Monday, July 18, 2011


I've been thinking about what makes a poet a poet. Well, his mother. And before that, his father. And before that the twinkle in his mother's eye. But once the poet is up and running, how does the poet know that the poet is a poet?

 Chewing on this bit...the poet discovers it is a poet when it gets wounded. Many kinds of wounds. Beauty can wound. A wounded poet bleeds poetry. 

                                                            poet wounded
                                                            poet bleed

 There is an old Turkish saying, "I have a problem, and I would not trade it for a thousand solutions".

I posted the image of this tree before, but now it has a new raison d'ĂȘtre. This painting was an obsession, a problem for me. But I did not want it to go away. It was my therapy for many years. I dabbed a daub of paint here and there, then put it away. Months later, bring it out and bend a branch. Put away. Get out. Put away. Until I finally had to let it go.

Now my friend and poet, Mary Bradley has written a poem about it. 

Waiting for Springtime in the House of Leaves

The wind

           that’s mourned for weeks beneath the eaves
           and blustered, drifting snow on wet dark earth —

is hushed.

In dusty rooms

          the silence settles like a solid thing,
          until I’m wild to leave the house.
          and walk in air that’s brisk and bright,

          to roam the ancient woods above a surf raked bay
          and listen to the distant drumming of the sea,
          and search for shoots of hyacinth among the trees.

In dwindling light of day,

          a ghostly moon is rising, soft as smoke,
          among colossal branches of a stately oak
          that stands as it has always stood upon the shoulders of the world
          —grown tall and greatly patient, darkly beautiful and good.

And in the tree’s unhurried heart,

         concentric memories of a hundred years—

         the blur of wings, tranquility of clouds,
         the sweetness of a summers’ temperate rain,

         the blaze of living canopies gone red and gold,
         the brand of lightening’s kiss along its grain.

If only I could be a child again,
alive in fairytales of simpler times,

         I would not leave,
         but stepping through its bright enchanted door,
         would climb an inner stairway to the topmost branch
         and fall asleep,

dreaming the restful dreams of gentle trees,
waiting for springtime in the house of leaves.

--Mary Bradley
c. 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


BE HONEST. Don't you just want to kiss that sweet mug? Such sincerity. Such give and take. Such je ne sais quoi.  I think he looks like George Clooney. Matter of fact, George has one these hoofers in his actual mansion. No lie.  Hey, maybe this is George's pot belly pig! Must have knocked over that Ming vase. Or eaten the Hope diamond. No worries. Wait a day or two, take it out and hose it off. Good as new.

See how happy he is. He might be a she.  I didn't really check. But I did get to do a book signing as part of the fund raiser at the Center Valley Animal Rescue in Quilcene, Washington.

This place is amazing. They take pets that have conquered their not-too-bright owners, or animals that need help. It is a no kill shelter for iguanas, llamas, parrots, ferrets, emus, turtles, goats, horses, chickens, rabbits, sheep, cats, dogs, piggy wiggies, and even hermit crabs. What?

I love these guys. Look at this gorgeousness! Oh, my gosh, I am currently working on a  prehistoric picture book character, and hello!! Anybody home?  I could really use this animal in my studio. Course, I'd have to keep it at 100 degrees with 100 percent humidity. But they eat salad, not grandkids. So I'm really close on this one. Did I mention that these are five feet long?

This parrot is smarter than you are. Deal with it. They talk. Like several languages, including pirate talk. 

Rooms full of cats. Little kitties. Old cats who will live out there lives in comfort.  Millions and millions of cats. ( Zounds! There's an idea for a children's book. { :>)

Director, Sara Penhallegon, wrangles the coolest volunteers you can imagine to care for more animals than you can imagine. What a place!  Animals are available for adoption. Drop by for a visit, and a brain cleansing. Seriously, it will inspire. I was quite moved.  See their site:

Cute butt, or what?

Special thanks to Candy Raab for one of her famous pies. We're talking pie so good that you loose your sense of time/space.  Sear. Ee. Us. Lee.