Sunday, May 31, 2020


Read the book
 listen to Gladwell
on Joe Rogan's podcast ~
it's all a fine visit,

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Thursday, May 21, 2020


Robert Frost
portrait by Jeff Wrench


Dear Anyone and Everyone in Amherst, MA.,

I have been a regular visitor to your lively (when students are there), quiet (when students are gone) town for well over fifty years.

Recently my companion and I noticed, when waiting at the light at the main street four corners, a painted portrait of what appeared to be the actor Maggie Gyllenhaal and found that both interesting, yet strange. When we were on foot we saw on the reverse side (the sidewalk side) a painted portrait, and quite well done, of the poet Robert Frost. The younger Frost, when he lived in Derry, New Hampshire. Raising chickens.

Of course Frost was well acquainted with Amherst and Amherst College, but don’t you know Emily Dickinson lived a stone's throw down the road from where these portraits are on display? Wouldn’t it be awarding and receptive to have a portrait of Dickinson instead of Gyllenhaal at this popular four corners? Others must be questioning this as well.

At a leafy spot in town one might, one day, see a portrait of Robert Francis! More should know and read this poet.


Wednesday, May 20, 2020


Walking To The Barn

Walking to the barn

in the cold blue twilight

of this wintry day;

the water bucket steaming

to make warm mash for our toothless horse.

The horse is older;

the bucket heavier with the passing years.

We duck beneath the breeze-supple branches

of a young cedar seeking the

open light of the trail.

Its green brushes us as we pass,

Mall stops and whispers,

"To be touched by a tree is a blessing."


Tom Jay
The Blossoms are Ghosts
At the Wedding
Empty Bowl

Monday, May 18, 2020



Sometime in June — I'm off building now through the summer — I will start up a weekly showcase from my book of portraits Poets Who Sleep. There are many. Probably the best way to share this big book is to display a dozen portraits each Monday until the book is all seen. This will take one year. The book is available to purchase from Longhouse. There is also a full on-line version of the book, complete, that can be purchased.

The Poets Who Sleep portraits each Monday will take over my usual spot of showing my own writings. I'll find another day in the week to show my work, and another day to show another poet's work, or two poets, or three. Let's see what happens. I've been showing the Birdhouse for a dozen years now, nearly every day with something, and I'm now up for a little change of scene.

Building has been going on here since early spring and will continue into the fall. There is a zombie virus circulating around the world while this has all been happening. Many very unfortunate have fallen, and I suggest you look carefully who has received an advantage perch during this pandemic — there are a handful — at what they plan to gain. Their hearts are not good.

By winter, when we crouch down back into the abode, I will certainly want to get back to sharing books, music, cinema, and the day's highlights. Be here. All's well.

"tool belt"
Susan Arnold

Sunday, May 17, 2020


Along the Kamo

The old men play

Shōgi  and blow

petals off the board

Gregory Dunne
Other / Wise
Isobar Press

Saturday, May 16, 2020



Be ahead of all parting, as if it were
behind you like the winter just passing now.
For among winters there's one such endless winter,
that, overwintering, your heart for all time overcomes.

Always be dead in Eurydice; with stronger song,
giving more powerful praise, re-ascend to pure relation.
Here, among the vanishing ones, in the realm of decline,
be as a ringing glass, already shattered by ringing.

Be, and know at the same time the terms of non-being—
endless reason for your intense vibration,
so you may perfectly, this one time, achieve it.

Count yourself in with the used as well as the dumb, dark
stores of bountiful nature, with the unsayable sums.
Count yourself, jubilantly, and cancel the count.


Sei allem Abschied voran, als wäre er hinter
dir, wie der Winter, der eben geht.
Denn unter Wintern ist einer so endlos Winter,
dass, überwinternd, dein Herz überhaupt übersteht.

Sei immer tot in Euridike —, singender steige,
preisender steige zurück in den reinen Bezug.
Hier, unter Schwindenden, sei, im Reiche der Neige,
sei ein klingendes Glas, das sich im Klang schon zerschlug.

Sei — und wisse zugleich des Nicht-Seins Bedingung,
den unendlichen Grund deiner innigen Schwingung,
dass du sie völlig vollziehst dieses einzige Mal.

Zu dem gebrauchten, sowohl wie zum dumpfen und stummen
Vorrat der vollen Natur, den unsäglichen Summen,
zähle dich jubelnd hinzu und vernichte die Zahl.

_____________________________Rainer Maria RilkeTranslated from the German by Christiane MarksSonnets to OrpheusOpen Letter2019

Monday, May 11, 2020

YOKEL ( 30 ) ~

Little Differences

I don’t know that much about furnaces

So I listen to Native

Native hasn’t read a book in twenty years

So he listens to me


Strange to see —

A sofa abandoned

In the woods

Off a dirt road

By the river we hike

No one around for miles

We turn the sofa back

Onto its legs, sit down

Call the dog up with us







trail the

woods all



Bob Arnold hails from a long lineage of 
lumbermen, loggers, and builders who settled in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, just south of the Green Mountains, in the 1700s. He began working as a builder in the 1960s and hasn’t stopped, having built homes and stone structures in his region of southern Vermont for over five decades. 

His books On Stone, a builder’s notebook
and Sunswumthru A Building address much of this world, while By Heart, pages from a lost Vermont  begins a storytelling which will connect with present day Yokel.

Since 1971 he has edited & published hundreds of journals, books and anthologies of other writers with his wife Susan. His books of poetry & prose have appeared almost every year since 1974. Bob also authors a blog : A Longhouse Birdhouse: surveying books, music, cinema and earth ways.

Bob Arnold