts is vastly different writing, but then it is a patchwork of lines from other works of writers. It's kind of a fun form. I've never tried it but it is. now on my list of things to do.

I think the success of such a form lies in how well read the poet is who stitched  the lines together into a whole new work.

On another note, I am starting a new book The Familiar Wild On Dogs and Poetry.  This is a book that has gorgeous art work.  An Anthology edited by Rachel Mennies and Ruth Award. I've scanned it already and there is some great work in it. This will be a subject for a future post.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Confession Tuesday Spontaneous Combustion Edition

Dear Friend / Reader:

No baseball has been played. I filled my gas tank once, I watch thousands of protesters on TV. I saw too many fires and broken windows. I watched too many incidents of police swinging clubs at people, pushing to the ground, spraying chemicals at protesters, I grieved for people hurt and those killed. I grieved for families that lost loved ones. I wrote most nights. Failed to get enough walking in, thought about yoga but did none. Grilled BBQ stake. Had a root bear float at work. Wore mask up in public, washed and rewashed my hands too many fucking times. All this and more since my last confession a week ago.

I confess that I do not know what day of the  Covid-19 pandemic its is, I just know we are no where near the end.   Last I saw there were 786 related deaths in Missouri. Nationwide deaths exceed 114,000. I saw today that there are flair ups in Texas and Mexico. People aren't exercising social distancing very well and I totally expect that we will have to go through another shut down.

Baseball is my go-to to pull me out of the winder doldrums and into the spring then summer and it just makes life remind me of poetry and brings comfort. I confess I am struggling for this comfort.

I'm awaiting some poetry books and I'm really bad at waiting for books to arrive. Amazon has spoiled me, but. I do order elsewhere and I still want them yesterday. Is this impatience a sign of a character flaw?

I confess that I have a lot of material that needs attention. Drafts that need to be rewritten. Should I just pick a day of the week that I always work on rewrites?  How do you deal with a pile of work that needs to be rewritten? Do you avoid a pile of it by trying to keep on a piece till you ate ready to call it finished?

Is it wrong to have 22 games of Words with Friends going at once? I'm just asking for a friend, you know.

How many Character flaws make you a character?

When I drove down our street on the way home tonight I saw a black bird large enough to be bigger than Heckle and Jackle combined.

I'll close with a great poem title.  This is from a poet that I am quite fond of.  Spontaneous Combustion: Girl Kissing Bursts into Flames.  That rocking title belongs to Laura Kasischke. I might have to use that as a title prompt to write my own poem from.

Till next time! Stay safe, and be a great Joy & Peace.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Confession Tuesday - from the Shadow

Dear Reader:

It has been one month and 3 days since my last confession. One very long month.  In that time COVID 19 deaths nationwide topped 60,000. Now we are at 104,398.  We are at 773 deaths statewide in Missouri. 

On my last confession, George Floyd was still alive and certainly not a household name. 

On my last confession day, many business establishments around the country were closed down or open to customers under very controlled conditions.  In some cities those same businesses are boarded up, may have burned are spray-painted with graffiti.

I confess that I feel like we are in the shadows right now. I'm not sure if the shadows or the sunlight are a better place to be.

I feel like the shadows kind of protect us. Cater to our innocence, if we still have any.  On the other hand, the sunlight is bright and allows us to see everything. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

I confess that the death of George Floyd was both bad and ugly. It was one of the most gut-wrenching videos I have ever watched. I was sickened. I was angry. I wanted to confront the officers involved and stop them, but we all know that would not have gone well.

I confess that the light shined on this event has had a good side. It had allowed the education of many to what blacks in this country endure routinely. The outpouring into the streets around this country has been a part of a healing process. There has been a beauty to it.  In some instances black people embracing police officers - some standing hand in hand together making a statement that what happened is not acceptable, and we as a country can do better than this.

There is a bitter pill in all this. The people that have taken to destroying property are hurting our country that was already struggling with COVID 19 impact.  These people, do not honor the life of George Floyd. They do nothing to advance the cause of racial harmony. I think some of them may have ulterior motives, but at a minimum, they are not a part of the protest.

I'd like to say that I have positive vibes. Hope, that this will advance the cause of dialogue, and of that conversation, a greater understanding and mutual love and respect will emerge.

I have put a lot of words on pages during this. But sometimes the words don't quite flow easily. Sometimes they are heaped in pile behind a damn that holds them back for fear that they will not be the right words. They will not adequately hold the truths that are needed. That they will fall short like our efforts have done so often all these years.

I confess that  I love our country that I am in love with the idea of our democracy. But I confess that we have not always lived up to what our Declaration of Independence calls us to.  It's a journey and we must all walk that journey together.

Until next time, peace!

Remember - stay safe. COVID-19 is just as real a threat today as it was a month ago.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Blog Listings

I have gone through the poetry related blogs on this site and removed some that have not been active for a while. Some were very good blogs that I have enjoyed over the years and If I realize they are active again, I will restore them. If you have a poetry blog that is not on here and believe it deserves a listing please drop me a line - Mail to:  Michael Wells

Who Is That Saint?

My mind has compartments like files on a computer. There are sub-files (sub-folders) and sometimes I will make a new folder where an existing one will do perfectly. I call this fragmenting my mental hard drive. Then there are files that it seems are password protected and I haven't a clue. Is there any Patron Saint for this situation?

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Confession Tuesday - How Are You?

Dear Friends:

Please don't tell anyone that it's not Tuesday.  It has been God only knows how long since my last confession Tuesday. I admit that I am a fallen-away Tuesday Confessor.  And this is my attempt to make amends.

How are you anyway? You know people often ask that question during the course of a normal day. Passing each other at work (You remember that? You remember work?)  People ask how you are, but I don't think they really want to hear Crappy.  I wonder how many people just brush off the question by saying fine?

I have no idea exactly what C-19 day this is because I'm not sure I know when the counting started.  I have been notified today that the courthouse (are department) will start back on May 18 with numerous protective protocol in place. Our department will not been open per se to the public walking through.

My wife asked me how I felt about this today and after a brief pause, I said fine. It is not that I have not been working all these days, just doing so from home for the most part. There are things about working from home that do make my job a bit more challenging. There is a bit of a fear that lurks ahead in the world out there and I try to tell myself it's okay.  I am enormously thankful to have a job. Some 26 million plus people filing for unemployment. I am indeed prayerful daily for the meany that are through no fault of own, even having trouble just putting food on the table much less deal with other financial matters.

I am torn between my introverted self and my extroverted self. The introverted is the dominant one. And I have not totally  been alone as my wife has been here too. Still, as I go about my day the adjustment to things has not been easy. I don't deny that I am feeling a degree of depression. That is not unusual for me through late winter into spring. It usually lets up about the time baseball gets underway. But I am missing. baseball and that doesn't seem right.  Baseball is for me a metaphor for life and when it fills my heart and mind, I feel like life is alive in all it's fullness.  I also happen to believe that baseball and poetry have a lot in common.

Again, the violet bows to the lily.
Again, the rose is tearing off her gown!   ~ Rumi

I am trying to make more sense of Rumi. He seems to transcend all religions, and speak to all people. We could use more of that. Even in our tragic moments when life is challenged and hinges on the edge of tipping one way or the other, we still have people driven and divided by fear and ignorance. The fear is natural. We all experience it at times. But when fear is fed by ignorance, the results are never good.

Just as I believe Rumi has a lot to offer us to better our life, call me a romantic if you wish, but I still believe poetry matters. I believe we can find our tattered and torn self in poetry. I have been reading Like A Bird of a Thousand Wings, by Melissa Studdard. Her words seem to be taking up residence in my soul.

Self is a place
we keep getting sewn back into.
We fly away.
It sews us back. We tear
the fabric, here comes the needle.
 ~ Melissa Studdard - But Who Will Hear You From So Far Across The Sky?
From Like A Bird of A Thousand Wings.

I confess:

  • I have fears today.
  • Sometimes my writing doesn't seem good enough.
  • I want to run out into a crowd and get lost - but don't.
  • I feel guilty for having a job.
  • I disappoint.
  • Feel pathetic.
  • Want to lock myself in a room and shut the world out.
  • Feel confused.
  • Want to hug someone, want to be hugged. 
  • Want to write the next great memorable poem.
  • Don't think I will ever complete another poem.
  • I want time - It's a commodity I never feel I will have enough of.
  • I am an INFP - deal with it!

Until next tine, be safe - Love - Laugh - Peace


Saturday, April 04, 2020

Don't Come Any Closer - Here, Have Some Virtual Love - X O

These are difficult times for us all.  Social Distancing, don't touch your face,  wash your hands while singing Happy Birthday (I've gravitated to Africa by Toto), stay home, and only essential worker go to work.

I fall into an in-between category.  Our office is having us work from home and therefor I am 90% at home.  My work is essential, but can be accomplished at home except for periodic court hearing. Those I go to the courthouse for. It's like a ghost town. Court hearings are generally with about 5 to 7 people. The respondent is on a Polycom along with other testifying witnesses.  These could occur daily, but tend to be a couple to three days a week. Sometimes there are more than one on a given day. So, I am otherwise sheltering at home.

I have had more time to write, to read, and binge watch Homeland.  Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin are phenomenal actors. I haven't binge watched anything in several years.

There has been more time to think as well. That includes paranoid thoughts about Covid-19.  About after the curve is flattened, how many people will still be contagious and for how long. I for one don't see this danger ending for months not weeks.

Having more time to think is positive only if I can expand my thinking in positive and creative ways. I try to note things in particular that could be incorporated into my writing.  In regular real life, it is not uncommon for me to let significant but fleeting thoughts pass on to wherever such neurons go to die.

Social media has done two things in these times. It has allowed us to stay connected while we are apart. It has also made such interaction seem at times a little more intrusive. Online, everybody is there.  On balance the scale tips more to the good than the bad.

I see people (poets I know that do some collaborative or group writing.  There is a part of me that is jealous, and I'm not one to see jealousy in a positive light, so I don't want to be that poet.  There are a couple of people I may touch base with and see if they would like to meet on Facetime or Skype. It's a thought.

A concern I have is for the most vulnerable of people. Person on the street.  Persons who live alone but may still get out and about. Persons who could retreat inside and succumb to the illness and have no one checking on them.  I too am concerned for those who trot off to church totally ignoring social distancing in the belief that they are safe by the blood of Jesus.  I can applaud their faith but not  their actions. God gave us a brain and I'm pretty sure he counted on us using it.

Covid-19 will be talked about, written about, and debated about for a long time. Some have suggested it to be on the scale of 9-11. I have considered this, but we have passed the deaths attributed to the Twin Towers attack. Additionally, this is international. Its impact is going to be far and wide. I could not bring myself to write a 9-11 poem for years.  I wrote a Covid-19 poem that has already been accepted.  There will be anthologies as there were for Katrina.  I'd like to see one to raise money to help in some way.  It just seems like a poet thing to do. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Burn The Beauty - Elizabeth McCrorie

Burn The Beauty

Published: July 2008
One does not own beauty.
One creates it.
In their dreams,
They feel they can obtain it.

All alone, in a dark night's
All their thoughts...

Cursed by change
Hidden by lies,
Running from the truth.
Beauty now dies.

They don't understand.
They don't really care.
Beauty now burns
Smoke in the air.

Years go by,
And age seeps in.
Beauty's worn out,
Life is giving in.

Death creeps up,
Beauty now cries.
You're all alone
In your beautiful lies!


Friday, March 13, 2020

Hold Fast to Your Dreams


Hold fast to dreams 
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly. 

Hold fast to dreams 
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field 
Frozen with snow. 

By - Langston Hughes

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Entering Culturally Dark Days Ahead.

Please do not misunderstand my purpose for writing  this post, It is in no way intended to make light of the health danger posed by the outbreak of Covid-19. The risk poses an  incredibly real danger to the population at large, and that includes you and I.   Epidemiologists tell us that the number of positive cases will double every 6 days. That kind of growth rate is nothing short of frightening. 

Unquestionably, this will have tremendous impact on our society - at least for the short term. The nation and indeed the world economy is already being taxed tremendously by it, and the impact on markets, businesses, schools, transportation, hotels, and anything that involves people coming together in groups and close quarters is being felt.

NBA, NHL, MLB, March Madness are all being impacted because the crowds in such venues would provide easy pathways to transmission.   Seeing all the various sports canceled leaves me wondering about how how married couples are going to deal with. this void. They may have to actually talk to each other.

It was during evening drive time I was thinking what a hit culture in the country is taking a hit. I know for example our symphony is canceling events. I assume theaters are as well. So too I would think that local poetry readings are being canceled. I certainly will not be making the rounds and this is sad but the right thing to do.

In an effort to keep poetry before the public during this dark period, I plan to share on social media some of my favorite poets and poems. The same with music.  It is at times like these we most need poems and music to speak to our soul. I hope others will do the same.

In closing I would encourage people to rely on the CDC as well as state and local health departments for information concerning issues related to your own health.  Please keep in mind it is important to consider your own health, but those you come in contact with.  Even if you have a mild case, realize you may be placing others with high risk factors in serious danger.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

So How Is My AWP Coming Along - You Ask?

Yes, thanks for asking.  I have a fair amount of new reading material. Later I will go into details.

You may have heard that AWP has found itself competing with Covad-19.  I began hearing some talk a week ago about the outbreak (which seemed minimal at that point in the US), but was certainly on radars.  Like most other writers I followed the latest CDC news and yes, even the largely suspect White House information.

On March 2nd it was announced that the Board would be issuing a statement on the conference.

By the 3rd, I was aware there were 11 confirmed cases somewhere in Texas.  AWP Board Members were in contact with CDC and the Mayor's office.  A The word was they were moving conference the size of AWP is certainly a financial  liability and asset at the same time.  In Portland last year I believe there were between 14,000 and 15,000. The thousands of exhibitors and time commitments by staff and even members is no small matter. Writers plan way in advance for panels, onsite and offsite readings, and there are an array of big name speakers.

The day before the event opens there is news that the Board of directors painstakingly ruled to move ahead with the event. I have to tell you, writers, AWP members, are social animals. It was suggested that while the conference was moving forward it was with the caveat to caution to curb the greeting enthusiasm.  Such recommendations as loud enthusiastic greetings, no handshakes, hugs, or customary embarrass. Blown kisses only. Thoughtful nods. Wash hands regularly. Use hand sanitizers often. Keep your hands off your face, nose, eyes, you get the drill here - curb the socialization as much as possible.

But when the word can down that the event was a go,  the board indicated that those who were coming could have their financial investment in AWP#20 applied to AWP#21 in Kansas City next year.  In addition,  this tweet was sent out by Diane Zinna one of the co-directors of the conference:

Diane Zinna  @DianeZinna. Mar3  I am broken-harted, but I resigned from AWP this morning over the decision to hold  the conference. I will always love. this community and ask that you please be kind to the board and tiny staff, people who are working so hard and believe in you.

Diane is a very special person to many of us. She created the Writer-to-Writer mentoring program. I am an alumni of the Spring 2017 Session. She has nurtured the program and all of us along the way.  This hit me very hard.

Still, I was preparing to leave at 5:45 in the morning. Besides packing, people that know me well, know that I would be would be up all night, watching Super Tuesday returns.  Those that don't know me well won't  understand this.  But I rolled out of here at 3:00 a.m. for the airport dead tired, but trying to be upbeat.

I should have known it would be a bad morning when I parked in the econo-parking and caught the tram to the terminal. I realized I had left my glasses in the car.  Inside I bought a pair of single vision. to get me through everything, checked my bag and ultimately boarded to the Conference.

I had known for days now that many of my friends were opting not to go. While waiting for my boarding I sifted through a number of Facebook and Twitter feeds.  More were deciding not to go. Oh, I had some friends already there and I rationalized this would give me an opportunity to meet new people (which is always one of my goals).  Then I saw that many of the presses were pulling out and that they were organizing an online or virtual book fair offering some of the normal conference discounts through Sunday.

I can't tell you the last time I flew and had a whole row to myself. I got my own row on the flight to Dallas where I would have a short layover and then on to San Antonio. This would have been great but the whole flight I was hot and the overhead blower was not helping.  My ears popped and I felt miserable.  My anxiety increased. Yes, I thought about. my age, and diabetes as placing me at a higher risk if I contracted Covid-19, but I hd been over that rational for days. What I was really starting to fear was getting to the conference and finding that it was a shell of what it should be.  That some of the panels that were important to me had been canceled and God knows how many more would before it was over.  On the layover I had tweeted some of my friends there already and they all had friends that opted out - pretty much said everyone was choosing to be non-judgmental. If you fell you needed to be there, it's your call. If you feel this one is not for you same. People said they would miss me but life goes on.

There was still the matter of my reading Saturday, and the hotel reservation. I called my wife and  decided to convert my return ticket and fly  home.  I made the other calls to clean up the remaining conference details and was back in Kansas City  later in the afternoon.

So my day today has been busy writing. Following details of conference. A hand full of things are being live streamed. Working on some ideas, and virtually shopping at the book fair. (which requires real money)

So here is what I have coming  as far as new reading material. Some are supposed to be here by tomorrow evening, a couple are new releases for later in the month.

  1. Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love by Keith S. Wilson
  2. Soft Targets by Deborah Landau
  3. Father's Day by Matthew Zapruder
  4. I Live in the Country and other Dirty Poems by Arielle Greenberg
  5. In the Lateness of the World by Carolyn Forche
  6. Like a Bird with a Thousand Wings by Melissa Studdard
  7. Partial Genius - Prose Poems by Mary Biddinger
  8. Slide to Unlock by Julie E. Bloemeke
  9. The Long White Cloud of Unknowing by Lisa Samuels  

That's the book purchases so far.

By the way - I am especially. happy with my writing so far today.   

Will catch a livestream of the Keynote address this evening. 

The one thing you cannot replicate besides seeing friends, is the swag. I will miss the #W2W Reception and the swag. 

Sunday, March 01, 2020

It's Coming - AWP #20 blogging

The annual AWP writers conference is coming at us with the speed of an asteroid. The annual event brings together writers of all genres from across the U.S. and beyond.

AWP #20 will occur in San Antonio, starting on Wednesday the 4th. I can confirm that I have already experienced a bit of the typical anxiety associated with the pilgrimage.  Each year there are generally 12,000 or more in attendance. If I recall correctly there were like 14,000 last year in Portland.

I have somewhat introvert tendencies, although at times I may break free of the chains. As long as I am able to retreat and recharge from time to time, I can deal with it.  For me the stressor are being away from home, being in the midst of a crushing mob (slight exaggeration),  meeting people I am in awe of and being fearful I appear to be a complete goofball, and meeting complete strangers and feeling. my first impression (and lasting one) totally sucked. It is my hope to report/blog from the conference maybe a couple of times a day.

WHY EVEN GO?  Good question.  I think it has to be personal for each attendee.  For some it is seeing friends that you may see only once or twice a year.  Or it could be meeting  publishers.  Crisscrossing the book fair (always enormous) in search of bargains, newly published material, author signings, or readings. Both onsite and offsite. It could be learning more about the craft at panel presentations, or ideas, learning about marketing or working with publishers, agents, etc.

This year, I am focusing  on a couple aspects of craft. Seeing some friends, attending some readings and doing a reading myself. I want to springboard from the conference into a greater energy in my writing. I have a manuscript I am trying to finish and this could help push me over the finish line.

I always make a list of those I hope to see. Some for the first time. Some friends I'd like to hang out with for a bit.  It's a challenge to see how many of these people I  can catch up with given  because everyone has their own schedule and we often become like ships passing in the night.


There is something  looming overhead as we head to San Antonio. So much talk of the coronavirus has added a new level of anxiety. So many questions about how ready we are for an outbreak in the U.S. have created a legitimate concern.  I am impressed with AWP leadership for tracking the CDC daily and reporting on efforts to proactively implement ways to make the conference as safe as possible.

AWP has been tweeting messages like this-  Fewer handshakes, more smiles, louder greetings, thoughtful nods! At #AWP20, we’re in close communication with the conference center & City of San Antonio, & watching news fm CDC closely. We’re increasing hand sanitizing units and will have Lysol wipes in every meeting room.

I have a reasonable level of confidence that all will go well, but this is in large part because I believe the leadership of the conference is doing what it can to protect us all.  I have way more confidence in their leadership on this than I do the federal government.

Anyway, I am busy getting ready this weekend. Hopeful San Antonio will be a great conference. I am a veteran of 4 previous conferences - this will make 5.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Looking for the Good

It's Sunday evening and there are so many things I could have done today that I didn't.  I didn't send any notes to anyone for no reason than just to say hi. I did not go outside and take a walk, looking up at the clouds or tree tops.  Other than to get out and drive to yoga, I went no place else.  I read maybe 4 or five poems this morning. I journaled around 2:30 a.m. when my mind raced, chased by anxiety throughout the house. 

A number of things have rolled through my mind throughout the day.  Why I am not writing this very moment?  What should I or could I write about. Where is my muse? Where. has she been - I've not seen her for a very long time.

Cathy came home from work today sick and she is heavy on my mind because I recently went through a stretch of being sick with some upper respiratory sickness that really kicked my butt.  I don't want her to go through the same thing.  I offered her  as my intention for my yoga practice today.  She is resting now, and that is likely what she needs most.

Earlier in the day, I was thinking. a lot about the upcoming AWP conference. I always get  anxious as it gets closer.  I will likely have bouts of anxiety daily between now and the time I leave.  Also, on my mind today. is Ash Wednesday that is approaching. What will I give up for lent? Will I give up anything?  Will I substitute some proactive thing to do instead?

It warmed up quite a bit today and that seems heavy on me in that I missed lots of opportunity to see the beauty in things.  I bet my muse was out taking in nature. I'm like, Bitch where are you? She be like, where you should be.

Two final thoughts,  I watched the Mr Rogers movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood this week (this may be the subject of a full post later).  There was also a few lines shared with us a Yoga tonight about leaving the small fights for small fighters. These two things are centering. They are simple but challenge me to think good thoughts, positive thoughts.

With that, I'm going to sign off a write a bit because it's barely 8:30, and because I can.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

The Order of Species and Poets

One morning this week (the exact day escapes me) I walked out to my car to leave for work and there were 4 of these creatures across the road grazing. They of course stopped and gave the look that says, Why are you all up in our business? There was also a woodpecker nearby pounding on a tree. This area is loaded with various critters. More often than not, they are blended into the surroundings.  For example, both in the evening, and even early morning hours there is a whoo-hoo  whoo-hoo.  This has been going on for a couple of months and I'd love to get my eyes on the Owl, but it hasn't happened yet.

As it started getting colder I started putting out suet for the birds. They are evidently quite pleased as I have to had to replace the suet every week and a half to two weeks. It's not in the best place for me to keep a casual eye on it without my interest being compromised. I may have to move it, if I am going to get any pictures or even good observation with. the naked eye.

If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees.  - Rainer Maria Rilke

Nature has a poet's patience about it. Or, at least the presence poets should ascribe to. I try, really I do, but dammit  I really want to see that owl. 

I think man's relationship with nature has been long out of tilt. We have relied so much on it, too much I believe, and now the realization that we have unknowingly for years been withdrawing  too much from the natural bank account of this planet earth. Our very survival demands we are better stewards of our planet. Our ultimate strength is rooted like the trees in the dark of earthen soil. We must be co-habitants with nature. 

I drive onto the highway and head downtown. The skyline like a prism reflecting the sunlight rising in the east. Glass panels, concrete, metal girders, reflective spires all twinkling ahead. Yes, man's marvels. But, somewhere there is a strip mine. Somewhere, countless acres of forest have fallen in the name of progress. Paved streets and parking lots.

Gone are the Reunion Ibis, the the Black-Backed Bittern, Reunion Night-Heron and a slew of other bird species. In the past half-century there has been a 29% decline in birds in the U.S. and Candida. Once we lose birds, insects and other animals are impacted. So too is plant life. Some of this is not doubt related to climate change and migration disruption. 

Poets could do a whole anthology of elegies to birds who are no longer with us. 

Patiently, I await the sight of the owl that serenades me morning and night.   

Wednesday, January 01, 2020


“Remove ‘shoulds’ from your vocabulary this year. Start your journey of self-love now.” —Kelly Martin

2019 and the whole decade that it represents is finished. What is left is smoldering memories. Some of them are good but most represent average or worse elements of my life. 

Mid-day today I attended a workshop at Core Balance Yoga that was nearly mat to mat in the studio. There were 23 of us and the instructor and we might have scrunched one more yogi in a cover but that would be it. There was a glitch in the software that allowed more than the limit to sign up on line. It happened so it must have meant to be. We made it work. 

The session was a 90 minute combination of yoga, guided meditation and journaling exercises designed to lead each of us to what would become a personal guiding word for 2020. The logic was that we can easily shed a resolution by screwing up and then feeling we have failed move on leaving it behind.

Out of my session, there were a series of words that flowed out of my journaling and meditation and the more meaningful ones came down to fulfillment, focus, vision, and authentic.  I have not as of this moment centered in on one word. Kristin, our instructor said some people actually use a couple or three words to carry with them throughout the year. I would like to minimize this as much as possible. 

Even prior to today's event, I have been thinking about the symbolic nature of 2020 and perfect vision. Working through dreams and hopes, I've been pointed to manuscript completion. Challenges to improve / perfect yoga practice. Achieve publication from a list of tougher reputation Journals or Reviews.

I already know that I have improve my own self worth, be guided by gratitude, and embody love of self and others. The past couple of years, truth has come to mean anything and nothing. In 2020, truth has to mean more to me. It has to reflect in me the embodiment of authenticity.  Being real, honest and genuine. 

So, I don't really have a resolution of sorts, but I see developing a roadmap or blueprint of something akin to a guiding light. I'm ready for a year that glows with joy, peace, art, fulfillment, and support of others.