Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The last leaves left at Chain O' Lakes State Park! Time for a hike!

But the kids, they want to go home. They forget they want to go home, and they want to go home again.
"See, we're right . . about . . lost. Yes, we're lost." Bad Eagle Scout.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What a picture. Just won the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2009 award, according to the Beeb.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Up north last weekend the kids came across this: crawdadicide. Not often you see this many crawdads killed at once. The seagulls might be organizing, hunting in packs. Keep your eyes up.
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Scarecrow on Fire

We all think about suddenly disappearing.
The train tracks lead there, into the woods.
Even in the financial district: wooden doors
in alleyways. First I want to put something small
into your hand, a button or river stone or
key to I don’t know what. I don’t
have that house anymore across from the graveyard
and its black angel. What counts as a proper
goodbye? My last winter in Iowa there was always
a ladybug or two in the kitchen for cheer
even when it was ten below. We all feel
suspended over a drop into nothingness.
Once you get close enough, you see what
one is stitching is a human heart. Another
is vomiting wings. Hell, even now I love life.
Whenever you put your feet on the floor
in the morning, whatever the nightmare,
it’s a miracle or fantastic illusion:
the solidity of the boards, the steadiness
coming into the legs. Where did we get
the idea when we were kids to rub dirt
into the wound or was that just Pennsylvania?
Maybe poems are made of breath, the way water,
cajoled to boil, says, This is my soul, freed.

Dean Young
from American Poetry Review
June/July 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

show tell

Show and Tell club, the opening act. I don't remember for sure now but I think this is a painting of a cake or a pie or a pancake. To me, it says all of those things, and makes connections for me that I had never made before. Very cute. My kids brought (a) a paper basket and (b) rocks.

My best in show was probably these . . . neat things David and Marie made. "Diorama" doesn't do them justice.

We only saw two of the twelve or so they have in their collection, part of a "museum" they set up to amuse nieces and nephews recently. Photos don't do them justice. To see them is to have to want to make them, saving cardboard boxes and wondering how tiny objects in your house would look inside them, like what cool poems make you do with words.
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Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Couldn't miss the Mississenwa 1812 reenactment this year, where folks drive from three states away to dress up in either wool or grease paint and sleep outside for three nights to celebrate the massacre of some Indians a long time ago. I think that's it, anyway--I didn't read the whole brochure.
Cute little Indians reacting to the noise of the "thundersticks" that went off during the big fake battle.
This guy's funny. His fire eating routine has been pretty much the same for the last three years and he seems tired of it, maybe, and some of the little kids who had seen it before were yelling out spoilers and stuff. He was a good sport about it, though, and I still laugh. He makes fire-eating look temptingly easy, I must say.
Not-real Indian getting a real Indian tattoo, the Indian way, and telling us all about it.
I really love this event. The costumes are amazing and the people are so thorough in their attention to detail. For something so fake, it is very authentic and I believe every minute of it. And plus the weather is always the perfect kind autumn weather, the first weekend of it, it seems like, for a drive down an interstate and then state highways and then of course the rolling two tracks down to the slow river. All the way there you've got yellowing fields and the clouds and they are pretty and then the sun comes out and it is pretty, too.
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