Poems about living in the natural world, and occasionally in a house. This book is rich in visuals, both verbal and pictorial—black and white illustrations appear throughout. $11 plus shipping.
From the introduction: My feet and fingers get captured on summer mornings. Yes, I intend to write early, but in my garden, this bell flower needs propping, that astilbe needs moving, and here is a space that needs to be filled. So I put my mug down on the porch step and the bending, digging, lifting, and patting begins.….
Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota
Here black bears eat people.
Rogue bears stalk us, the ranger says.
If you meet one, be fierce.
I walk on lichen, beneath wispy aspen, arrow spruce,
over pointy schist that breaks through soil
like a bear’s teeth, in his powerful jaw,
below that scouting snout.
I am singing, and whistling.
I have picked up two sticks.
I strike them together.
I make fearful music.
I cannot hear the wind drifting through trees, the loon’s long call, or her happy gabble.
My eyes peer everywhere.
Here, rogue fears stalk people.
Then suddenly a field, sparkling with raspberries—
Their juice sluices through my teeth.
I reach between their pricking vines,
feeling for wine-filled thimbles,
tumbled here by whatever mystery
gave me arms and fingers, a tongue for tasting and praise
and gave the bear his quest for berry flesh—
But no bear with bother me today.
This bright sun filters to my bones.
My bare arms wind through briers
and I am fierce.
Dusk, Midsummer’s Day
Green leaves turn to gray.
Crows paddle through damp air,
crash land on branches.
A hummingird sees me,
zags into the maple.
Peonies float, white boats on black waves.
In my porch chair, anchored to this hour,
I swing between delight and despair,
for here we go again, this year and I,
sliding toward the short, dark days.
The year’s at half—
But I am two-thirds gone.
I want another half, at least,
to watch this round moon crest the pines,
Its yellow face flickering, like mine,
in the candle I have just lit.
This is a concise guide, written in a jaunty style, to help you get going and write with energy and knowledge. It contains examples, easy exercises, and numerous specific tips for writing well, all focused on using your senses. $5 plus shipping.
From From Sense to Sentences
Autobiographical writing can be a passport, giving you access to doors that have been closed for years. You step through the doors and suddenly you see, hear, smell, taste, feel and re-experience people, objects and incidents that you didn’t know you would bring to mind. Writing forces you to do more than casually remember. You ferret out details. Simultaneously, you place yourself back in time and approach your meories now, as the person you have become.