Catching up . . . poems and essays and dogs, oh my!

Wow, I haven’t posted since August. What happened? Oh right, the semester started up, I kept going to the dog shelter, I worked to get my yard in shape for winter, and I’ve been working on other writing. On the writing front, I’ve had two poems and an essay published in a pretty amazing anthology: Earth Care: An anthology of poetry and essays about Ecology.

The editor, Martin Willits Jr., took a very broad approach to “ecology.”

The titles of my piece give a sample of the breadth of the topics he was interested in: “Irish Potato Famine,” “Housing Development,” and “Redlining: An Inheritance.” There is a poem about fracking by Lee. B. Savidge, “Modern Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing,” that gave me my first understanding of what fracking entailed; there is an essay about the successful effort to save the “forever wild” woodlands that came under threat from developers who sought to set aside the terms of a covenant agreement. Another essay, “Energy Choices,” by Linda Griggs, outlines the dangers of nuclear power and so much more. And, the volume ends with pages of resources into issues and solutions. It’s an amazing read.

Speaking of amazing, the dogs at the Potsdam Humane Shelter never fail to amaze. I’ve had a pretty long stretch of very timid puppies at the shelter since I last posted, and I mean “timid” as in, staff and volunteers were carrying them everywhere. I thought Cedric was a challenge – hah! Everyone wound up carrying these young dogs because otherwise they crawled on their bellies – when you could coax them into moving forward at all. That’s a photo of Buddy – you can see he was getting too big to be lugged around. More about them next time.

Winter Poetry: “Whiteout Conditions”

Today I saw the first robin of the year, but she flew from branches dusted with snow and will have to tolerate degrees in the teens before she is done with this week. But her arrival is a sign that spring will win soon, and mornings of waking to a wonderland of snow that brightens the landscape and records the paths of critters that cross the back field are coming to a close. While it is still winter-like I thought I would share this winter poetry, “Whiteout Conditions.” It was selected by poet Maurice Kenny to appear in a collection he edited, On the Quad.    

Whiteout Conditions

Through the country night snow falls
two inches an hour, warp speed at my windshield.

Star Trek star fields have nothing on these
bulleted flakes
accelerating toward the glass.
All speed ahead
All speed mine
To the left, to the right, flakes drift
casual, to the ground.