What is commonest, cheapest, nearest, easiest, is Me . . . Walt Whitman   In birds: the crow, the bold pigeon, a chipping sparrow on the windowsill, Common grackles or boat-tails chatting and thieving the coast and feeders, Even gulls, laughing or otherwise, who Kate Bell says are being forcibly evicted From Brighton-Ha!-as Londoners condemn…Read more »

Cool of the Day

  1 I haven’t written about this before Because I had a geas against it But I have a distant cousin Who was one of the most famous mountain Dulcimer players in the world. When I was a young man The irascible Appalachian poet Don West Separated me from my companions What are doing with…Read more »

Laundry Porch

On this porch for years we had a wringer washing machine, a loud demoniac contraption that vibrated and thumped as it played our clothes. I toyed with it, but one day it ate my arm all the way to the elbow, suddenly, like a tame tiger that takes a moment to grab the child. Neighbors…Read more »

My Grandmother

My Grandmother   Knew the sacred nature of her place A scrap of mountain above Cane River, on Big Creek, the blue ridge a bowl above the barns I remember holding a hand-full of her skirt to keep up, hunting creasy on a February morning our breath like the smoke of campfires air uncurling in…Read more »

Winter Solstice Blessing

Reader: Let us all stand and “Welcome the Light!” Together the people say: Welcome the Light! Reader: On Solstice we hang in the balance. Like Mother Night we have been made pregnant by the Great Darkness and now we sit in vigil to birth the waxing year. If the sun agrees to return it will…Read more »