Art is by Mandy Johnson

 

See more of Johnson’s work here:

http://www.mandyjohnson.com/

 

Tangle

Yesterday a turkey hen stepped out from the woods while I was planting, and when I turned to better see, I noticed she had ten or twelve chicks. They were small, about the size of a nose, say, brownish-tan, and they dashed about on invisible legs beneath their mother’s belly and likewise between her legs, around and around, in and out, in sync already with gravity, with locomotion, with speed, and most especially, with vulnerability, the long arm of vulnerability, the hen, head high, clucking just so as she navigated through my tangled stash of firewood, the chicks attached to her clucks as with strings…but with such small legs?  on day one to be mustered through the tangle on such legs?

 

Floating Around in the Land of Diminished Wonder

We have a freshly cut bouquet of lilacs on the dining table just now, and the reason I’m telling you this is because I didn’t put them there. Quetzal put them there. I used to put May lilacs on the table. In the 1980’s in Batesville, Virginia I put lilacs on the table. In the 1990’s in Colorado I did. In the early 2000’s in Columbus I did. But these last years in New Hampshire: Have I cut lilacs for the table? No. Continue reading

Wherein My Wife Serita Takes a Turn

My wife Serita recently agreed to do a video for a kid’s news show called Channel One News. It aired last week, and I think it turned out great.

I will allow the video to introduce Serita and her work.

If you think really hard, you may see a connection between Serita’s work and my writing.

The video includes three stories. Serita’s is the third. It starts at 2:30. Continue reading

May the earth we live on likewise live within us

In driving rain yesterday, I sat out a new planting of asparagus, thinking several times as I worked to give it up until drier weather. But in the end I held on, and so the job was done and twenty-some asparagus crowns from New Jersey overnighted for the first here in New Hampshire.

And also yesterday in maybe even colder rain, I planted apple trees, old heirloom varieties I brought home on Saturday from Plainfield, Vermont. Consider for a second their names:

Westfield Seek-No Further
Ashmead’s Kernel
Black Oxford
Stembridge Cluster
Esopus Spitzenburg

Is life fine-tuned a bit when we look out the kitchen window and, seeing an apple tree, think Ashmead’s Kernel? when we say the words? Do the trees we live with, the plants, the architecture, the sounds, the predominate slant of the sun—do these things influence our lives in ways we don’t realize? Is working in rain actually a kind of gift? Is the coming of spring, the coming of spring, the reoccurring coming of spring profoundly more important than we understand?

Quetzal told me a week ago that she is going to “live like a wild child this summer.” I’m not sure what that means, but I’m all for it, and I suggest we join her as best we can.

May the earth we live on likewise live within us.

carry on, guys.