Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day Climate Change

The world without ice? There's a new book asking us to imagine it. Today is Blog Action Day on Climate Change. 7,000 bloggers around the world are writing about global warming today. I'm one of them.

October 24th is global action day when people all over the world are taking action on global climate warming issues. Write a letter. Park your car. Take a bus. Make it a habit.

Think global climate change isn't your problem? Check this out.

Think there's nothing you can do?

Yes, you can.

A few thoughts:

Eat fewer corn chips and don't buy stuff with high fructose corn syrup. Scientific American tells us, "Corn grown in the U.S. requires barrels of oil for the fertilizer to grow it and the diesel fuel to harvest and transport it."

Eat less meat, or possibly none at all. Start small, give up a little beef. Beef requires tons of corn to grow, see above.

My neighbor, Wan-ru, is showing me how to eat more rice, more ways. When she adds meat, it's in small pieces. I now make "green bean soup" from dried beans--a healthful meal that's filling, nutritious, low fat and easy on the environment. And it doesn't give me gas! Ben and I already eat lots of noodles, and we can do even better.

Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Wear a sweater. (Thank you, Jimmy Carter, for these lessons we have forgotten.)

Drive less. Shop with a neighbor to combine trips and have more fun.

Buy less stuff. This is s tough one for me, but I am trying.

Remember, a world without ice also means no pinot noir, as the thin-skinned grapes that give it its luscious flavor are already "baking away" in the best Oregon vineyards.

And, since wine makes mummy clever, this would be a big loss.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Benjamin becomes a writer

Benjamin has a writing workshop each day in his class. He is beginning not just to tell stories, which he has been doing for about a year: now he wants me to write the story he dictates.

Here is tonight's endeavor. After making sharks with play dough, he wanted to write this story.

About Fish

Sharks have teeth. Sharks eat fish. Sharks eat snakes. Sharks swim. Sharks leave all the time. Sharks go to their family. Sharks play together and wrestle. Sometimes they be alone by themselves. When sharks be alone, sometimes they be worried about fish. When they show up together, sometimes they lose their teeth, sometimes they get bigger teeth when they have grown.

Some sharks don’t have teeth because they just bite hard. When they do something, somebody catch fish, sometimes the sharks are the first ones there.

When they get some fish they play together, when they don’t like fish they open their mouth and take them out. When they play together and when they eat snakes, they are together. When they play together, they are responsible.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Force

The pull away is almost as strong as the pull toward.

We walked to school this morning, the end of Ben’s second week as a kindergartner. At the top of the hill, he met up with a neighbor and friend, and said he wanted to walk in alone. I fell back a bit.

Ben spun around. “No, Mom, I can walk alone. I want to walk alone.”

“OK,” said I, “I’ll just walk behind to make sure you get to your room.”

“You do NOT need to make sure I get to my room. I know where my room is.”

“OK, I know you do. Do I get a little hug?”

A serious eye roll with hand on hip followed. Then he ran back to me and gave me a huge hug.

“Maybe you could walk with me and say hello to my teacher?” he asked.

Of course I obliged.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Morning

This morning, a lazy morning. Blueberry pancakes at 10, sunshine warms us while they slide down.

On my midmorning I’ve-had-four-cups-of-coffee trip to the bathroom, I find the seat down and spattered with pee. I don’t know whether it’s my five year old in a hurry, or my 83 year old dad who can’t see well enough to know if the seat is up or down. A third possibility is the dog, who prefers the toilet to the fresh water in her designer bowl on the kitchen floor.

I promise myself I will remember to leave the seat up. No sense getting all worked up about it if you can’t pinpoint the culprit. All would deny responsibility, and blueberry pancake Sunday mornings are no time to go on a warlock hunt.

At noon, we have a neighborhood squirt gun fight. It starts out as just a challenge to Billy, our neighbor. While Ben and I are getting ready, loading our arsenal and, of course, taking shots at one another, our upstairs neighbor asks if she and her daughter could join the fight. Then comes Billy and his mom. Then we are joined by new neighbors, tentative at first, but they reveal a killer instinct and fine marksmanship. Mutah and Tina are the team to watch. Once we are all thoroughly soaked an weak from laughing, we decide to adjourn to the pool, where we continue the fight with lots of ammo all around us.

My dad disapproves of the gun pay. I did too for a year, until I gave into my son’s endless gun noises, figuring forbidden fruit becomes far more attractive. Water guns are, honestly, just plain fun. Dad had wanted to go for a bike ride, and was pouting and was going to go by himself. When we came back from the pool, he was just getting ready, so we got clothes on and went with him.

He is so crabby. Within a quarter mile of home, he had already yelled at Ben, and I decided it was too nice a day to referee a constant fight. I asked my Dad to take the lead, explaining that once we got to the top of Barton Dr., he should look for the bike path that leads along the river. From there we can ride across town on the path. It’s a great ride, which leads across the river over a dam. We could loop back home by the train station, maybe in time to see the Amtrak arrive.

My Dad, in a snit, takes off, and we don’t see him again for a while. Ben and I get to the park, and we can’t find him. We ride along, then we back track to the main road. I ask a couple of cyclists if they have seen him. A brief panic sets in as I think maybe he rode up the ramp to the interstate, then I think that can’t be. We retrace our path, and it begins to pour. Ben and I take shelter under a bridge, then head back out to the main road again, just in time to see my father come along and wipe out on the road, literally bouncing on the shoulder.

Ben and I quickly ride to him, in spite of him yelling “Get away, I’m alright,” and I help him up. His elbow is badly gouged, his legs covered with road grit, but he seems ok. I help him back across the road and onto the bike path. “I’ve been looking for the path, let’s get off the road, it's not safe here,” he snaps.

I say, as gently as I can, “Dad we are on the path. We’re safe.”

When we get home, I draw a hot bath for him and bring him a grilled cheese sandwich, tubside. Ben and I eat at the table. I try to explain to Ben why Grandpa is crabby, and how it might be easier if we both just try not to argue with him. That it is hard to get older and not be able to do the things he used to be able to do. Ben argues that Grandpa was not safe riding on the road and should have been on the sidewalk with us. I agree with him, but say that Grandpa is an adult and I can’t be the boss of him. Ben gets that part.

Ben picks up a blueberry and says, in a funny little voice, “Hi, Benjamin, I'm a blueberry. Want to play?”

“No,” he answers, “I want to eat you!” He does. Life is good, if you're not a blueberry.

Ben takes a corner in the July 4th Bike Parade

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Gardening has consumed our weekend. Even when we went to our friends' houses, we talked about what is blooming, what sort of shrub is that, how to best prune lilacs (pick them!). We shoveled compost and dirt, built raised beds, planted seedlings nurtured for a month, transplanted potted plants.

There's lots to know and easily learn about how to grow plants. What's more mysterious is the realtionships we share.

My friend Tatiana, a brilliant mathematician, talks about her excitement at solving a problem. She flies to Maryland on a moment's notice to work all day with a colleague, then flies back at the end of the day. What is most occupying her marvellous mind is her three year old daughter, who cried when she and her dad left dropped Tania at the airport. "You can have a brilliant career or a family," she says, "I have made my choice. I missed Tasha."

My friend Salima and I talk of having more children. I wish Benjamin had a sibling, but I don't think I am up to it. Salima has two. "Your life is over when you have children," she says. She is a physician, who became a stay at home mom. "Yet, the next generation is what we are here for, to guide them and grow them." I ask her if she would have another child, she's just 40. "No, the middle child becomes invisible, I think."

I am a middle child. I spent so much time in my family trying not to be noticed, I know what she means. Whenever the spotlight of attention was on me, it was never good. To this day, when someone asks to speak to me, I expect the worst. I led a charmed childhood, disappearing for days on end on horseback, playing in the woods at the end of Spruce Drive, pretending I was no longer a daughter, a child, but a mother to my youngest sister. Now, when my family argues, my greatest fear is that I, and they, will disappear after that last cruelty one of us spews.

A man who lives in our building, who always washes clothes early Sunday morning as we do, is moving. I stop the car in the driveway as he is loading his truck. "Are you moving?" I ask. "Yes, he says, "I just can't handle the heat surcharge, and noone will negotiate." We chat briefly about the wretched new management company. He looks at the pavement. "I will miss," he says, raising his head to look me in the eyes, "everyone. I have lived here ten years." I do not even know his name. I have lived here two years.

My neighbor Chun comes outside with her son, August. She has a lovely white sun hat on, and I tell her I love it. "I am sensitive to the sun," she says, as August wheels his trike away from her.

We are invited for brats and salad to our friend's the Marshes. Kristin worries endlessly about her weight and fitness. I am sure she weighs half of what I weigh. Neil taunts her about the brats, about her "diet," about the umbrella she hasn't removed the tag from. He wanders in an out while my Benjamin and their Oliver and Alexander play. "Whenever I feel like Neil doesn't pull his wieght," she says, looking directly at me, "I think of you. Your being single, truly alone, grounds me, and I am grateful."

I am grateful for the ghosts who brought me into being. My family, flawed like any other, and my mistakes, as gruesome as any, have made me who I am. I am blessed to have a son, to love and cherish, and friends to confide in and relish.

Happy Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day

It's nearly midnight as I write this. I fell asleep with Ben, awakened a bit ago by Lily whining because her water dish was dry, and there were too many toys on the bottom bunk for her to crawl in.

Thinking about the Mother's Day weekend we had--preceded by an awful fight with my sister and mother, but rescued by grand friends and my sweet son. Hallmark just doesn't understand families. My friends and I are planning that next mother's day we are all going out together: moms and non-moms alike, for brunch, mimosas and a spa visit. Our day. Maybe top it all off with a movie.

Today, as we left for school, after Ben's fifth consecutive day of actually, completely, dressing himself, he turned at the still open door. "Good bye, Lily, have a great day," he said.

Then he sang:

We love you.
We love you in the morning
and in the afternoon
we love you in the evening
underneath the moon
we love you!

For Lily. My heart sang just about all day.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

May 3rd


It is evening. The last load from the dryer is still damp:
Across the dining room chairs the blanket is spread.
Chickadees call, announcing their territorial pride;
I answer them from the kitchen where dirty dishes mark mine.
I wander whistling into the bathroom where my son sits,
Shooting bubbles with his bright green gun,
Still calling to the chickadees, I spread one more damp sheet
Across the dresser. My upstairs neighbor sits outside
Under the flowering crab, reading a thick book.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Flu don't kill people, guns kills people

I'm trying hard to figure out the hysteria, yes, hysteria, over swine flu.

36,000 people in this country alone, give or take a couple thousand, die each season from flu, and it never even causes a ripple in the headlines. Roughly 650,000 people in this country die of heart disease each year, give or take 10,000.

Roughly ten children between the ages of 1 and 4 die every day from homicide and accidents in this country alone.

Yet swine flu, which has claimed one toddler's life in this country (a toddler who had "other complicating health problems") causes hysterical panic. Schools are closed. Vacations are cancelled. But mostly, an entire people, Mexicans, are vilified.

I think we are a people in search of a panic. We seem to need to feed our fears each day: the economy, the threat of terror, and now, the flu.

According to our very own torture-mongering CIA, the infant mortality rate projections for Mexico this year are 18.42 deaths/1,000 live births. For the good old US of A ? 6.26 deaths/1,000 live births.

Oh, and 89 people in this country die every single day of the year from homicide or suicide with guns.

Now there's a statistic I can get hysterical about.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Poetry Month is almost gone

This is today's pick from the fine folk at Poetry Daily. A good day to drink beer and overeat, and celebrate.

"Terence, this is stupid stuff”
by A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

"Terence, this is stupid stuff:
You eat your victuals fast enough;
There can't be much amiss, 'tis clear,
To see the rate you drink your beer.
But oh, good Lord, the verse you make,
It gives a chap the belly-ache.
The cow, the old cow, she is dead;
It sleeps well, the horned head:
We poor lads, 'tis our turn now
To hear such tunes as killed the cow.
Pretty friendship 'tis to rhyme
Your friends to death before their time
Moping melancholy mad:
Come, pipe a tune to dance to, lad."
Why, if 'tis dancing you would be,
There's brisker pipes than poetry.
Say, for what were hop-yards meant,
Or why was Burton built on Trent?
Oh many a peer of England brews
Livelier liquor than the Muse,
And malt does more than Milton can
To justify God's ways to man.
Ale, man, ale's the stuff to drink
For fellows whom it hurts to think:
Look into the pewter pot
To see the world as the world's not.
And faith, 'tis pleasant till 'tis past:
The mischief is that 'twill not last.
Oh I have been to Ludlow fair
And left my necktie God knows where,
And carried half way home, or near,
Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:
Then the world seemed none so bad,
And I myself a sterling lad;
And down in lovely muck I've lain,
Happy till I woke again.
Then I saw the morning sky:
Heigho, the tale was all a lie;
The world, it was the old world yet,
I was I, my things were wet,
And nothing now remained to do
But begin the game anew.
Therefore, since the world has still
Much good, but much less good than ill,
And while the sun and moon endure
Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
I'd face it as a wise man would,
And train for ill and not for good.
'Tis true, the stuff I bring for sale
Is not so brisk a brew as ale:
Out of a stem that scored the hand
I wrung it in a weary land.
But take it: if the smack is sour
The better for the embittered hour;
It will do good to heart and head
When your soul is in my soul's stead;
And I will friend you, if I may,
In the dark and cloudy day.
There was a king reigned in the East:
There, when kings will sit to feast,
They get their fill before they think
With poisoned meat and poisoned drink.
He gathered all that sprang to birth
From the many-venomed earth;
First a little, thence to more,
He sampled all her killing store;
And easy, smiling, seasoned sound,
Sate the king when healths went round.
They put arsenic in his meat
And stared aghast to watch him eat;
They poured strychnine in his cup
And shook to see him drink it up:
They shook, they stared as white's their shirt:
Them it was their poison hurt.
—I tell the tale that I heard told.
Mithridates, he died old.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

No turning to salt

We've turned a big corner in the development world.

After Benjamin’s swimming lesson on Thursday, the last one of this session, I got into the pool with him for a while. A lifeguard asked us if we would mind playing with this other kid. The “other kid” was Darell, who, unlike all the other kids in the family pool, looked to be about 14. He had some obvious differences, looked forlorn, and needed to have some fun. I invited him to join us in Ben’s game of jumping into the pool.

He did join us, and pretty soon all the kids in the pool joined us, having a total blast, although Darell’s splashes were the biggest of all. Ben really loved it, and, after we got out of the pool and showered and he was in his jammies, he insisted on walking back into the pool room and saying good bye to his new friend. Darell gave him a hearty high five, and we said good bye. Ben was disappointed he had to get into his jammies, because that's "for little kids." No more home-from-the-Y-in-jammies.

Yesterday, after dinner, we went back to the Y. Ben’s new pal was there, and once again we all played. Benjamin kept swimming away from me to play with the kids. He barely noticed I was there. He got out of the pool to go pee all by himself, and came back with his swim trunks actually pulled up all the way.

When we got home, he got himself into his jammies, because we had taken a clean set of clothes to the Y for apres swim wear. This morning, he dressed himself completely.

Today, he has been outside most of the day, playing with his friends, coming back once in a while. He has learned that we are number 112, and picks the number out of the line of buzzers outside, opening the outside door when I buzz him in. Just a moment ago he came back in to get his hooded vest, and his Obi Wan light saber, to play jedi with a new friend, Evan.

I just heard him give away his ride-on excavator, a prized possession since his auntie gave it to him three years ago. He gave it our neighbor, three year old August, because "I'm too big for it now."

Unlike the first few steps he took when he learned to walk, he hasn’t even looked back to see if I am there.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

March First!

Today is very cold: 24 degrees and windy. But it's so bright and lovely, or at least it was during my walk with Ben and Lily. We went the the playground and then walked along Traver Creek. Ben poked the water and ice with his stick (he always picks a new one up,) and was thrilled when I told him he could bring this one into our apartment.

These funny little ice sculptures are all along the creek, no doubt from changing water levels and temperatures during the last week.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Grace notes

The bright white melon slice of the moon tonight hangs in the blue sky. So clear and bright in the twenty degree air, the top circle, the shadow of where I stand, is gray and visible. Bare trees reach up, straining for the coming spring sun. There is no blue as deep and clear as the Midwestern winter evening sky--the bottom third above the horizon light, pale, fading into the deeper color. I have seen the Caribbean, the high Mexico desert, Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters, the sky in the Austrian Alps. Nothing, save maybe a particular part of Monet's lily ponds, matches this blue.

I have my sweet son back after his vacation in Port Huron: time spent with his beloved cousin, auntie and uncle, and friend Linda. I love having him back, the rhythm of our life together restored after the quiet distance of his absence. Clean sheets on our beds, I secretly hope he will waken and crawl in with me sometime between now and dawn. I'll have pajamas on, not like when he's gone and I have the luxury of naked sleep. I missed the sweet breath of his morning sleepiness on my pillow for two long nights.

My sister and I hooted late into last night over wine, Facebook, old friends found, and our shared excitement over discovering online Scrabble. Each of us has found our lost best friends from elementary, middle school, and college. Bright melon memories lit our smiles and tales. Our sons sleeping in shared space, we marvelled over the hues of our lives.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The First Running Away Fight

Ben was upset with me today. He's on winter break, creating a nightmare of child care questions for a working mom. Today, he spent the day at Lana's house. Lana's parents are both physicians, and they live in a gorgeous, huge house with every toy imaginable, plus a daddy.

When I arrived to pick him up, Lana's mom invited me in to have coffee, which I did. I like her and her husband, they are witty and very welcoming. They are French Algerians,very liberal in their politics, and very gracious. We had a lovely conversation for about a half an hour, then it was time to get home.

Ben cried. Wailed. Wanted to stay. Did not want to go home, and made it plain. I got him in the car, somewhat against his will, he was still very mad at me, and was quite articulate in expressing it. I explained that I wanted to get home to take care of Lily, and I wanted him there too, I had missed him during the day, wanted to have dinner. Nothing would console the prince ripped from the friend's bossom.

When we arrived at home, he parked himself on the couch and announced: "Mom, I am very mad at you. You did not make a good choice. Tomorrow, Uncle Markie will come and take me to Florida."

"Really?" I replied, "I will miss you so much, I like living with you. I love you, even when we are angry."

"Please may I have some hot chocolate," he said.

"Get it yourself," I said, "since you are leaving for Florida!" I admit I was petulant myself.

"Mom," he laughed,"I am going to Florida TOMORROW. Today, I want hot chocolate, please!"

The Runaway and His Excellent Play Dough Train

Monday, February 16, 2009

Yellow bird

Yesterday a yellow bird appeared at the birdfeeder. At first I thought it was our first goldfinch of the season, which would be amazing because it’s only February and it just snowed again. Then again, the purple finches are looking more and more red lately. Last weekend, while Ben and I were walking near Black Pond, we saw two robins. Birdsong is more varied and jubilant in the mornings, even when it’s 27 degrees Fahrenheit. It lifts one’s spirit and reinforces the hope that winter will not last forever.

This bird is canary yellow and has virtually no black on it anywhere. And it’s lemon yellow. Shaped just like a finch, and finch-size, wings and tail white, with one thin black stripe running along the wings. Orange beak, no black cap or any black anywhere except the wings.

A mystery, an anomaly, a pleasure of backyard birding.

Friday, February 06, 2009

February Trees

In the bare, bent
winter branches:

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Fun Boss Meeting

The nature of Ben's learning problems have to do with an unspecified language processing difficulty. It's not clear how much of what he hears gets processed right, although I suspect far more of it gets through than the professionals see evidence of. Ben is a gifted mimic, but isn't always sure of what it all means. He also has certain conversational defaults: he wants so much to converse, and falls back on Drummond Island, his cousin Cameron and Thomas the Train when he runs out of things to talk about.

Recently, he has made a tremendous leap forward. During my evening dinner table litany, from the setting titled "How Was School," he responded pretty completely. Then he looked me in the eye and said, "And how was your work today, Mom?"

I was thrilled. "Well it was good."

"Did you do anything fun today, Mom?" asked the solicitous son.

"Well, yes," I replied, barely able to keep from cracking up, "yes, I had a fun meeting with my boss."

"Oh!" he exclaimed, "so you had a fun boss meeting? Good for you!"

Benjamin, my love, you succeeded in bowling your momma right over with this display of conversational prowess. Far better than the most fun boss meeting.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sweet snow

If you've ever made apple crisp the old fashioned way, before food coop hippies invented the rolled oats variety, you know what the snow in our driveway is like. You take cold butter and cut it with a knife into the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg until it looks like sand. That's the snow. As we wade through it to the car, I think of apple crisp.

I love snow, really, I can't get enough until about the Ides of March. Then, enough already. But right now it is lovely. Lily comes in from each romp with white muzzle and snow up to her belly on all four legs. The floors are a mess. Our heaters are loaded with warming boots, mittens and hats.

The birds are very absent. I keep the feeders free of snow so they can come and dine. I hope they made it through the blizzard.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


I can’t take the tree down yet, though everything in my Midwestern-white-person-Lutheran-raised self says it would be proper to do so. Ben and I got a new one this year, and it’s so lovely, looks almost real, and it’s loaded with ornaments, seven and a half feet tall, the paper star just grazing the ceiling. As I write, the white lights are the only artificial light on except for the glow of this monitor. This year Ben enjoyed looking at the ornaments, hearing stories about when we got them or where they came from.

This year the tree is also special because my friend Laurie came from Port Huron with Vincent, her son, and the four of us put the tree up together. They even made the trek to Kmart with us to wander down the aisle, pick out the best tree, chop it down and bring it home. We laughed and laughed, and Laurie and I stayed up until after 2 a.m. just catching up. Vincent was born on Ben’s nine-month birthday, and the two boys, both Cars fans, got along very well. I’d neglected my friendship with Laurie, and it was great to renew it, and I’m so glad they shared putting up the tree with Ben and me. Vincent got to put the star on top, and Ben got to put the traditional chicken on top. (My trees have always had a chicken on top and a pink flamingo in the upper third.)

Vincent sparked a slight debate, calling for the star to be placed on the top, his mother having been more responsible about his spiritual training than I have been with Ben’s. The compromise was that we would put both the chicken and the star on top, and the boys would split the duties. Luckily, I had a paper star in the box of ornaments—a paper star that looks more like a gold snowflake, which actually was from my childhood trees. Those were mostly always of the fresh variety, always put up just moments before Christmas and always left up long into January until the fallen needles obscured the carpet in a perfect circle beneath the gilded tree.

Maybe by Valentine’s Day I’ll be able to take it down.

My celebration of Christmas is far more pagan than it used to be—no more church choir centered holiday. Mostly for me it’s a time to pause and relish the gifts I have, know them and name them.

Fabulous ever-green trees and the tall black spruce outside our back door. Birds—chicken, flamingo and the hardy Carolina wren who still swoops down to the suet feeder. Boys who talk and laugh and run and play. Friends who bear with me throughout the winters. Stars from my childhood. The half-moon tonight so bright it casts shadows.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Pairs, pears, pancakes and eggs

This morning as we ate a breakfast of eggs, pancakes and fresh sliced pears, Ben asked, “Mamma, who made me?”

“Your birth mom and your birth dad made you, honey.”

“Mamma, who made me?” the question came again, this time as he turned to look at my face.

I smiled broadly. “Your birth dad, Timothy, and your birth mom, Vickie made you. Remember? You grew in Vickie’s tummy.”

A brief pause, as he took another bite of pear. “Was it dark in there, in her tummy?”

“Yes, I think it was dark in there.”

“Did I get to eat pears?” he asked, turning to look at me again.

“No, not pears, just whatever could fit through your little belly button.” He laughed.

“My BELLY BUTTON?” he grinned, pear juice sliding down his chin.

“Yes, when babies are in their birth mommy’s tummies, they eat through a cord connected to their belly buttons!” I laughed again.

He was quiet again for a moment. “Mom, can I have more eggs?”

I’ve learned to just follow his lead, let him ask, and always, always answer honestly.

“Yes, of course you can have more eggs!”

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Winter walk

Ben. Lily and I took a late afternoon walk today along Traver Creek, the small slip of water which bisects our apartment neighborhood. Bold chickadees cheeked around us, cardinals flashed. Lily looked like she wanted to jump in despite the cold. About an hour into our exploration, we found solitary great blue heron tracks heading straight for deer mouse tracks: both trails formed a forty degree angle and ended at water's edge. A tasty snack for the heron, no doubt. One clump of rocks looked like a lucite shelf fungus had grown around it--ice. Bare heads of prairie coneflowers were gray matches for the rows of low lying clouds promising more snow. The sunset as we headed back was perfect turquoise and apricot.

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year's Haiku

Lopsided light, sweet, drunk smile
reclines in bare trees.
New Year’s moon in Michigan.