The Castle on the River

A poem and photograph from my latest book, Ireland, Place out of Time (2017). Order your copy from Amazon.

A poem and photograph from my latest book, Ireland, Place out of Time (2017). Order your copy from Amazon.

The Castle on the River

At Ballynahinch, the stones
massive and weighty, watch
over the river’s journey, flowing past
a centuries-old façade

Monument to excess and a way
of life long since gone
of hunting parties, hounds, shotguns
and birds on the wing

castle walls hold secrets
of Irish music and dance,
grand buffets,
women in fancy dresses

Today, tourists shoot clay pigeons
launched from a steel tower
while staff re-create a more genteel
time—only 300 Euros per night

 

 

Technicolor Wool

A poem and photograph from my latest book, Ireland, Place out of Time (2017). Order your copy from Amazon.

Technicolor Wool

In the west, swaths of government
land are leased to sheep farmers

paint swatches grace
every sheep’s back

farmers know whose is whose.
Rams, though, they’re special

their chests splotched purple,
or green, or blue, each

sporting his own signage.
Come spring, farmers read

the colors on each ewe’s rump
—husbandry, and fertility, confirmed.


Sea Ranch—Our Annual Writing Retreat

Here again at beautiful Sea Ranch, near Mendocino in Northern California, writing, reading, walking on the bluffs, hanging with the sea lions and sharing work with my sweet sisters from AROHO.

We met six years ago at the biannual women's writing workshop at A Room of Her Own Foundation in New Mexico, and have traveled from all over the country (Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and various parts of California, to be together once a year since.

This year I have been madly working on finishing the final revision of my memoir, and it's almost there (cheers and clapping). It has been a wonderful and relaxing week, as well, and I have relished the time I've had to walk with friends, read, and contemplate this beautiful stretch of coastline. Nature abounds. See for yourself...

Sea lions rookery—how many can you count?

Sea lions rookery—how many can you count?

The view from our house.

The view from our house.

Native grasses.

Native grasses.

Yellow lupine.

Yellow lupine.

Celebrate Your Public Library

My essay, “I Found the World in a Library," has just been published as part of the anthology, Library Book: Writers on Libraries, compiled and edited by Santa Barbara’s Steven Gilbar. 

Each essay in the collection, which celebrates the Santa Barbara Central Library’s 100th anniversary, explores the author’s personal stories about the Santa Barbara Library or how libraries have shaped their lives. I wrote about my hometown library, Hackley Public Library in Muskegon, Mich., which greatly influenced me as a child and sparked my love of reading and, by extension, writing.

Authors who have contributed include both native-born and Santa Barbara-based writers, like Fanny Flagg, Sue Grafton, Pico Iyer, and Gretel Ehrlich, as well as all the living Santa Barbara poets laureate Perie Longo, Chryss Yost, David Starkey, Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, and the current laureate, Enid Osborn. Nationally known authors Neil Gaiman, the late Ray Bradbury, and Ursula K. LeGuin are among the contributors, and the foreword was written by Santa Barbara’s T.C. Boyle.

Copies can be found throughout the library system and at local bookstores Chaucer's, The Book Den and Tecolote, as well as on Amazon. Proceeds go to the library. What a gift it is to have access to free books! Read more about the anthology here.

Ghosts

A poem and photograph from my latest book, Ireland, Place out of Time (2017). Order your copy from Weeping Willow Books. 

Ghosts

In the moss woods

moisture drips upon ancient rocks

my thoughts oblique fire

the pyre beckons

sadness creeps toward my words

your words, our intentions grow

purple with winged birds lifting

red blue orange grief holds us

too close to home, too close to

the spirit that lifts

with your eyes