Wednesday, November 30, 2016


"The Friends of Eddie Coyle is the most powerful
and frightening crime novel that I have read this
year. It will be remembered long after the year is
over, as marking the debut of a fine original talent."

R O S S     M A C D O N A L D

My copy of this great yarn with its kick in the head dialogue throughout is this cheap-o book club edition long after my original
copy was lent out and never returned and then my dog-eared paperback that was obviously enjoyed by many readers or one dog of a reader before me, and if the book isn't enough to satisfy your lust, do go to the film version starring a terrific and rumpled cast including Robert Mitchum as Eddie Coyle. Who else could have been "Eddie fingers?!" No one, not even close.
The director of the film, Peter Yates, British-born with a keen eye and ear to bloody America, made Bullitt in 1968 with this equal masterpiece in 1973. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


The Library of America 2016

"More than a rock in my belly, I have a waterfall in my brain;
a rose in my eye, a beautiful eye; and what's in my heart but a
mountainside, and what's in my skull; a light. And in my throat
a bird. And I have in my soul, in my arm, in my mind, in my
blood, in my bean a grindstone of plaints which grinds rock
into water, and the water is warmed by fires, and sweetened by
elixirs, and becomes the pool of contemplation of the dearness
of life. In my mind I cry. In my heart I think. In my eye I love.
In my breast I see. In my soul I become. In my shroud I will
die. In my grave I will change."

J A C K      K E R O U A C
1950 "Private Philologies"

Monday, November 28, 2016



I find

New stars —

New designs —

Without the

Chart in

My hands


                                          You can think there is

                                          But there is nothing

                                          Quite like you undressing

                                          Me who has undressed you


it’s snow


into her


pail of



onto a





back from

the hen



inside her



Take a blanket of red wool

Fold it into a cushion square

Beside flames of the wood fire

Where lamplight of the room

Falls the best, and right there

In the heat, away from winter

With your loom of sanded birch

I’ll watch you weave the moon

Stars, river and mountains

From a trail we’re on of thread


Bob Arnold

Once In Vermont


photo ~ bob arnold

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Friday, November 25, 2016


A B B O T T     H A N D E R S O N     T H A Y E R

Abbott Handerson Thayer as a boy, ca. 1861 / Buckingham's Inc., photographer. Abbott Handerson Thayer and Thayer family papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Kevin M. Murphy
Williams College Museum of Art

more ~

Thursday, November 24, 2016



Wendell Berry with horses on his farm
Courtesy of Platform Media Group




To care for what we know requires

care for what we don't, the world's lives

dark in the soil, dark in the dark.

Forbearance is the first care we give

to what we do not know. We live

by lives we don't intend, lives

that exceed our thoughts and needs, outlast

our designs, staying by passing through,

surviving again and again the risky passages

from ice to warmth, dark to light.

Rightness of scale is our second care:

the willingness to think and work

within the limits of our competence

to do no permanent wrong to anything

of permanent worth to the earth's life,

known or unknown, now or ever, never

destroying by knowledge, unknowingly,

what we do not know, so that the world

in its mystery, the known unknown world,

will live and thrive while we live.

                     .    .    .

And our competence to do no

permanent wrong to the land

is limited by the land's competence

to suffer our ignorance, our errors,

and — provided the scale

is right — to recover, to be made whole.


A Small Porch

Sabbath Poems 2014 and 2015
together with 
"The Presence of Nature in the Natural World:
A Long Conversation"

C O U N T E R P O I N T, 2016

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Paul Klee's Boat

Soon it will be winter and soon

a nightingale with a bandaged throat,

a plum tree in bloom, and a white

hill pushed up against the door.

Illness arrives like Mozart,

sits down at the black piano

and its voice touches with a single note.

I see January, a blockade,

you're sketching Paul Klee's boat,

big on petite.

It sails along, the fool, not knowing —

can't brush the wave from its eyelash.

Somewhere a shutter bangs shut,

and you bend toward the sketch.

Mozart creates like a god!

And the two of us, childless.

We'd be husband and wife,

together forever it seemed.

But burned by Greeks and barbarians

we fled, leaving no trace.


Anzhelina Polonskaya
translated by the Russian by
Andrew Wachtel  
Zephyr Press

Tuesday, November 22, 2016



Harvard, 1998


[M]embers of labor unions, and unorganized unskilled workers, will sooner or later realize that their government is not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or to prevent jobs from being exported. Around the same time, they will realize that suburban white-collar workers — themselves desperately afraid of being downsized — are not going to let themselves be taxed to provide social benefits for anyone else.
At that point, something will crack. The nonsuburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking around for a strongman to vote for — someone willing to assure them that, once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen, and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots. …
One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past 40 years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. … All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet.

R I C H A R D      R O R T Y,  1998

Monday, November 21, 2016


Gathering Wood

Dark dark in the woods

My son walks, stumbles

Over brush and limbs, looks

Where to step by watching

My legs — how I do it —

Carrying the saw, not

Much talk (he is only two)

But instead we seem to be

Singing quietly about end

Of day around us, the tall

Trees taking light, his hands

Grip dry sticks for a cookstove

And the love of his mother,

We are heading back home

5 Year Old Logic
On A Winter Night

Under quilts he

says he is too hot

folding down the bed to

a sheet & one blanket

he looks up & says

he is too cold


We hiked into the woodlot first snow

Brought home a tree for the holidays

Misshapen hemlock few would look twice at

And because you were sick we held the

Tree outside the kitchen window for

You to see, smile, nod an approval

Point quickly to a chickadee

Off on a high branch

End of Story

Looking out at the hillside

Across the river and over the

Trees from our home Carson asks —

“Did we climb that mountain?”

I say, “No, but mommy and I did.”

Nodding, he decides, “Oh yeah,

We climbed that before I was born.”

Another Simple Story

We skated and skated

Later looking over

The lake north to

Snow clouds coming

And skated some more

(you do that with a child)

And because of that

Drove home in snow


Bob Arnold
Once In Vermont

painting by Bob Arnold