Moonrise (do over!)

I added a screen shot of how the poem was supposed to look! I used center alignment but it posted the way it wanted to anyway. Bad computer, bad!

I didn’t know that it was the ‘Pink Super Moon’ rising in the east last Tuesday. I was just lucky that I was in a location that offered this view. I was luckier still to have turned my attention from my fishing pole and notice the moon peeking from behind the hill on the opposite side of South Bay on Lake Champlain. The top arc of the moon was barely visible through the breaks in the trees and I wasn’t even sure what I was seeing at first. Three seconds later I knew what it was and I scrambled to dig my phone from my pocket. Precious seconds were wasted in that struggle! By the time I turned the camera on, this is how far the moon rose.

Peek-a-boo

Funny how motionless the moon seems in the night sky, but put it on the horizon, or behind a hill, and we see it move with surprising speed.

Hello Moon

The moon always draws my eye. No matter her phase, or her color She is always super.

This is how I intended it to appear!
My Muse  

Oh, bright
goddess of the night, sailing 
'cross the firmament, cast your lunar light
our way. Illuminate the darkened earth, chase the 
the inky shadows westward, give the monsters no place 
to hide, bestow courage on fearful hearts. Where blackness 
reigned and blinded our eyes, your cool nocturnal glow gives
us comfort. We gaze upon your shining face, dreamers, lovers,
artists, human in our imperfections, perfect because of them.
You transport us to a higher plane, you inflame the passion
in our breasts, you enlighten us, inspire us, quicken our 
minds, fuel our creativity, you bring wonder to our
jaded lives. Promise me you will return.
 Guide us through another 
dark night.


(C) Tim Blodgett   04/09/20   

I never tire of her.

Look, but don’t touch!

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
Virgin white petals
Bloodroot's brief bloom graces spring
Look, but do not touch!

I spotted these flowers growing by the roadside while on a bike ride yesterday. As I sped by, I thought to myself;

“Stop and get a picture of those flowers, they are really pretty, and would be nice to share in my next blog.”

I didn’t. I had a good head of steam going and I was just starting up a hill, so I kept pedaling. This morning, I opened an email from The Dept. of Environmental Conservation and there it was, a picture of the flowers I had seen. I learned that they were Bloodroot flowers. DEC described it as follows;

“As a spring ephemeral, the flower of the plant is visible for just a few days before it withers away.”.

I went back today and took these photos, I didn’t want to miss my chance. Originally, I was going to build a haiku around the phrase, ‘here today, gone tomorrow” because of their fleeting appearance. After researching a little, I learned that these beauties can be quite dangerous if carelessly handled. They were used by Native Americans medicinally, but primarily as a source of red dye. The sap is caustic to and if left on the skin, it will destroy tissue and leave a scar. The sap has been used in salves as a topical treatment for skin lesions, cancers and warts. Use of this salve, commonly known as ‘Black salve’, is a dangerous, ineffective remedy and can have severely disfiguring consequences. Check it out on Wikipedia if you’re curious.

Keep your eyes open for patches of these flowers in the next few weeks if you live in the eastern US and Canada. Depending on your location, you can expect to see them from March to May. Enjoy them with your eyes only!

Terrible Beauty

During the storm 2/7/20
Moon set, about 4AM, 2/8/20
Thorns of ice at dawn 2/8/20
Morning light 2/8/20
Sunrise Halo
The street I live on about 10AM
Behind my home 2/8/20
Snow and ice 2/8/20
The sun setting behind ice coated trees. 5:00, 2/8/20

Yesterday, February 7th, a spiteful stormy day dawned with freezing rain which turned to sleet midmorning, and finally changed to snow at 12:30. By 1:00, the roads were slick and dangerous. About the same time, the lights flickered, went out, and came back on. The pattern repeated itself several times until 5PM when the lights didn’t come back on. Hundreds of others are in the boat with me wondering when we’ll be rescued.

I went home, a quarter mile away, and got my trusty generator. Ya see, I had a bait tank full of, you guessed it, bait! With the power out and no aeration, they were gonna go belly up in a hurry. I fired it up and saved 40 to 50 pounds of minnows.

There was only one problem, the power didn’t come back on. One hour, two, five, midnight! Feed the generator every couple of hours, check the bait, it’s getting cold in here. 2AM, the wee hours, moon set 4:30 am, the cold hour before dawn, still no power. Did I mention that I spent the night at the store?

Dawn broke clear and cold and unbelievably gorgeous. My poor cameratography didn’t do it justice. No problem though, I’ll get a chance to try again tomorrow morning. As of this writing, 6:38 pm, 2/8/20, the power is still out and the estimated time of restoration is 11:00 pm Sunday night, 2/9/20…

IF we’re lucky!!!

Such is life in upstate New York, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Defiant

Ornamental Pear tree in my brother's yard.      11/12/19
I
stand
against
winter's blast
unbowed, unbroken
my green defying season's change
that browned the mighty oak trees, stripping their branches bare;
that extinguished the fire blazing bright in the maple's crown, I will not strike my colors!

Fibonacci sequence (what can I say, I like numbers!)

This tree made me smile when I saw it. the sun was just breaking free from the clouds and lit the tree. I regret that my picture didn’t capture the image as I saw it. Never said that I was a photographer.

I was out of town the last couple days, near Cranberry Lake, in the Adirondacks. No cell, no wifi, no sound but that of the wind rustling leaves and bare branches and the tinkling of icy snow crystals on those branches, stubborn leaves and the brim of my hat. Saw deer, bear sign but no bears(darn), and walked for miles in unfamiliar woods. Had a great time and didn’t get lost! I would have taken pictures, but my phone run out of charge searching for signal and my digital camera was acting up. The bear sign was a thrill for me. By the tracks, it was a sow and her two cubs. The were raking the leaves around Beech trees looking for beechnuts. There was three fresh inches of snow on the ground and from where I was standing, I could see the path they took for over a hundred yards by the turned up leaves they left in their wake. Mama bear also left claw marks in the Beech trees about 7 feet up from the ground. I followed their tracks for quite a ways and never caught up, they were probably a couple hours ahead of me because the leaves were starting to freeze up.

That was my weekend, I hope yours was as enjoyable as mine!

Sunday morning in the woods

Sometimes I start to write and the words take over. This started in the general direction I gave it, only to wander off on a sort of parallel path. My thoughts were unfocused, likely a result of the forest floor scent and warm sunlight on the back of my neck.

Thought

Once again, I found myself alone
not lonely, just alone
away from watchful electric eyes
unscanned, unrecorded, invisible
to all but the bright black eyes
and twitching ears
of the forest's sentinels
who hide unseen and watch
Afterthought

Alone with my thoughts
my mind on rapid shuffle
random phrases
ideas
chemical triggers
cascading impulses
in the fourth of July sky of my mind
they seem so real
they are almost nonexistent
yet each one creates a ghost
that cannot cross over
until every ghost is given up
so,until that day comes
I will be their host
and God-like, I will create
with reckless abandon
out of mental clay
and the scattered bones of
long dead dreams,
countless brothers and sisters
who will briefly flare
and quickly fade

so beautiful was their light
so alive are their ghosts

Poetry by numbers

I’m no math whiz as far as whizzes go, but I can hold my own in most things mathematical and scientifical. Just don’t require me to do calculus or I’ll go all F of X on your *. (I don’t know how to type the Fx function properly so maybe I’m not half as whizzy as I thought I was.)

Anyway, I like numbers just fine and I like sequences. I also like making up words that make sense even if you can’t use them in Scrabble. Getting back to numbers, there’s this thing called the Fibonacci Sequence that goes like this; 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34…… you can figure out the next number by adding the last two numbers listed. It can go on for ever! It’s way more interesting if you look it up on Wiki.

Anyway, again, one of the first bloggers to like my posts is yaskhan https://yassy66.wordpress.com/. She wrote a poem using the Fibonacci sequence. I was intrigued, I followed and decided to write one myself. Hers was Haiku-ish in that she used a syllabic count. I probably would have done the same, but I didn’t remember until I was seven lines in, so I stayed with it the turned it back around. You know, there and back like Bilbo ‘n crew. I roughed it out while in the woods last week and made it presentable today.

Rustlings         10/8/19 to 10/15/19

sitting
waiting
among oak
shag bark hickory
sugar maple cherry white pine
silent witness to the rustlings of woodland creatures
both great and small squirrels barking wood frogs chirping chipmunks scurrying insects buzzing
the background whine of rubber on asphalt as travelers rush to their distant destination a counterpoint to the whisper of nature
i watch and listen by the old stone wall and the elbow tree that together marked a field's edge in days long past where now a forest grows and dry leaves litter the ground
thinking about why i'm here not the little here or the big here but the middle here what drew me here
let the philosophers puzzle out why we're here the big here that is
i know why i'm here in this place
i'm hunting deer and peace
i found peace
wait what
was
that

In case you’re wondering, it was a squirrel!

I just looked at the preview and saw how it would post, I didn’t mean to make you work.Thank you for your indulgence.

Memory

Home again
in the woods
where I grew up
built my first campfire
got lost when I was young
get lost now that I'm older.
I got in trouble for that fire
the clinging wood smoke smell
gave me away.
You just wait until your father gets home.
I hid under the covers
wishing for sleep to take me
to tomorrow
away from the spanking I expected
but did not receive.
A stern talking to
and my self imposed dread
were penance enough.
And now
forty five or more years later
I sit at the scene of my crime
remembering.

Funny what stays with you.

I love this time of year…

…though sometimes I wonder when I’ll have time to enjoy it. The business that my wife and I own gets very busy in the late summer and early fall. We sell and service archery and fishing equipment. Right now, I’m swamped with archery customers who are gearing up for hunting season or are in need of repairs. I’m not complaining about being busy, the bills need to be paid. I need to be better about taking time for myself and stop enjoying the season vicariously before it’s over and I become bitter.

In case you didn’t see in my profile, I am a man of varied interests, hunting being one. You wouldn’t know it if you saw me on the street, I don’t wear camo as a fashion statement, or shirts with logos that would clue you in. If you observed closely, you might notice that I walk carefully and quietly (just ask my wife, she hears like a bat, and I startle her all the time), or that my eyes are always scanning what’s around me or on the ground. I might not hear what’s being said around me (another spousal gripe), but I’ll hear small sounds. I guess you could say I’m looking and listening for clues. I notice things and there are so many things to notice in the woods.

I don’t brag or show pictures of the game I take. In fact, I don’t even have pictures of any of the deer I’ve taken. I’m not ashamed, no, quite the opposite. I take great satisfaction in the fundamental connection with the natural world that I feel while hunting. I respect and appreciate what I hunt and honor it. Many people don’t understand, that’s okay. You may find your connection in other ways, I think that’s great. Find that connection in the night sky, or the rising of the sun, in tide pools and saltwater marshes, in the desert sand or mountain vistas. I do.

Fall brings new colors and smells, fresh air and frost. Two Falls back, it changed the way I think and write. Or maybe I’m just getting old even if I don’t feel like I’m getting old. I want to leave you with a haiku I wrote a couple days ago, after the first cold autumn night. I had another piece I was going to share, but it can wait for another post when I don’t go on so long. That’s what happens when I write at midnight.

To my Rose

Fall chill air, sleeping
in her warm embrace, content
I love this season

To old friends

So here I am, staring at my computer screen, trying to think of what to write. I had a good day, a couple hours at the shop, a couple hours at a local festival to benefit a local food bank and a couple of hours at my nephew’s birthday party. A good solid day. I had no flashes of brilliant insight, no epiphanies, nothing that said ‘blog this’.

“Why would anyone care what I have to say, what I did, what I think what I…etc etc etc.”

That is what I said to myself every time my self said “start blogging”. I’ll admit that I talk to myself someti…a lot, and I can be pretty convincing. Consequently, my blog site languished. Now I’m writing and you may be asking yourself, ‘Why’?

I’m writing because I need to write.

I’m not new to writing. I’ve penned dozens of outdoor columns in the local newspapers and magazines over the past twenty years. I tried to communicate the experience of living and doing outdoors rather than concentrating on the technical aspects involved. People interested in the technical were likely already doing it. I wanted to remind them of why they did it. I wanted to awaken an awareness in people who weren’t doing it and make them want to.

Recently, I had two pieces accepted into an anthology released last Friday the 13th, titled, ‘Influence of the Moon‘, published by 518 Publishing and available on Amazon. That was an amazing, difficult, humbling and rewarding experience. There were times when a deadline loomed, and inspiration had left the building. I felt that way over an hour ago.

It would have been easy to skip posting today, but I’m trying to establish a little discipline in my writing. I have stories inside me, short and novel size, that want to get out. I have poems and commentaries that I want to share. There’s a National Novel Writing Month, ‘NaNoWriMo’ challenge coming up in November and I need to get in shape!

Allow me to share with you, the first poem that I ever wrote. It was written November 19, 2017, while in the woods, in a small notepad I was carrying. The words happened, so, I let them. Thankfully, they still do.

To old friends 

Mighty giants, heaven's pillars
straining
straining against an unseen burden
crushed by that above
drawn to that below
thus they stood
balancing heaven
on earth.

Holding,
bound in both
for years unknown
striving grasping reaching
higher
deeper
bending shedding renewing
ever
and again.

Until
overcome
smitten down
toppled by their burden
they lie
and in their repose
silently return what was borrowed
so that others
may stand
in their place.