Thursday, October 23, 2014


Fault Line

Gerry Loose

Vagabond Voices

Glasgow, Scotland

light does not fall

night does not fall

night rises

as dawn rises

twilight becomes


Tuesday, October 21, 2014



Thousand Times Broken
Three Books
Translated from the French
by Gillian Conoley


 What's needed



Monday, October 20, 2014


Merrill Gilfillan

Laurel Bloomery:
"The Past Is Distant"


The past is distant.

The redbird whistling in the distance

is the distance.

Middle March

Why would a meadowlark

     be singing

           on a deadbeat day like this?

Two Hawks

Two hawks

in honeyed circles interlocked

on the one thought.

Sweetgrass Hills

These Northern Lights

     so hard

          to read by.

Hare's Ear

That boy

     raised by meadowlarks

          talks funny.

Wind in the Trees

Wake up at two

wondering about the monkeys

in the dark zoo.

Autumn Sky

And now we know for certain

to be in two places at once

not nearly enough.


Born in Mount Gilead, Ohio in 1945 and today living in Colorado, Longhouse has published Merrill, and these chosen poems are a certain personal bias very late at night with a pencil flicking onto small poems read by one small light. It some times happens this way.

Let it be known there are many other poems in this book of flight, longer and prose poem and middle size, too. All sizes. Like shoes.

 [ BA ]

Photographs by John Sarsgard


Red Mavis
Merrill Gilfillan
Flood Editions, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Like Musical Instruments
83 Contemporary American Poets
John Sarsgard, photographs
Larry Fagin, edited (poems)
Broadstone Books
Frankfort, Kentucky

Saturday, October 18, 2014


The ten inch tee-hinge bolted into place.

Again, use the truck as saw-horse and build the chapel doors.

A view into the work site from the road.

The versatile portable drill, and versatile short screws.

After the traveler passes by on the road along the stone wall comes the chalkboard and often a poem.

One finished pine door, and one more to match. I wanted to build both doors over two days, then take the third day off with Sweetheart and our bicycles.

The overhead lumber rack is now in place.

Bed the screw.

Getting ready to hang two doors.

These two jacks, who have traveled with me for decades (and look it) are the helpers deluxe when coming to lift the doors into position. Spruce blocks, wood shingle shims, any old board also help the installment along.


After one of two doors is bolted into place (not screws), measure out and see how the next door has a clearance magic of "1/4." That's what you're shooting for.

Both doors up and plumb, windows aligned, closing without complaint.

Here we have the doors almost finished, painted two-color and a brace against the door waiting for hardware to be installed. The bottom of both doors will have a hinged flap installed to be lifted during deep snow (winter) and back down for normal use.

If you look closely, the day after I finished building the chapel, a tree crew scheduled for October arrived a month earlier than expected, with a crane, and removed a mammoth white pine tree and this twin sugar maple tree right next to the chapel. You can see the saw chips on the stonewall. I asked the crew to leave ten feet of one of the maple trees and level the top. On that top I plan to install something . . . the ideas are percolating. The new sunshine, without the trees, is quite a gift.

Begin stenciling the big doors — one first coat and then go over the petals, free hand, with a second coat. The building will be stenciled with one thick tube of yellow paint.

Tap tap tap the color in and don't let your hand slip. The masking tape doesn't work on the painted steel surface anyway.

The rarely seen back wall faces the woods and for the moment has one line trace of leaves. I will do another line of leaves higher up before snow falls.

Some times with stenciling, a little is better than a lot more.

Remember the scaffolding? — well, after I dismantled that, I chopped some of it up and built this ladder to the second floor loft. It's all built into the space between the studs and takes up no extra room.

The finished building with stenciled doors and both flaps on the bottom of the doors to be lifted only when needed. The extra long 6 x 6 sill to the left of the photograph has since been cut back close to the post and beveled. We're done.

Scott's "Archer" (steward) was sent decades ago here to us from his ironworks in Maine.
We brought him over to this new spot to see how he likes it. So far, not a peep.


photos 2014  © bob & susan arnold

Friday, October 17, 2014






                          “ …that which we call a rose

       By any other name would smell as sweet.”


                       Romeo and Juliet, Act II, sc.1

There were lots of wild plum trees in the fencerows,

and when they bloomed, they put out a sweet smell

and there are lilacs on almost every farm; in fact,

that big hedgerow over by you has been there forever.

And in the springtime the aroma of the apple trees.

When the white blossoms of the honey locusts

come in, they are pretty to look at, and fragrant, too,

but people think of them as nothing more than weeds.

And this time of the year everybody’s spreading manure

or now its maybe emptying the pit. It smells like liquid gold

because commercial fertilizer costs so much.

The rain itself has a really great smell that I’m sure

is different in different places. But one of the nicest smells

of course, is hay, that’s new cut, alfalfa, and then if

its conditioned, crinkled a bit, the smell of hay when its

dry and ready to bale—or a load of hay in the barn

if it isn’t heating, a load that’s dried and stored.

With good silage I have to pick it up and smell it

because it’s so good. If you are filling silo, a lot

of the silage spills out the side and if you don’t

clean it up and it rains overnight and then it gets

hot and muggy and starts molding—that’s a whole

nuther smell, a bad one, like rancid butter

but one you’d recognize right away. When you

get it on your clothes, it won’t come off. Both our

families were German—we made silage the same way

we made sauerkraut. Dairy farmers back east made it

from green corn fodder and it caught on out here.

There’s the smell of the dairy barn, summer or winter.

We used to milk by hand so you smelled the milk

in the pail and that had a very nice vapor to it.

Even the cows, their breaths can be bad or

it can be pretty good if they are happy—so

a contented barn has its own certain smell, too.

After the cows go out in the pasture, the manure

is loose, it’s very fresh, distinctive, mixed with

the grass, and they’re crushing the grass, and

lying on it, so when the cows are pasturing

there’s a tremendous number of smells that

would trigger your memories of this place.

We used to have hives up here, and when

it was hot, the bees would be fanning.

I’d move in close and the action of their wings

would waft the smell of honey from the boxes.

There are still some wild plums down in the woods

but very few. They used to be kind of thick

in the fencerows --our neighbor, George,

instead of cleaning out the fencerow

he’d just move the fence in a little more

so it came to be about 16 feet wide.

So we had to cut that back. We must have

grubbed out all the plums when I was

in high school, which was bad for the birds

but simplified things. That’s where all the plums were.

We did save a few, transplanted here in the yard

so I can still breathe in their scent, taste that tart jam.

Thanks to Bob Redig                                                                                 8/25/14


Diet For The Smallest Planet

  Ken McCullough. Diet For The Smallest Planet. In three-color fold out performance. 
 Foldout booklet. $10 postpaid from Longhouse. 

Ken McCullough was born in Staten Island, N.Y., but spent his formative years in St. John’s, Newfoundland. More recently, he has drawn inspiration from the mountains of Montana and Wyoming and the blufflands of the Upper Mississippi. In 1992 he was adopted into the Miniconjou band of the Lakota Nation. He is a graduate of St. Andrew’s School, the setting for Dead Poets Society, and has degrees from the University of Delaware and the Writers’ Workshop of the University of Iowa.

McCullough’s most recent books of poetry are Walking Backwards, Sicomoro.Oropéndola (published in Colombia), and Broken Gates, as well as a book of stories, Left Hand. He has received numerous awards for his poetry. McCullough has worked closely with Cambodian poet U Sam Oeur, survivor of the Pol Pot regime; they have published Sacred Vows, a bilingual edition of U’s poetry, and Crossing Three Wildernesses, a memoir. McCullough has two sons, Galway and Orion. He lives on a farm outside Winona, MN with his wife, Lynn Nankivil, a playwright. In 2014, McCullough will start his second term as Poet Laureate of Winona.