Fall Semester Sonnet

Insomniac, I wake, open the envelope of the day and shove another act inside as if the day were expandable, made of pleats, an extraordinary accordion capable of melody every time I squeeze, not some exhausted drone, a whine or tumble of falling keys, of rain-soaked shoes, of numb-finger stitches, belated appointments and warmed-over meals, the bones of my spine dully aching, rain dashing at … Continue reading Fall Semester Sonnet

Behind it all/ Songs from rural zones #LIV

Morning arrives cloud-dark and humid. Low tide. Wind in the trees and a flow of birdsong. A great blue heron flies off when I step outdoors, cracking loudly. Cicadas. The buzzing of insects. A kingfisher ratchets by, sounding an alarm. Blue scent of air, as if soon it will rain. Finches in the trees. The air sweet, odour of cut grass and salt air, a … Continue reading Behind it all/ Songs from rural zones #LIV

How to get paper wasps out of the mailbox amicably and other reflections–or, how to build a better wasp house

Paper wasps in the mailbox might seem a potent metaphor for a writer: you never do know what you will find when you go out to collect the daily mail. Often enough, alas, something that stings. But sometimes the wasps that arrive aren’t figures of speech; sometimes they really are industrious insects, just minding their business in a place where we don’t want them. One … Continue reading How to get paper wasps out of the mailbox amicably and other reflections–or, how to build a better wasp house

14 Reasons for Hope: A Phenomenology of Place

In this strange and fecund season here at the edge of the sea, I am thinking a great deal about climate change, for its signs seem acutely evident now, all around us. We appear to be witnessing major shifts or collapses in sea bird populations. Species of fish and shellfish we’ve not seen before show up here and there, and morning and night we mark the heights and declines of the tides–they are more extreme; likewise, storms when they come carry away larger and larger chunks of various shorelines. In such a space, what, for every living thing, might be reasons for hope, for looking to a future? And what might any living thing hope for (or against)? Continue reading 14 Reasons for Hope: A Phenomenology of Place

When the wind speaks of snow/ In praise of animated observation and observations of animation

Every spring is riddled with odd auguries and peculiar sightings, this one no more than others perhaps, save the stepped up and persistent sense of doom that whistles through the nightly news as the world lurches from crisis to crisis. Continue reading When the wind speaks of snow/ In praise of animated observation and observations of animation

Unusually warm again: on the peculiarly temporary sensation of enjoying climate change

I wrote this on October 28, but it is still true in November, this humid unseasonable weather that clings to the days and makes our nights sweaty and confusing. A band of clouds gathers over the outermost islands, but here, closer inland, the sky is blue and the sun warm, the air sweet and gentle, hot even, if you’re in the lee of the breeze. … Continue reading Unusually warm again: on the peculiarly temporary sensation of enjoying climate change