Citizens

Strategic planning in Northfield

Betsey Buckheit - Tue, 04/11/2017 - 10:00am
The late Dixon Bond once observed to me: “Northfield has a tendency to over-plan.” So when the EDA, Planning Commission and City Council meet in a worksession tonight (04/11/2017) to do some (carefully orchestrated, consultant-driven) strategic planning, I will try … Continue reading →
Categories: Citizens

April 11, 2017 Poem: “At the Theater: A Dream of Stars”

Winona Media (Leslie Schultz) - Tue, 04/11/2017 - 7:12am

 

At the Theater: A Dream of Stars

I settle in the theater, in a seat on the aisle,
with a clear view to the stage.
Then a woman claims the seat just in front
of me. Well, now I can’t see! She must be seven feet tall
with good posture. She is wider than a doorway,
her hair dense with leaping curls. The only thing
missing is the straw hat with a feather or flower.

Somehow, I know she is wearing wrist-length, white
gloves.And polka dots. She listens intently, never whispering
to her companion, who is, maybe, the little man shot
from the cannon in another show. I crane my neck,
first one side, then the other, glimpsing the movie
in fragments. She has every right to be who she is
and where she is, but why am I here, so blinded? Then

I know: we are in a cave, both staring at Plato’s flickering
fire, she the movable wall between me and the cool
illusory flame. We are shadow puppets at rest. She
is the band of silhouette circling the planetarium’s
domed screen. I have only to look up or down or
elsewhere— into the roiling heart of me?—
and peer through the dark lens of poetry.

Leslie Schultz

Wishing you a day when new planets swim into your ken!  Leslie


Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!

Categories: Citizens

Daily Tanka: Rainy Day Dog Bite

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Mon, 04/10/2017 - 10:24pm

Rainy Day Dog Bite
On a rainy day
I get an itch on my knee
Where that goddamn dog
Bit me while I rode my bike.
Blood ran through the sweat and dust.

Categories: Citizens

Postscript: Poet-Artist Collaboration XVI–A Celebration of National Poetry Month!

Winona Media (Leslie Schultz) - Mon, 04/10/2017 - 2:23pm

Tim and I traveled to Zumbrota, MN last Saturday evening for this year’s salute to National Poetry Month at the Crossings at Carnegie. Each year, a group of poets and artists are paired up through a juried process, and then they come together to meet; introduce and read the poems; and view and enjoy the resulting visual art inspired by the poems.

After fifteen previous such celebrations, Marie Marvin and her staff have this event down to a fine artistic science. Beginning with a potluck reception at Crossings gallery & shop, moving to the nearby State Theater (operated by the Zumbrota Area Arts Council) for readings by poets and comments by visual artists, and then back to Crossings for lively conversation and closer looks at the art pieces, this event has something for everyone. And it gets better every year!

This year, among the twenty-three pairs of literary and visual artists, Tim and I were pleased to see poets Christine Kallman (a Northfield neighbor, playwright, and Sidewalk Poet) and her daughter; to see poet Ken McCullough and his wife, playwright Lynn Nankivil,  friends from  Winona; and to meet new people including a multi-talented artist from Red Wing, Art Kenyon, and his wife, Kathleen. Art created a painting inspired by my poem, “Nomad’s Daughter” (originally published in Third Wednesday.) His comments, and our conversation afterwards, helped me to understand my poem better. I love what he did with the poem, taking it into a dimension I could never have imagined. Below are some photos of the evening, to give you a flavor of it.

I was excited to find the painting inspired by poem.

Tim and I snagged good seats for the main program.

I get to meet “my” artist, Art Kenyon. Having thought about one poem in depth this spring, he decides to take home my book, Still Life with Poppies: Elegies.

Below, impresario Marie Marvin, and I channel the energies of Broadway’s classic, Cats–especially appropriate since the musical is based upon T.S. Eliot’s poems in Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Marie models one of the evening’s wearable artworks, a polar fleece hat and mittens combo designed by Lana Sjoberg and inspired by Mim Kagol’s poem, “Cat in the Garden,” while I wish I could really sing!

It was an unforgettable evening that still has us clicking our heels!

Categories: Citizens

April 10, 2017 Poem: “Music So Loud We Can’t Hear”

Winona Media (Leslie Schultz) - Mon, 04/10/2017 - 8:53am

Music So Loud We Can’t Hear
for Luke
(Joe Bonamassa Concert, March 18, 2017)

It’s as if all the thunder
and bison hooves
pounding over the Great Plains
for centuries,
the spiral winds turning
skies green, and
all the demon freight trains
who shriek across burnt horizons
have gathered here,
in Minneapolis, on stage
at the Orpheum Theater.

Thanks to Benjamin Franklin—
his kite and key and legacy
of innovation at G.E.—we
are temporarily deafened,
our ears sheared free
of their function, and
hearing itself driven deep
into our chests, nearing
the knocking of our own hearts
and even deeper, toward
the lost hell of Orpheus
himself, into the mineral
music of our very bones.

Now we’re tuned to a new key,
flung beyond anticipation
into agitated deep seas:
those inky blues of desperation.

Leslie Schultz

As you will know if you saw my post of March 20 this year, the Joe Bonamassa concert was a high water mark for me. I am still thinking about it, “hearing my memory” of it, and playing the CD I purchased that evening.

Here’s to those sharp peaks, moments of not-so-easy but profound listening!

LESLIE

Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!

Categories: Citizens

Daily Tanka: Reasons to Ride Bikes

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Sun, 04/09/2017 - 7:55pm

Reasons to Ride Bikes
Reasons to ride bikes:
Breathe fresh air. See the country.
Get fit. Get fitter.
Practice cornering. Go fast.
Get some ice cream with the girls.

Categories: Citizens

Postcard: April 10, 2017

Winona Media (Leslie Schultz) - Sun, 04/09/2017 - 2:33pm

Categories: Citizens

April 9, 2017 Poem “Nine Rooms”

Winona Media (Leslie Schultz) - Sun, 04/09/2017 - 9:08am

Nine Rooms
            A Spiral Journey Around Our House as a Bagua

Enter through the central eastern front door. Notice here,
in this place of career, a mirror and, opposite, Spring Creek, framed
in ink-black and ever-flowing, with one black stepping stone just out of reach.

Step right, into the space of opening insight, where I write
seated on denim blue, inspired by photographs of swimming pools,
ancient azure carpet, the cerulean sky through high windows.

Next, a still-greening family tree, shelves overflowing with history,
family mystery, and poetry. Here live the documents, ancestor-images,
old letters and departed people’s diaries.

Furthest west, evidence of a rich life. A trio of purple stones,
the global window of the televised tribal life, windows into
a garden filled with the purpling clouds of evening.

Adjacent, that red compass point, anchors inner and outer worlds–a tall vase
in the garden stands in all weathers, on red bricks laid by us. Fame & name.
Inside, a huge glass cherry, lipstick-bright, on its own pedestal: fruit of career.

Balancing lone insight, pink with potential, the rosy dreams
only life with a partner can provide. Also the essential necessities—
from cook books to record books, umbrellas and washtubs—that make dreams real.

Fragrance of oranges in the kitchen. Orange of stove flame
and curried pumpkin. A busy room with four doorways.
Children’s art on the refrigerator. All the best comforts of home.

Travel on toward the dining table and our home school room.
We gather here together, friends. Thank you for your wisdom
and good will, the teachings you share, and every earned white hair.

Arrive here, in the center, the balance wheel of radiant health
governing all else. Here find the polished broomstick,
glowing lotus scroll, and fine pocket watch bathed in golden light.

And from this inward resting place, a flight
of stairs, curving up toward a pearly moon,
the next level of lively adventure.

Leslie Schultz

I have been inspired by the concentrated wisdom of the Feng Shui bagua for many years. I have read a lot and played around with the ideas surrounding “the Chinese Art of Placement.” As a quilter, the bagua reads not only as a compass for balanced life but as a classic nine-patch quilt square.

This is a collage I made in 2010 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Northfield Arts Guild, part of a fundraiser for the NAG in which visual art was made, donated, displayed in local businesses, and then auctioned off.  My piece–a photography version of a quilt– was displayed for a time at Bierman’s Furniture Store on Division Street. I later made a true cloth quilt version to hang in my kitchen using the same fabrics. (Discerning readers will also note that the favicon for Winona Media is inspired by this piece. It was designed for me by a young artist, Teagan Cole.)

Here is a vintage photo of me with my softer, quilted version of the piece:

Thanks for hanging in there this month! Hope to see you tomorrow. Meanwhile, happy reading! Happy writing! Happy life!

L E  S
L  I   E
@@@

Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!

Categories: Citizens

Daily Tanka: The End of the World

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Sat, 04/08/2017 - 8:24pm

The End of the World

Everyone has a
Favorite end of the world.
Jesus. Aliens.
A free market. A comet.
I hope the glaciers return.

Categories: Citizens

April 8, 2017 Poem “Barcelona”

Winona Media (Leslie Schultz) - Sat, 04/08/2017 - 6:18am

Barcelona
 
I dream, from time to time, of Barcelona.
When the lakes are frozen and the engines won’t turn over,
when no letters from friends inhabit the mailbox
and my own words stick in my teeth,
when I can’t sleep or I sleep too much,
then I summon visions of Barcelona.

I know people who’ve been to Barcelona.
They leave the prairie towns of Minnesota,
fly into the dawn, then land at golden evening
on an azure shore of the Mediterranean,
ready to dine on octopus and saffron.
Sometimes they bring me back a small, bright trinket.

I have never been to enchanting Barcelona,
nor seen clay mushrooms soar cathedral-wise
(inspired ambition eternally unfinished);
I cannot pronounce my name in Catalan.
But I can imagine walking those sun-baked streets,
glazed mosaics glinting with shattered logic,

realigning scattered pieces in new pictures,
reminding broken hearts of future beauty.
It is good to have a place I will never go,
like Oz but better, a thriving foreign city,
where real life unfolds serene without me.
Sé que encanta Barcelona. Barcelona me encantó.

Leslie Schultz

(Image of Barcelonain mosaic from photo in the public domain)

Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!

Categories: Citizens

Daily Tanka: Sleep Trails

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Fri, 04/07/2017 - 11:20pm

Sleep Trails

Failing asleep, I
Take mental rides on the trails
I’ll hit tomorrow
Or that I rode last winter
Turns, straights, climbs, downhills, vistas.

Categories: Citizens

tRump loses again in Federal Court! Oh, Baltimore…

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Fri, 04/07/2017 - 2:39pm

Our Loser-in-Chief has lost again, this time in his attempt to torpedo the Consent Decree, settled after the investigation by the Department of Justice into practices of the Baltimore Police Department.

Judge-Bredar-ruling-on-Baltimore-consent-decree_4-7-2017

It all started with a complaint, after the Freddie Gray shooting and subsequent unrest in Baltimore, against the Baltimore Police and the City, alleging Constitutional violations, and then an intense investigation of the Baltimore Police Department.  Since tRump’s inauguration, and after the settlement was reached, a Motion was filed by “the Government” in essence requesting “an additional opportunity to consider whether it wants the Court to enter the decree at all, or at least the current version of it.”  From the Order:

The parties have already agreed to the draft before the Court. It would be extraordinary for the Court to permit one side to unilaterally amend an agreement already jointly reached and signed. Moreover, early in the Court‟s review of the joint motion, but after the new administration was in office in Washington, the Government affirmed its commitment to this draft and urged the Court to sign it. (Tr. of Hrg. 7:10-24, ECF No. 20.) The Defendants, for their part, continue to urge entry of the proposed decree, consistent with the earlier joint submission. (Statement of Acting City Solicitor David Ralph in open Court, Hrg. on April 6, 2017, transcript not yet available.)

As between the parties, this case is settled. All that remains is for the Court to make its determinations under United States v. North Carolina, and it has done so above.1 The case is no longer in a phase where any party is unilaterally entitled to reconsider the terms of the settlement; the parties are bound to each other by their prior agreement. The time for negotiating the agreement is over.

As always, the footnotes are where it’s at, in this case pointing out the paucity of tRump’s arguments:

There’s a distinct trend when tRump’s administration goes to court.  L-O-S-E-R!  Now, tRump, just stop it, and take all these federal court orders and decisions into account before you stick your foot in it again.

Categories: Citizens

Lab USA Ash Mining – PCA says “No EIS needed”

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Fri, 04/07/2017 - 10:57am

No surprise.  BUT, many issues not addressed, and many comments not registering, much less considered, it seems.  Minnesota Pollution Control Agency “reviewed” the Lab USA Environmental Assessment and Comments and determined that:

And the bottom line:

Here’s the full document, check it out:

Lab USA FOF (MPCA Final)

Note they do not address the Water Tank Mound, which comprises much of the Red Wing lay down yard site, and there is no acknowledgement, much less characterization or use in modeling, of the La Crosse incinerator ash that’s trucked in, and something like 50% of that is old railroad ties full of creosote.  Pretty toxic stuff, that creosote.

Something odd — if not for a little birdie, I’d not have known that this was issued, no service, no notice, nada. ???  Thank you, little birdie!!!

Categories: Citizens

April 7, 2017 Poem: “At Home, after April the First”

Winona Media (Leslie Schultz) - Fri, 04/07/2017 - 9:40am

At Home after April the First
(for My Great-grandmother, Katherine Hinman Williamson Schultz)
 
I remember 521 Broad Street,
that solid, brown, two-story house you built
with Emil, local pharmacist. Bridegroom
and bride, yet already quite adult,
were you—zaftig Edwardian thirty-
something—carried over the new threshold
into the hallway and polished music room?

Here is an invitation, on thick cream stock,
to your wedding. It floated for years around
that snug-built but lofty house on the bank
of the Menasha River, was somehow washed
here, to me, in the next century. And
another card announcing when town folk
could call. To announce your new rank

as a married woman, your calling card:
this one, the smallest, in thin gothic script.
A triplet of transformation. You grew
fifty years older there, went from plump to lank,
always loving (if not Emil) then a good joke,
a witty gesture or phrase turned neat,
even, Kate, when the joke was on you.

Leslie Schultz

Some years ago, I wrote a long post about this great-grandmother–part of a series of four–and there is a poem in my collection about the house she built that mentions her piano and her son and daughter-in-law. This morning, I realized, it was high time that she had her own poem.

Leslie

Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!

Categories: Citizens

Daily Tanka: 1992 in my ears

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Thu, 04/06/2017 - 10:58pm

1992 in my ears
Which neurons can be
Blamed or thanked for conjuring
A line from a song
I’ve loved since I was nineteen:
What a life a mess can be.

Categories: Citizens

Rear wheel unweighting vs real wheel lift: Episode #2 of the MTBSN podcast on Mountain Bike Radio

Mountain Bike Geezer - Thu, 04/06/2017 - 12:59pm

Episode #2 of my MTBSN podcast on Mountain Bike Radio is now available. Main topic: rear wheel unweighting.

See the show notes and links on the MBR page for Episode #2 .

 

TRANSCRIPT

Introduction:

Hey! Welcome to Episode #2 of the Mountain Bike Skills Network podcast. My name is Griff Wigley, also known as the mountain bike geezer. I’m the guy behind the Mountain Bike Skills Network blog, podcast, and online community, all designed to help you, the recreational mountain biker, have more fun while riding more challenging trails, terrain, and features with less fear and fewer crashes. That’s an overstuffed sentence so let me make it more concise: more fun with more challenge; less fear with fewer crashes.

You can learn more about the Mountain Bike Skills Network at mountainbikegeezer.com

I’m coming to you from my world headquarters – my basement office in the small town of Northfield in the southern part of Minnesota, a state in the upper midwest region of the USA.

In today’s show, I first want to talk about a fundamental skill that’s not only seldom mentioned out there on the intertubes but also not taught in most beginner and intermediate level mtb clinics: rear wheel unweighting which is not quite the same as a rear wheel lift. A whole new world of technical fun will open up to you once you get it ingrained, no pedal scooping required.

After that, I’m going to provide a bit of a roundup of what’s happening in our online community, as it seems to be turning a fun place to learn and hangout, with almost as many women participating as men.

Rear wheel unweighting vs real wheel lift

I started a topic on rear wheel unweighting vs rear wheel lift in our MTBSN FB group on March 10. I linked to a Global Mountain Bike Network video in which Hans ‘No Way’ Rey (the original Danny McAskill) instructs the two Global Mountain Bike Network guys on a much simpler technique to get over the rock than the rear wheel lift they were doing. He doesn’t say it but it’s rear wheel unweighting. His voice:

“Try it, and let the rear wheel hit the rock, and in the same moment it hits, you lean slightly forward, or get out of the saddle for a split second. And then that’s all it really takes. See, right when you hit the rock, you get out of the saddle real quick, and that’s all it takes. So you don’t have to over-exaggerate the move. “

It caught my attention because I found it to be odd last year that neither IMBA Instructor Certification Program Level 2 nor Professional Mountain Bike Instructor Association – PMBIA Level 1 taught this unweighting technique in their beginner/intermediate instructor training courses. Rather, they both emphasized lifting the rear wheel with a scooping/clawing of the pedal with the rear foot. That always has seemed to me to be a much more complex maneuver, a step that should be taught AFTER rear wheel unweighting has become second nature.

So think about this: What do you do when your rear wheel is about to impact a decent size rock, log, or ledge?

I would guess that many of you count on some combination of A) momentum, B) traction; C) your bike’s rear suspension, if you have it; and D) hope and prayer, to get that rear tire over the obstacle.

Depending on what type of trails you ride, that probably works 90% of the time so you don’t even think about it. And when you do fail to get over the obstacle and have to put your foot down, what goes through your rationalizing brain? It’s probably something like:

“I need more speed next time” or “I need new tires” or “I need a full suspension bike” or “I bet I could get over that with my other bike”. Worse yet, if you’ve gotten over the obstacle in the past, “I must be getting old” or “I need to get back into better shape” or “what’s wrong with me”

So I’m suggesting that you consider another possibility: you didn’t unweight the rear wheel. When momentum and traction are in short supply, that’s when you need it the most.

It’s surprising how effective this simple technique is for helping you to get up and over even large obstacles — big boulders, logovers and uphill ledges — the unweighting motion just has to be more exaggerated.
Of course, your approach speed is another factor that dictates technique. If you have a tight turn prior to a log or other obstacle, for example, that’s when you might need drivetrain power, usually the 3/4 pedal stroke technique. More on that technique in a future episode.

Another regular contributor, Olle Svensk Strand, chimed in with another advantage of unweighting over a rear wheel lift – keeping your rear tire in contact with the ground or obstacle just enough to provide some traction as you keep pedaling forward, especially if in a ascent. If you do a rear wheel lift, you have to stop pedaling to get your rear wheel is in the air.

So how do you do basic rear wheel unweighting?

The Global Mountain Bike Network video featuring Hans Rey that I mentioned earlier is a good place to start.

Also, Lee McCormack, mtb instructor and owner of Lee Likes Bikes and co-author of the book Mastering Mountain Bike Skills, nails this rear wheel unweighting technique perfectly, IMHO, in the 2nd Edition, pages 109-113.

In the online discussion, Ashwin Amanna, one of our regular contributors, linked to a Seth’s bike hacks video on learning to bunny hop in which the whole first segment of Seth’s video is devoted to unweighting the rear wheel. I like Seth’s progression advice in that video, too.

I made a short video a couple years ago, demonstrating rear wheel unweighting on some small pieces of wood in a parking lot, and I’ve added that to the online discussion. In the last segment, in which I ride up a curb, it might look like I’m using a scooping or lifting technique with my rear foot, toes pointed down. But I’m not. I’m just leaping, with hand pressure on my bars opposed with foot pressure on my pedals — the ‘bowl technique’ taught by Ryan Leech, another helpful tip from Ashwin Amanna in the discussion. More on this technique in a future episode, too.

So if my rant about rear wheel unweighting makes no sense to you, or if you disagree with some of what I’ve said, or if it resonates with your experience, be sure to join the discussion in the Mountain Bike Skills Network Facebook Group. I’ll put a link right to it in the show notes. There are a couple dozen comments there already from a half dozen people, including this one from Kathy Thompson who wrote:

This makes me feel vindicated. I’ve been using rear wheel unweighting technique quite awhile as I too have trouble with the “scoop” method. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you, Kathy. Spread the word!

Online Community Roundup – MTB Skills Network Facebook group

Okay, time for a short roundup of miscellaneous stuff from the Mountain Bike Skills Network Facebook group, the FREE group open to anyone who’s interested in developing their mountain biking skills. A reminder: A Facebook Group is more like a web message board or forum — an online community in which the communication is many-to-many. A Facebook Page is more like a blog that allows comments on the posts but it’s primarily a one-to-many publishing environment. I’ll link to the Mountain Bike Skills Network Facebook group in the show notes but if you do a Facebook search, be aware: my Page has the same name. If you do land on the page, you’ll see the cover image of me, inviting you to join the Group because that’s where all the action is.

We just passed the 1,000 member milestone in Mountain Bike Skills Network Facebook group, which is tiny in comparison to most other MTB-related FB groups but I’m pretty happy with both the quality and quantity of the participation. During the month of March, many different people added posts (I review and approve only those posts that I think are appropriate); nearly 300 different people added over 1,500 comments.

As I mentioned to Ben in the first episode, we have a relatively high percentage of women members – I haven’t counted lately but it’s around a third – and many of them are actively participating. I admit women to the group right away, usually within a day. There’s a waiting list for men, currently averaging around 100. I admit 5-10 men per day, depending on the number of women I’ve admitted. And I’m still greeting everyone individually with a welcome via Facebook Messenger. If I get a response, I invite them to introduce themselves in the special Greetings/Welcome topic. Almost 300 people have done so and it’s kind of cool to see so many people from around the world who’ve joined us.

One of things I started doing in March were Just for Fun posts in which I ask for quick responses on something mtb-related, just a way for people to weigh in without having to participate in a discussion. We did four of these and they generated hundreds of responses:

JUST FOR FUN #1: Fill in the blank: The mountain bike I’ll be riding the most in the next couple of months is a __________ (AOK to include a photo)

JUST FOR FUN #2: Post a photo (no videos) of you riding an obstacle or a section of terrain that you weren’t able to do when you first started mountain biking.

JUST FOR FUN #3: Post a photo of your bike leaning against something that shows an obstacle or section of terrain that you’ve ridden at least once, a variation of what happens in the FB Group titled “Look at My Bike Leaning Against Stuff.”)

JUST FOR FUN #4: Fill in the blank (see rule below): “The last time I crashed on my mountain bike I was _____” Since this group has more men than women, my RULE for this post is: MEN CAN ONLY COMMENT IF THE MOST RECENT COMMENT IS BY A WOMAN.

JUST FOR FUN #5: I just posted a new one for April: My MTB practice-related goal for the month of April is ____”

These posts don’t expire so if you’d like to chime in, just do search for the phrase “just for fun” in quotation marks. FB doesn’t have a great search feature but that seems to work pretty well.

Wrapping up

You can find today’s show notes over at mountainbikeradio.com/mtbskills/
I’m interested in your feedback and suggestions so comment there on Episode 2 or, if you’re on Facebook, join the Mountain Bike Skills Network Facebook Group and attach your comment to the Episode 2 post.

Also in the show notes is my affiliate link to instructor Ryan Leech’s web site. Ryan has many comprehensive online courses for learning mountain bike skills, many of which I’ve taken and 3 of which I’m taking now.

Thanks for listening today, I’ll chat with you in Episode 3, due mid-April, maybe sooner.

END OF EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

The post Rear wheel unweighting vs real wheel lift: Episode #2 of the MTBSN podcast on Mountain Bike Radio appeared first on Mountain Bike Skills Network.

Categories: Citizens

April 6, 2017 Poem: “A Bowl of Blackberries”

Winona Media (Leslie Schultz) - Thu, 04/06/2017 - 7:19am

A Bowl of Blackberries

Like its very distant cousin, the crisp and alabaster lotus,
the blackberry sinks roots deep in moist sand and mud;
but instead of a long, pure, central shaft rising
to support a single porcelain-white bowl filled with calm light,
the blackberry unspools its prickling brambles laterally—
meters and meters of looping, minute red thorns
spun headlong on tough, green cables resistant to pruning, each burning
with a myriad of fruit. Some I now see resting here:
a heap of honeyed coals, and each one alive with embers,
clusters of summer fire, alight with understory
of blood-purpled cordial, precious as caviar or eyesight or
fireflies; like justice outpacing mercy, each delivering
its complex cluster of sweet but stinging juice
with the prophetic bitter wood of seed.

Leslie Schultz

This poem started from looking more closely at things I see every day in my dining room and kitchen. I went to bed last night and awoke dreaming of blackberries, lotuses, and light.

Hope your day is full of sweet surprises!

LESLIE

Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!

Categories: Citizens

Daily Tanka: Snackwork

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Wed, 04/05/2017 - 10:20pm

Snackwork
Without a massive
Project to eat my desk,
I snack on small tasks.
Emails, articles, phone calls,
Chats, all washed down with coffee.

Categories: Citizens

April 5, 2017 Poem: “Maple, Sky, Clouds”

Winona Media (Leslie Schultz) - Wed, 04/05/2017 - 5:24am

Maple, Sky, Clouds

White dappled blue, tapped by red—
looking up at the spring sky
upends my human head.
I don’t imagine I now can fly;

I feel as though I’m falling
into a welcoming well;
that something or someone is calling
or ringing a silver bell,

inviting me downward, and deeper
than I’ve ever ventured before—
Like Alice, I’m falling steeper
than the earth’s magnetic core,

and I’ll finally get to the bottom
of something I need to know,
where something waits, wise and solemn,
beneath this sweet vertigo.

Leslie Schultz

I find it both nerve-wracking and exhilarating to write a new poem and make it public on the same day. It helps if I regard it in a painterly way, as a sketch or a plein-air study. Today’s poem was inspired by these images I took yesterday in our garden, and, despite the formal differences, by the NaPoWriMo prompt inspired by Mary Oliver. (The NaPoWriMo site has a link to a rare interview with her.)

Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!

Categories: Citizens

Daily Tanka: Ducks

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:15pm

Ducks

When ducks fly over
I look away, embarrassed.
The frantic curved wings,
The urgent, demanding calls.
Nature at its most frantic.

Categories: Citizens

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