Saturday, October 31, 2009


illustration of harvest face mask, aka the green man

Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts celebrated their new year on November 1, to mark the end of summer and harvest and the beginning of winter.

According to my Irish grandmother, they believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. Otherworldly spirits who came to visit would cause trouble and damage crops, but their presence also helped the Druids, the Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. Since their people were entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

raging bonfire in darkAll hearth fires were extinguished and the Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people, in costumes gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. They also attempted to tell each others fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

pinting of goddess pomonaThrough the years (400) that the Romans ruled Celtic lands, a couple of their festivals were thrown into the mix: Feralia, when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead, and a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain may explain the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

fresco painting of all saintsWhen Christianity hit Celtic lands, it too left its mark on the 'holiday.' In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, probably in an attemp to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.

Later, the church made November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. Its celebration was similar to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils.

Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.
silhouette of cat on branch against moon
(Illus #2 - Spirit Raising Samhain © Rich CrystalWolfe Baker)


All these images come to us courtesy of And as always, will grow larger when you click on them.

"May all your treats be chocolate, 
and may all your surprises be ghastly ones."

Friday, October 30, 2009

Yes, Strength In What Remains Behind

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;

from Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood by William Wordsworth. The whole poem, breathtakingly beautiful, can be read by clicking on the title.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


 But first, on earth as vampire sent,
Thy corse shall from its tomb be rent:
Then ghastly haunt thy native place,
And suck the blood of all thy race...

I was*blush* quite fond of vampires in my younger days. They have captured imaginations through the ages, across cultures. For me the fascination faded years ago, but it looks like they've come back to life with a vengeance, so to speak, in all the new movies and TV shows.

(Oh! By the way, THE ANSWER IS HERE.)

[UPDATE]: For fun, click on these famous (and not so famous) names to read more poetry classics just right for the season. Muahahaha!

Rudyard Kipling, Henry Thomas Liddell, John Stagg, Lizette Woodworth Reese, Paisley Rekdal, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Carl Sandburg, John Stagg, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, & Hortense King Flexner


From: A Letter to My Grandmother

Fourth grade: The good day

My teacher had black, curly hair. Her name was Miss Johnson. One day she asked the class to write a paragraph on Thanksgiving. I wrote a poem instead. It went like this;

God, Why Don't You Celebrate?

God, you who made the earth,
You who made the sky.
You who made the fishing sea.
Oh, you must be up so high.
And you who made me.
We thank you for the food,
for your best gift, nature,
our thanks to you.
So, dearest God, why?
Why don't you celebrate
For all the hard, hard
work you've done?
Just to make the world
such fun.
You who made everyone.

When Miss Johnson read everyone's paragraph, she asked me to stay in during recess. I stayed in, waiting to be yelled at, because I hadn't followed directions. I had written a poem instead of a paragraph.

"Dale, this is a very good poem," she said. "Do you write poems often?"

"Sometimes," I replied.

"What do you do with them?"

"I send them to my Uncle Jack or give them to Mommy."

"Good," she said. "Well, let's do a secret project, just you and I, OK?"

I nodded, feeling like a grown-up as she told me about the secret. "I want you to make a poetry book. While the other students have their handwriting period, you can write your poetry in your poetry book!"

"OK!" I said.

"You wrote this poem very neatly," she told me. "I know you'll write all your poems this well, because we want people to be able to read them. Now, let's pick out some shiny construction paper to be the covers of your book."

I jumped up and down with excitement. I loved shiny construction paper. We went to the closet to pick it out. I decided I wanted red paper. I was so happy, I skipped out of the room.

"Why, Dale, I didn't know you could skip!" she said. "That's very good!"

If she hadn't been so nice to me before, I would have thought she was making fun of me. One of the problems with learning to skip in fourth grade instead of first or second is that nobody says "good girl" to you. You might feel happy as your body learns to do new things, but everyone else has learned it already and thinks it's babyish. So, Miss Johnson made me happy by telling me I was very good.

Personal Profiles

Steps to Independence

by Dale S. Brown

Editor's Note: Dale S. Brown is an author of five books about disabilities. She won several national awards for her leadership in the self-help movement for people with learning disabilities. She recently retired from twenty-five years of public service developing federal policy in the field of disability. The Learning Disabilities Association of America asked her to update Steps to Independence for People with Learning Disabilities, the first book she wrote. It is a self-remediation handbook that guides young adults with learning disabilities to become independent. In the following profile, she discusses how she wrote the first edition of the book:

I grew up with severe learning disabilities and was educated in public schools in ordinary classrooms. Nobody could figure out what caused me to struggle to read, write, and get along with other children.* . . .


I Know I Can Climb the Mountain

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Breath & Shadow
A Journal of Disability Culture and Literature

Breath & Shadow is a quarterly journal of disability culture and literature. A project of AbilityMaine, . . . written and edited entirely by people with disabilities. . . . [I]n Breath & Shadow you will find poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, drama, and other writing that examines the human experience of living with disability — in every single issue.

The editors of Breath & Shadow believe that personhood in the land of disability can and should be presented in its multiplicity. Thus, diversity of writing style, content, genre, and category, as well as author demographics, is a goal for each issue. . . . [O]ur journal showcases writing by people with disabilities in all its power, complexity, and breadth. . . . [W]e feature writing by children and adults; people with physical, mental, emotional, and sensory disabilities; and new/emergent and established writers.

A Road Not Chosen

A spider web
dew on spider web in foliagecurves
from one point
to different ends,
f o r m s
shapes - hearts, angles, triangles,
roads to the outside
I weave a life
from stories spun
of roads taken
in my life --
some not chosen --
traumatic brain injury
when I hit my head --
in a car accident
knocked out
in a coma
no one knew
what would be left of me.
I spin inwards after TBI
till I hit the center mark,
golden goodness of my source.
When I get back out -
through poetry,
I will find my way back
to the web
of life on earth.

Louise Mathewson holds a Masters degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in Chicago. An author and poet, her work has appeared in numerous publications including Wordgathering: Journal of Disability Poetry, Cup of Comfort (Vol. 1), Mochila Review, Boulder County Kid and Sasee magazines and internationally in Borderlines '08, an anthology published by the University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom. Louise has always loved to write about the sacred moments in everyday experiences, but today those experiences hold even deeper meaning. In January 2003 Louise emerged from a two-week coma following an auto-accident in which she suffered a traumatic brain injury. Though a struggle at first, Louise resumed writing as soon as she was able. Today she lives with her husband in Eden Prairie, Minnesota where she continues to write and recover.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


loose sketch of pregnant woman and toddler

Heavy Woman
- Sylvia Plath

Irrefutable, beautifully smug
As Venus, pedestalled on a half-shell
Shawled in blond hair and the salt
Scrim of a sea breeze, the women
Settle in their belling dresses.
Over each weighty stomach a face
Floats calm as a moon or a cloud.

Smiling to themselves, they meditate
Devoutly as the Dutch bulb
Forming its twenty petals.
The dark still nurses its secret.
On the green hill, under the thorn trees,
They listen for the millennium,
The knock of the small, new heart.

Pink-buttoned infants attend them.
Looping wool, doing nothing in particular,
They step among the archetypes.
Dusk hoods them in Mary-blue
While far off, the axle of winter
Grinds round, bearing down the straw,
The star, the wise grey men.

Monday, October 26, 2009


- Tracy Koretsky

Like pampas grass, whose blush fades, whose reeds
desiccate and snap, or like the house left to weather,
sinking, soft edges fraying…there is no fresh metaphor
for my body, aging. An ordinary body.
A modern body, with its list of -ectomys
and -oscopys, -ograms and -plastys,
with its daily legion of iron-colored bullets
battling an inherited disease. A private body,
that leaves the boxes for abortion and recreational
drugs empty on the doctor's forms until they can prove
to me why it's their business. It has an ordinary history
of scars—one recently acquired! The most ghoulish,
something my mother never forgave herself for.
And in this day and age—and even though I've lived
most of my life as an artist—I have no tattoos
and only two piercings, one through each earlobe.
(I promised myself that every time one of my books
"made it" I would put in a stone, something permanent
and precious.) They've probably grown over by now.
My unkempt body: unshorn; unpainted; only cleaned,
polished, and snipped enough for basic maintenance
haphazardly tended to. A face that I am not ashamed of
and others seem to forget. (Frequently my dog gives me away.
Everyone remembers J.) A little disappointingly
short, and no one would say skinny. Carefully fed, though,
—mindfully. A plain body, in middle-age. Still, I remember
when Josie Burns told me I could fly and I did the highest,
farthest, chassé and tour jeté of my life, and I remember
running, effortlessly the fastest, the wind parting
before me, the other kids cheering me on, and sometimes
I want to. I just see a path and my feet want dash and I know
that I am not going anywhere. A normal body,
aging. This body that has filled its eyes with
the bright of clear sky over new snow, that has tried
through the night for the top of the volcano, that has
mounted the dunes in the moonlight, and found
its length in water and breathed, that has sung
the arias of love. This body that I forget to thank.

*This poem is from Koretesky's collected poetry Even Before My Own Name, which is available as a free down load at the author's website.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


What He Thought
- Heather McHugh

We were supposed to do a job in Italy
and, full of our feeling for
ourselves (our sense of being
Poets from America) we went
from Rome to Fano, met
the Mayor, mulled a couple
matters over. The Italian literati seemed
bewildered by the language of America: they asked us
what does "flat drink" mean? and the mysterious
"cheap date" (no explanation lessened
this one's mystery). Among Italian writers we

could recognize our counterparts: the academic,
the apologist, the arrogant, the amorous,
the brazen and the glib. And there was one
administrator (The Conservative), in suit
of regulation gray, who like a good tour guide
with measured pace and uninflected tone
narrated sights and histories
the hired van hauled us past.
Of all he was most politic--
and least poetic-- so
it seemed. Our last
few days in Rome
I found a book of poems this
unprepossessing one had written: it was there
in the pensione room (a room he'd recommended)
where it must have been abandoned by
the German visitor (was there a bus of them?) to whom
he had inscribed and dated it a month before. I couldn't
read Italian either, so I put the book
back in the wardrobe's dark. We last Americans

were due to leave
tomorrow. For our parting evening then
our host chose something in a family restaurant,
and there we sat and chatted, sat and chewed, till,
sensible it was our last big chance to be Poetic, make
our mark, one of us asked

"What's poetry?
Is it the fruits and vegetables
and marketplace at Campo dei Fiori

or the statue there?" Because I was
the glib one, I identified the answer
instantly, I didn't have to think-- "The truth
is both, it's both!" I blurted out. But that
was easy. That was easiest
to say. What followed taught me something
about difficulty,

for our underestimated host spoke out
all of a sudden, with a rising passion, and he said:

The statue represents
Giordano Bruno, brought
to be burned in the public square
because of his offence against authority, which was to say
the Church. His crime was his belief
the universe does not revolve around
the human being: God is no
fixed point or central government
but rather is poured in waves, through
all things: all things
move. "If God is not the soul itself,
he is the soul OF THE SOUL of the world." Such was
his heresy. The day they brought him forth to die

they feared he might incite the crowd (the man
was famous for his eloquence). And so his captors
placed upon his face
an iron mask
in which he could not speak.

That is how they burned him.
That is how he died,
without a word,
in front of everyone. And poetry--

(we'd all put down our forks by now, to listen to
the man in gray; he went on softly)-- poetry

is what he thought, but did not say.


classified add help wanted unemployment

Saturday, October 24, 2009


A Journal of Disability Poetry

black and white photo of tre and shrubs in fog or mist.Wordgathering is produced by members of the Inglis House Poetry Workshop. The workshop is a collaborative of writers with disabilities who reside at Inglis House in Philadelphia, Pa. The workshop has been meeting, sharing and critiquing poetry for the past eleven years. In addition, they have worked to promote the writing of poets with disabilities through the annual Inglis House Poetry Contest, chapbook productions, and Poetry and Disabilities Conference. The workshop is is also affiliated with Dispoet, a blog for the discussion of disability and poetry. Writing by individual members may be viewed at the workshop website , as can the winners of the 2007 Disability Poetry contest.


door number one or two?
what will it be today?

head swirls like a dreadle
spun by nameless forces
whirling out of control

compelled to spend
to talk
to screw

grandiose extravagance
unlimited creativity
racing thoughts

thrilled with life
and all its possibilities
I know I can do it all

colors fade
to grey
on black

head aches with fear
and despair

as a torture victim
in Guantanamo Bay

my life is defective
I have a tombstone
way of thinking

Linda Fuchswas diagnosed bi-polar several years ago. She writes, "Sadly, I am unable to work any more. The silver lining of this is I have discovered my creative side in working and painting. These pursuits help soothe me and allow my feelings to be shown." Her book The Midnight Ramblings of an Insane Woman was published in 2006.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I know. I know. You think I am a horrible person. But before you throw rotten eggs at my blog, please listen. I have something that I need to get off my chest.

I am a woman who lost her mother a while ago to breast cancer. My mom had buried her own mother after a similar battle. That puts me next in line. Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky. But I have a daughter and I have two granddaughters. That is what haunts me.

I don't mean to offend, but I look in their beautiful faces and my thoughts echo *Jeanne Sather, cancer survivor and blogger, who says:
t shirt slogan; f awareness, find a cure. with pink ribbon as the U.
(From a T-shirt)

I felt guilty when I was rankled by the pink Stepford like haze that surrounds cancer patients, including my mother. Sometimes it threatened to suffocate her and silence her real voice. Mother felt it keenly. When she spoke about her anger and frustration she was treated like a pariah by those who should have understood her feelings best. She nursed her mother then later set about nursing herself - without peer support. After we read Welcome to Cancerland by Barbara Ehrenreich,we found we both agreed with her, and I understood that we weren't crazy - or alone.

Think Before You Pink details the many ways "supporting breast cancer awareness" can turn out to be an illusion or worse. There are many good people and trustworthy companies, but when advertising and capital loom large in the picture, it is important to be aware and educated.

Here is a link with some important questions you should ask before buying a pink ribbon product to 'support the fight against breast cancer.' It leads to a pdf file.

Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge anyone any thing that comforts and supports them in such a time of need. But, by the same token, those who don't share the same ways should never be made to feel wrong, as they often are, as my mother was.

My mother found comfort in Dylan Thomas' words:
Do not go gentle into that good night, / Old age should burn and rave at close of day; / Rage, rage against the dying of the light. . . .

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, / And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, / Do not go gentle into that good night.
Although she bought every colored ribbon produced for a disease or cause, she found the idea of a pink teddy bear, or many of the other pink offerings for 'survivors,' demoralizing. She was a grown woman, proud of the experience and scars accumulated along the way, and she refused to accept the submissive role of child - even symbolically.  And she hated pink; blue was her favorite color.

Though she never met her grandbabies, she died peacefully in her sleep after having fought to retain her independence, identity, and sense of humor. I miss her terribly. And my favorite color is red.

multiple strand neclace in earth tome varied beads with pewter elephant charm.

*Jeanne Sather has two blogs, The Assertive Cancer Patient, where she continues her work as an outspoken advocate for the cancer patient’s point of view, and Charmed Bracelets, a new blog launched in May of 2009 to sell her handmade jewelry. An example of her beautiful work is pictured above.



The ACS refused to join a coalition to support the Clean Air Act. The Act would reduce carcinogens in the air. The coalition that supported the Clean Air Act including the March of Dimes, American Heart Association, and the American Lung Association, but not the American Cancer Society. The ACS refused to support the Toxic Substances Control Act and never once entered the fight for clean water legislation. The ACS opposed the FDA’s ban on saccharin, one year earlier, the society had accept a grant from Coca Cola (a manufacturer of saccharin sweetened soda. Finally, ACS opposed or failed to support occupational safety standards, efforts to reduce radiation exposure and other forms of environmentally oriented cancer prevention.
 I guess I need to do some more digging for additional information. Surely, the ACS hasn't sold us down the river.



"It is well established that primary prevention is the most effective means of disease control. This is particularly true of cancer." Measures of Progress Against Cancer - Cancer Prevention.

"Lack of appreciation of the potential hazards of environmental and food source contaminants, . . . worsen the cancer problem and drive up health care costs." Cancer At a Crossroads: A Report to Congress for the Nation, National Cancer Advisory Board.
"We spend close to $100 billion a year on cancer treatment in this country. If we are going to get on top of this problem, we absolutely have to focus more on prevention." Dr Devra Lee Davis, senior adviser to the assistant secretary for health and human services. Washington Post.


Non carcinogenic alternatives are available. For example:

*Baking Soda is an excellent cleaner and deodorizer.
*Borax is an excellent disinfectant.
*Distilled White Vinegar is also safe and an excellent cleaner, available in both supermarkets and health food stores.
*Essential Oils distilled from plant oils, essential oils are less allergenic than synthetic fragrances. They add a pleasing fragrance to your cleaning formulas.
*Hydrogen peroxide is an alternative to bleach, available at supermarkets and drugstores.
*Lemon juice is an excellent cleaner, available in both health food stores and supermarkets.
*Liquid Soaps are an alternative to harsher detergents and other cleaning agents, available in health food stores and supermarkets.
*Pumice Stone is a good for stain removing.
*Sodium Perborate is an alternative to standard bleaches made with sodium hypochlorite. It is also an alternative to standard bleaches, available from chemical supply companies.
*Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is a powerful cleaning material, TSP can be irritating and caustic; it does not pose long-term health hazards such as carcinogenicity, neurotoxicity, or reproductive effects. Be aware that some products with the name TSP on their container do not actually contain trisodium phosphate.
*Washing Soda (also known as sodium carbonate, soda ash, and sal soda) is a strong cleaner, as an alternative to the chemical cleaners.


"No one should think that because the [Environmental Protection Agency] allows it, a pesticide is safe. No pesticide is safe. They're designed to kill living organisms. They should be treated with respect -including the warnings on the label." Jerome Blondell, EPA's pesticides office. USA Today.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


six children in a row reading books and magazines


Accessible Books and Periodicals for Readers with Print Disabilities

  • Bookshare™ is free for all U.S. students with qualifying disabilities. Student memberships are currently funded by an award from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).
  • Bookshare dramatically increases the accessibility of books. Bookshare believes that people with disabilities deserve the same ease of access to books and periodicals that people without disabilities enjoy.
  • A searchable online library. Bookshare offers more than 50,000 digital books, textbooks, teacher-recommended reading, periodicals and assistive technology tools.
  • Readers of all ages. Bookshare offers affordable membership, unlimited library privileges and a community of Members, Volunteers, parents, publishers and authors.


How wonderful to look back and remember our parents as the people they were. I can recall the first time I looked at a picture and realized that my parents were the same age in it as I was looking at it. (Did that make sense?) - strange feeling. This site is full of warm fuzzys.

200 AND COUNTING . . .

To the (very) few intrepid souls who visit:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On A Very Good Dog

photo of a beagle looking into distance
On a Good Dog
- Ogden Nash

O, my little pup ten years ago
was arrogant and spry,
Her backbone was a bended bow
for arrows in her eye.
Her step was proud, her bark was loud,
her nose was in the sky,
But she was ten years younger then,
And so, by God, was I.

Small birds on stilts along the beach
rose up with piping cry.
And as they rose beyond her reach
I thought to see her fly.

If natural law refused her wings,
that law she would defy,
for she could hear unheard-of things,
and so, at times, could I.

Ten years ago she split the air
to seize what she could spy;
Tonight she bumps against a chair,
betrayed by milky eye!
She seems to pant, Time up, time up!
My little dog must die,
And lie in dust with Hector's pup;
So, presently, must I.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009



To a Special Teacher
- Samantha Abeel
(Author of My Thirteenth Winter)

When the sun rose
from under its misty veil,
you were there to watch,
like the birds over the sea.
When the wind came quietly
and rested in your ear,
you listened, as the earth would at dawn.
When the rain fell,
you reached out with your hands
and let it wash everything away,
like waves as they grasp the shore.
When the plain brown seed was planted,
you could already smell the fragrance of
the flower that was to come,
and you were proud
as a good gardener should be.

Thank you for believing
that there was a flower waiting inside
and for taking the time
to help
and watch it grow.
When the sun rose
from under its misty veil,
you were there to watch,
and I am thankful.

photo of Samantha Abeel
From: Abeel, Samantha. 2001. Reach for the Moon. New York: Orchard.
Samantha Abeel Homepage
To Be Young, Gifted, and Learning Disabled

Monday, October 19, 2009

Some Book Titles, If They Were Written Today

aisle of library showing books
Then: The Wealth of Nations
Now: Invisible Hands: The Mysterious Market Forces That Control Our Lives and How to Profit from Them

Then: Walden
Now: Camping with Myself: Two Years in American Tuscany

Then: The Theory of the Leisure Class
Now: Buying Out Loud: The Unbelievable Truth About What We Consume and What It Says About Us

Then: The Gospel of Matthew
Now: 40 Days and a Mule: How One Man Quit His Job and Became the Boss

Then: The Prince
Now: The Prince (Foreword by Oprah Winfrey)

(Link to The original post)
Some choice offerings from the comments:

Then: Hamlet
Now: Grieving: A 5 part study of Danish family dynamics

Then: Das Kapital
Now: Labor Value: How Today's Companies Get the Most out of Their Workforce

Then: The Art of War
Now: 13 Chapters of Highly Effective Warfare Techniques (Illustrated)

Then: Beyond Good and Evil
Now: Religion: How Christianity Changed the World... and Morality

Then: The Jungle
Now: How Not to Die During Dinner

Then: Crime and Punishment
Now: Bad Boy: Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come for You?

Then: Romeo and Juliet
Now: Forbidden Love

Then: It Can't Happen Here
Now: It Already Happened

Any other suggestions?


" . . . many technologies we take for granted today in mainstream life were originally designed to accommodate people with disabilities. . . . An unintended consequence of accessible technology is safety and convenience for mainstream citizens."

I ran across these words in an article entitled, Accessible Technology Meets the Mainstream, by Darby Patterson. (Click on the link for the full article to read of examples and upcoming ideas.)

For someone who can remember the days when any idea of concession for the disabled was unwelcome, this realization is amazing (and completely expected). I feel an "I told you so" coming on.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


spotted cat

We meet outside; I
Startle. You're out of context;
Go back inside, please.

You say chocolate
Is bad for cats, but I think
You are just greedy.

drawing of cats as yin and yang

Cats were revered in
Ancient Egypt. I think we
Should reclaim the past.


by Edward Monkton

(There is a lot more where this came from.
Click on his name and follow the links.)

Saturday, October 17, 2009


dark figure silhouetted against whites and oranges lighting the brush in background

For whom the bell tolls a poem

(No man is an island)
- John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

Friday, October 16, 2009


© 2007 Jennifer Woodworth

- Robert Frost

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.

The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.

Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;

At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.

Slow, slow!
For the grapes' sake, if the were all,
Whose elaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost--
For the grapes' sake along the all.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


photo of a Shepard with a crook standing with his sheep

Ode on Solitude a poem
- Alexander Pope


How happy he, who free from care
The rage of courts, and noise of towns;
Contented breathes his native air,
In his own grounds.


Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.


Blest! who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide swift away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,


Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
With meditation.


Thus let me live, unheard, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


photo of daisies


- May Swenson

Body my house
my horse my hound
what will I do
when you are fallen

Where will I sleep
How will I ride
What will I hunt

Where can I go
without my mount
all eager and quick
How will I know

in thicket ahead
is danger or treasure
when Body my good
bright dog is dead

How will it be
to lie in the sky
without roof or door
and wind for an eye

With cloud for shift
how will I hide?