This will be a short post that reflects a busy time here in the shire. I’ve been working feverishly on a new book (Covid-free!), helping with the house improvement projects where I’m able, prepping for a short visit to Cape Cod, getting more acquainted with my “back forty” than I’ve ever been in 40 years, gearing up for a resumption of trout fishing, and attempting to ignore as much as possible the nonsense and mayhem in the realm of politics (though hoping every capable U.S. citizen gets out on Election Day and votes, remembering the good fight for racial justice and environmental health, as well as a host of other critical issues for our day).
All the pics arise from recent walks on Owl Farm, my home acreage for many years. The poem comes from my book called Uplands Haunted by the Sea, published in 1992. It’s an old one but it works for me today.
We came to this, our homestead,
in an autumn when the screech owl
whinnied out its welcome from the dusk
that wrapped us closely
with the walnut tree it perched in.
broken, knew that it had known
prosperity and neglect. Seven autumns
have arrived and flown
from a house abandoned by
its careless and defeated dwellers,
from a barn that once was house
to horse and cow, a coffin now
We arrived here in our need
and witnessed load on load of
trash hauled through the years
of cleaning and rebuilding,
through the cold and warmth
of seasons spinning out sameness.
we sense our labors shed like sweat
from the ground accepting us.
In a pre-dawn blackness we
awaken to the barred owl’s hooting,
to the hen’s nervous squawk,
our bodies aging, drifting
into sleep once more, the dark
changes that absorb us in