Tuesday, September 30, 2008

poem to welcome October and bid September adieu


Sweet summer is gone; they have laid her away--
The last sad hours that were touched with her grace--
In the hush where the ghosts of the dead flowers play;
The sleep that is sweet of her slumbering space
Let not a sight or a sound erase
Of the woe that hath fallen on all the lands:
Gather, ye dreams, to her sunny face,
Shadow her head with your golden hands.

The woods that are golden and red for a day
Girdle the hills in a jewelled case,
Like a girl's strange mirth, ere the quick death slay
The beautiful life that he hath in chase.
Darker and darker the shadows pace
Out of the north to the southern sands,
Ushers bearing the winter's mace:
Keep them away with your woven hands.

The yellow light lies on the wide wastes gray,
More bitter and cold than the winds that race,
From the skirts of the autumn, tearing away,
This way and that way, the woodland lace.
In the autumn's cheek is a hectic trace;
Behind her the ghost of the winter stands;
Sweet summer will moan in her soft gray place:
Mantle her head with your glowing hands.


Till the slayer be slain and the spring displace
The might of his arms with her rose-crowned bands,
Let her heart not gather a dream that is base:
Shadow her head with your golden hands.

Archibald Lampman

(photo by Phil Childs)

Apple wine

(New blog image is of Gays Mills orchards in Wisconsin)

So, we picked a bunch of apples at Brushwood, I really want to make wine out of them. But I don't want to invest in a bunch of expensive doodads. I remember my Dad used to make dandelion wine with nothing special. Is it possible to make wine with stuff lying around, apart from having proper bottles and corks, and the necessary yeast? Anyone have experience with this?

If I can't make wine I have to think of something to do with these apples. I have been including them in my morning juicing ritual.

Coming soon: photos of Harvest Moon weekend and cider pressing!

Friday, September 26, 2008

busy week

Just briefly...it's been a crazy week.

Laptop achieved! I still have to rescue the data from my old one and get MSOffice installed. The new Ipod has been a fun toy and I look forward to getting the application that allows me to record voice dictation notes and then save them as text on my computer.

Harvest Moon at Brushwood was a great success. We made gallons and gallons of delicious cider from organic apples. Yum! The ritual and bonfire were also wonderful and there was a bountiful potluck feast. Everyone is already looking forward to next year! I will post photos as soon as I have them.

Sadly, my cat Trivia passed away on Wednesday morning at 3 am. I have a write-up about her on Livejournal, to be found here.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

computer kaput

I dropped my Mac laptop and the hard drive is toast. I am looking into getting the hard drive repaired or have the data retrieved soon, but until I can do that my computer access is going to be somewhat limited.

Fongers crossed: some dear friends may be offering to get me a new Mac as a business expense and tax write-off. I think, anyway, the phone message was a bit unclear. This would be wonderful, since I cannot afford a new Mac right now, and would at best only be able to get a refurbished one, repair the old one IF it is repairable, or get a piece-of-crap PC.

Positive techno energy welcomed!

Update: My wonderful friends are getting me a new MacBookPro. It's being shipped here. i am speechless with gratitude and feel very blessed. They buy and maintain their own home computers as business expenses too and since I write for their website and have done for years they saw no reason not to help me out in my time of need, because they can. Wow. I grew up in a family where generosity was highly valued and now I can appreciate this lesson.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Can I just say...

I freaking LOVE this blog. I sometime go a few days or even weeks without reading it so I can gorge on its simple beauty and deft poetry.

The ginger cats and their cohorts feel like a part of my daily life, even though they're thousands of miles away. They remind me of how important my own silly pets are to me.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

prose poem for September

Autumn Landscape with Tossed Hair

I wanted a grey day, the beggar said, one with huntsmen lurking in the bracken, willowy girls in wet dresses skipping through the bogs, ginger cats slipping down silken copses to dispatch voles and snakes and buckets brimming with mist-ripened plums.

I remember the cries of the blackbirds, the poet mused, in the heat of the afternoon, swirling over the burning cornstalks, black liquid spirals tracing otherworlds beneath blue clouds gleaming, disappearing into the ravine, into imminent twilight, where brown armies of scurrying ants and black covens of twitching cicadas converge, oblivious, waiting in the whispering dark for dew.

I wanted the smoldering brush, the husband said, the winnowing baskets and wagons piled with pumpkins and leeks, the last sheaf of grain held high by the harvest queen, lips like wineskins plump and red, copper bracelet flashing like green fire.

I know the old ones scythed and hacked these fields, the wife insisted, scraping wheat and barley for winter stores, salting the meat of blood moon-slaughtered cattle for Yule's feasts, blessing the horses with cups of cider, rolling russets into the bins and hoarding twists of sugar between candle boxes.

A frightful day in the dull countryside is what I wanted, the child said, one that should end as it begins, with tinkling lamps, our skin scented with sour sweat, hot chocolate, by the fire with cheese and bread, songs sung in my head at sunrise, offered as blessings from travelers at midnight, sending us off to sleep with melodies, memories, circling like crows at dusk, hawks of morning.

We go to Safeways now, but it still tastes like magic if we walk 'round the garden three times before supper.