Cornfield Church Sunday, Sep 7 2014 

Cornfield Church

Under the hard, harsh sun
Where the whispering corn
Betrays the coming storm
The white church faces the west
From whence the distant thunder
But beneath its spread shadow
The graves wait for the rising east

Dinner Party Saturday, Jul 26 2014 

Not inspired by Esperanza, actually, but by another house in the same area built near the end of Hapgood’s career as an architect about 25 years after he designed Esperanza’s north end. It is a bit clunky, mostly because I tried to redirect it from its original!

Dinner Party
Resting in the lawn-green bowl
The pergola was wreathed
By honeysuckle and roses
And laughter rose beyond the lantern-light.
A gossamer thread leading back
To the shining house
At the dark woods’ edge
A swelling blossom
Of twilight gold

June Evenings Friday, Jun 13 2014 

On these fair hills,

Where in the dew heavy fields

The grass bends down in silence,

Strands of silver are poured out across the acres;

The white moon rises glorious,

Untouched by the veiling fog of night,

Far beyond the somber pines.

Alone, a lightning bug

Explores the great heights,

The dark depths of the forest




What is Esperanza? Wednesday, May 21 2014 

People ask that, sometimes silently.

Picture this then, a clear May evening, the fragrance of lilacs and viburnums, watching the sun sink over the western hills and the emerald field, the pure white violets and apple blossoms, the glowing pink, purples and golds of myriad redbuds, azaleas, tulips, and a host of others. and faintly on the sweet breeze the notes of Chopin’s nocturnes.

Or perhaps it is early morning, beneath the towering spruces, oaks, and maples where the white trillium shimmers, the pure white of living marble and the vinca forms a dark green carpet studded by ferns.

Next month will be something different and the one after that.

But always, the house, quiet and cool, with its books and unknown corners.

That is Esperanza.

Lilacs Tuesday, May 20 2014 

Not the best year for them, but still blooming well. They are one of those plants, like daffodils but more so, which are solidly entrenched in our culture but are in fact not found throughout the continent.  They dislike humidity and need cold winters.  The best lilacs I ever encountered were in Canada, growing wild across the abandoned fields of Ontario and holding court in Montreal’s Botanical Garden.

We have only a few here: two classic lavenders flanking the south end along with a white one, and a gorgeous, ancient dark purple one off of the west porch.  Its main stem is close to five inches in diameter, hopefully by hacking a bit of a hole in the overgrown hydrangea we can get some new growth going.  I also did a bit of work today on one of the lavender ones, cutting out two declining main stems (it would have been three but the chickadees objected vociferously), hopefully it will regrow well.

Walt Whitman described them, and the hermit thrush, best of course in one of his better known but rarely read poems its worth the time to go through it, if a bit depressing:

The Hedgerow Wednesday, May 7 2014 


The trees ranked

Against winter’s war

Had been gaunt, black spectres.

They were the witches’ trees,

Sketched against the moon,

As in some gothic horror

Where fear lurked silent.

But the sun called a truce.

Now, once gaunt hands

Are falls of green feathers,

The pale, blurred brushstrokes

Of a Japanese watercolor.

Fiddling about with doggerel Saturday, Apr 5 2014 

From something I was working on long ago…A description, perhaps, of the library, the piano, and the books.

On the day I left,

On the cold January morning,

The grand piano’s heartbreak,

I was in love

And left the library

Where the faun still knows

All the secrets

And the voice of man

Dances, unrepentant,

Beyond a classic, pillared frame.

March Wedding Sunday, Mar 23 2014 

March Wedding

In March’s sudden snow

The ice rode the south wind

And a diamond veil lay on the land

Let the sun lift it

Let the bride’s kiss


My Friend Tuesday, Mar 18 2014 

(Digging through a clipping book by William Webster Ellsworth, a bit of poetry.  It is unclear if it is his, or if it is a translation that he did.  However, since everything else in the book is work that he did, it is likely that it is his.  It appeared in Scribner’s Monthly, later known as the Century Illustrated Magazine in 1875-76.  He did write some poetry when he was young, but then turned to working primarily as an editor, feeling that he didn’t have what it took to be a creative writer.  His standards were rather high…)

My Friend

(After the German)

The friend who holds a mirror to my face,

And hiding none, is not afraid to trace

My faults, my smallest blemishes, within;

Who friendly warns, reproves me if I sin,

Although it seem not so, he is my friend.


But he who, ever flattering, gives me praise,

Who ne’er rebukes, nor censures, nor delays

To come with eagerness and grasp my hand,

And pardon me, ere the pardon I demand,

He is my enemy, although he seem my friend.

February Snow Friday, Feb 28 2014 

The cedars, (are) suspended

On an ice bridled shore

Between a waiting forest

And (the) black water

That coils beneath deepening ice

The wind bites

And (it) brings to me

The mournful wail of a southbound train

I could go

Far from the snow locked marshes

(Far from) The polished drifts of a frozen land

(But) All noise fades to silence

I bow my head to the whitened world

Walking north

*Meh, I can’t get it tweaked right. Not written about here by the way, but about rural Ontario.  Though last night here was certainly fitting

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