August: Eating Peaches

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August is a peachy balancing act.  We watch our peaches grow on the tree, from golf ball like suits, to acquiring a rosy glow in the warmth.  We reach up, carefully  palpating the  fruit,  to feel when ripeness comes close. My neighobors and I share this summer ritual.  Finally, the day of juiciness comes close. Peaches are getting larger, beginning to soften.

Now peach gathering becomes a competitive sport, shared by by many that gather.  Two days before the ultimate juiciness would be achieved, I went out to check the garden at 3pm.

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Indeed, a young porcupine was tree-center, happily munching on a peach. Of course, This porcupine had already munched on several others that were half eaten.  I tried a little conversation.  No joy.  I gently tried to push with the  broom,  No movement. The porcupine finally moved off with a stronger pull, quite unhappily. A few quills went right into the branch and stayed!

Of course, chipmunks are neater eaters.  They are dextrous enough to eat the peach flesh and leave the stem hanging!  There are smaller, more delicate visitors as well.IMG_1244 7.13.33 AM

At this time, I know the peaches won’t last the night.  It’s too much porcupine temptation.  While they are not dead ripe, they ARE the way this porcupine likes them, and so I acquire the wisdom of joining the non humans,  enjoy the sun of my face, like the peach and porcupine, and begin to pick.

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With ladder and basket, I pluck in summer’s fine taste. I heat the already nibbled ones, and leaved then close to the porcupine’s den.  A few are lobed into the forest for the deer. Soon I’ll be drinking peach ginger lemonade, making peach hand pies to share with my friend Kathy, and whirling peaches with yogurt  and cardamon for breakfast. Summer bliss.

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Posted in Poems

Reading at Greenfield third Tuesday

Greenfield Third Tuesday August 15th (next Tuesday)
9 Mill Street Greenfield
Doors open at 7:00
7:30 is Open Mic ( one hour of open mic, 5 minute slots, due to demand names will be put in a hat)
8:30 the featured writers
$1 to $5 sliding scale donation
Books will be for sale
 
This month featuring;
Cindy Snow – Slate Roof
Elaine Reardon – Flutter Press
Sharon Ann Harmon – Flutter Press

Elaine Reardon is a poet, herbalist, educator, and member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. Her chapbook,The Heart is a Nursery For Hope, published September 2016, recently won first honors from Flutter Press . Most recently Elaine’s poetry has been published by Three Drops from a Cauldron Journal, and anthology, MA Poet of the Moment, http://www.naturewriting.com and poetrysuperhighway.com. She  has also been a finalist in The Writers Digest Poetry Contest and Poet Seat.   elainereardon.wordpress.com

Sharon A. Harmon’s poetry has appeared in Green Living, Silkworm, The Aurorean, Worcester Magazine, The Paterson Literary Review and numerous other publications, including a chapbook Swimming with Cats (2008). She was the Poet Laureate in 2015 for the 250th anniversary of Royalston, Massachusetts. Sharon is also a freelance writer and writes for Uniquely Quabbin Magazine. Some of her work has appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Caterpillar, Highlights for Children, Birds & Blooms and Millers River Reader. She teaches writing workshops. She lives in the woods of Central Massachusetts with her husband and cat. You may see more of her work at Sharon Ann Harmon Publishing. Has a new chap book of poems out, “Wishbone in a Lighting Jar”.

Cindy Snow’s writing has appeared in the Massachusetts Review, Peace Review, Worcester Review, Crannóg, and elsewhere. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart and has won the Poet’s Seat Poetry Contest. Cindy’s poems earned honorable mentions in the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Prize for Poetry 2017.
Posted in Poems

Blueberries for August

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Blueberries
 
 They were heaven—sweet food
from the fairy realm
I ate as we picked along the road
into the field where three sheep watched us
we picked into the woods at the swamp
The first time mum and I picked berries I was three
 
Mum gasped when she stepped into the swamp
then wiped a muddy high heel in the leaves
I laughed at the silliness of wearing heels
looking back she likely didn’t take time to change
when she saw how I took to these berries
 
The day she died I brought
home made blueberry ice cream
dad said she wasn’t going to want
blueberry ice cream any more
he sat at the kitchen table and
she lay alone in the next room
I sat with her while breath
rattled in and out
slower and harder each time
 
I pick wild sweet berries to eat with thick cream
mix them with lemon for blueberry pie each July
far from home now in forest edge garden each year
I enter a contest with birds to see who harvests the most
And I remember the first time

 

IMG_0971A Lunasa harvest of lavender, calendula, and anise hyssop for tea and tincture.

Posted in Poems

Another July Thank you!

Thanks to Ron Harmon, Editor, for the upcoming publishing of River Night on NatureWriting on July 28.
http://www.naturewriting.com

Posted in Poems

Book Review — The Heart is a Nursery for Hope

Source: Book Review — The Heart is a Nursery for Hope

Posted in Poems

July, Independence, and Monica Hand

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Independence.The word for the beginning of July. I’ve been reflecting on who became independent,and how that differed for various groups of people. Recently I served on a MA jury, and was surprised to find women did not have the ‘right’ to sit on a jury in MA until the 1950’s.  Wow!

Years ago, during Clinton’s first run for president, my teen age daughter joined a group of young people to travel across the country, going to some places you weren’t happy to have your child go. The trip was about signing up folks to vote, and it was called “The Third Wave”.  She met many people with hard stories.  In some places, it was pretty difficult to register to vote. You had to sign up with a deputy, use a particular color pen, and use cursive, for example. In one town the group became deputies for the day, so they could register people.   In walk up apartments in Detroit people felt, ‘What’s the use!… and yet, there was such beauty mixed in with the danger. In Montgomery Alabama they were guests at a church. You may remember the church that was bombed in l963, with four girls killed. I was my daughter’s age when that act of terrorism happened. The church was finally reopened and repaired when ‘The third wave’ bus group traveled, and they were invited as guests to the potluck.

There is so much goodness in this country.  I’m an immigrant child grown old here. I know so many who struggled to come to this country. My family walked across deserts and some starved and died along the way. The USA was an oasis of safety. I knew people who swam to our shores, who married strangers, who were leaders of the Hungarian Revolution, and were brought here to safety. 

Recently I’ve had the privilege of reading primary documents written by the man who lived  on the same land where I reside,  in the late 1700’s. The town voted  him to represent this town to vote YES, let’s have the Boston Tea Party.  Amazing, right?  He drove into Boston, I guess on a cart, with a friend, and they voted for the Tea Party. As you know, it happened, and kind of took off! 

And this musing brings me to a woman who has passed on, as we spent a week together in July, at the Fine Arts Work Center, in Provincetown. I think she touched anyone who spent time with her. Look for Monica Hand’s book of poetry, Me & Nina, published by Alice James. This is my personal eulogy for Monica Hand, a poet that can reach into your innards and stir you.

Monica Hand

Monica lived life like 

nobody’s business, no 

more second guessing life.

She crooned Nina Simon

then returned to school.

 

Columbia, a PhD.

Sometimes her body pained her.

It was hard to climb stairs,

but Monica still boogied.

She stepped right up to life,

looked it over real careful

then started in. 

 

Monica, patient, taught how to sew 

books by hand, how to push that 

needle through layers of thick paper.

How to unwrap juicy oranges on 

an unmade bed, never mind that 

car honking outside.

 

Hot nights we sipped sweet drinks.

Monica unwrapped her Black 

Angel deck and shuffled in the magic

as she drew the cards. 

Monica loved Nina Simon.

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May all beings be safe from harm

May all beings  be healthy

May all beings have freedom

 

This photo taken from a Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, writers workshop. We literally open and unfold the book on the beach, so we can read, page by page.

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Posted in Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, Monica Hand, Poems

June’s Tail End

-brings more good things roses tumble down the hill, topple onto the grapevine. Red currents, tender lettuce and pea pods are ready, and a new poem is up at NatureWriting.com. A thank you to Ron Harton, Editor, for publishing Vernal Pool. Check out at  www.naturewriting.com,

Also, please check out this book review blog I’ve just found!   She has a review  of my chapbook, (yay!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6RMyZiQYZU

Posted in Poems