Sunday, February 28, 2021



Seventy Feet From 

The Magnolia Blossom

there is an ant.

He is carrying

a heavy load —

We should help him.


Jane Mead (1958~-2019)

The Usable Field

Alice James Books


Saturday, February 27, 2021

Friday, February 26, 2021

Thursday, February 25, 2021


Misplaced Kansas

In nineteen forty-nine,

when the Walter Shuhler farm

was about fixed up as a dairy,

a cyclone came up Butter Valley,

Sunday evening, "a little before nine —

twenty minutes to nine," the sky darkened.

"We were in the barn. Didn't hurry.

We had this and that to do,

but as we came to the house,

we saw it was very black,

and I noticed a flickering, I said to Florence,

'It's a cyclone over the hill there.'

I recognized it from Kansas,

we ran then. I wanted to pull the electric switch

in the cellar. I told the family,

'Keep away from the window.'

Lucky they were all inside.

When I pulled the switch, it was pitch dark.

I could see flashes. I could see rafters fly over

I didn't know they were from my own house.

There was a kind of deep roaring hum

that the wind and pressure make.

Everything was rocking and shaking,

whatever could shake. It was over

in about fifteen seconds.

We were the worse hit in the valley.

The house roof was off altogether,

and the chimneys. Most of the windows frames

were pushed right in. Outside,

everything was mashed up. The silos down.

All the big trees were over, flattened.

You can still see the stumps.

It came from the south

and was only a few hundred feet wide.

We were hit right in the middle.

If it wasn't for the house that split it,

it would have taken the barn. As it was,

when the house split it,

one part went down this way

and took the roof off a small pig stable.

The other part went that way

and took a chicken house, everything —

took it all away. The chickens

were scattered on the hill and next day

came walking back. I heard a few

were down in Clayton close to that

manufacturing place down there.

The barn wasn't hit

but on the barn side near the house

about fifteen feet of boards

broke where the house roof blew against it

and pushed the frame about two inches.

But just so the barn stayed. Lucky

the cattle were in the barn, it didn't hurt them.

I had started to make a hen house

out of a temporary croncrib.

I had two two-by-fours

nailed with eightpenny nails,

and the wind tore one of them to pieces

and din't touch the other.

Still it wasn't as bad as a fire.

But it was bad enough.

The trees that were over broke fences.

We were most of the night clearing the lane.

The next day,

shingles, tin, and nails lying all over

in the meadow and the fields.

If the cows eat wire or nails,

it will kill them, so we carefully

cleaned off the meadow first — that was still

where we mainly fed the cows —

and let the cows out. We put

a canvas over the house roof

and four days later, by Thursday,

we had the roof back on.

It was a cyclone, all right. Strange,

there never was one before

and never was one before

and never has been one since.

I've seen it in Kansas, a cloud

let down a wind funnel that would shoot along

faster than you could run

and everything it touched was gone.

But who'd think

that Kansas would chase you here?"


Millen Brand

Local Lives

Poems of the Pennsyvania Dutch

Potter, 1975


a gem of a book, published when Millen Brand was nearly 70 years old, having written the collection over some thirty-five years. Brand  is Pennsylvania German on his mother's side and lived for many years on Crow Hill near Bally amongst the farmers, tradesmen, factory workers, women and children and fellow storytellers. There is no book of poems like this one. The poems John Berger drew out of rural France in Pig Earth is akin, as is Drum Hadley's Borderland, and I'll be drawing from both those books over the next few weeks.

[ BA ]

Wednesday, February 24, 2021



An Music Interview by Josh Burkett

with Bob Arnold


signed by Bob Arnold
Free Shipping

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PO Box 2454

West Brattleboro, Vermont 05303

Monday, February 22, 2021


P O E T S     W H O     S L E E P


                                           drawn & scribed by Bob Arnold

Saturday, February 20, 2021




Many remember, as I do, reading James Ridgeway first in

I.F. Stone's terrific weekly journal, and later in the

Village Voice. I couldn't have lived and worked

any further from any city, but every week I had the

Village Voice and other important above ground

and underground publications delivered through

the US Mail (thank you) from our major

cities in America — Ramparts Magazine yet another,

Liberation, WIN, The Realist, Old Mole, Berkeley Barb,

the East Village Other, the list is mighty. I was a kid with

little money and these papers didn't cost all that much.

The day of the Democratic Convention in Chicago, 1968,

riots in the street, I kept current from small town America by walking

down my neighorhood street and into another street to the town

newstand and buying the New York Times (as I did each day).

All of 9 cents.

The other day, the New York Times told me

James Ridgeway had passed away.

Go look and find what treasury he left us.

[ BA ]

Friday, February 19, 2021





needlepoint of

chickadees in the

high pines

I'll wear their song

all day

Dark Light

Trying to remember

the names of

things I love.

The Milky Way

too heavy

for the roof to hold.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

John Martone ~ David Maria Turoldo


David Maria Turoldo

"O My Senses"

translated by John Martone


signed by John Martone
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Please use our email address of

Payable by check ~


PO Box 2454

West Brattleboro, Vermont 05303

Monday, February 15, 2021


P O E T S     W H O     S L E E P


                                           drawn & scribed by Bob Arnold

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Saturday, February 13, 2021



JOHN HAINES (1958-1960) ~


Two Poems After Li Po

I — Conversation

If you ask me why

I live here on

this lonely hillside

I will smile and say:

The autumn leaves

drift on the moving

water, and

the world of men

is far away.

II — Quiet Night

Moonlight spills

across the bed,

outside the frost

is deepening.

I lie awake and

watch the changing

shadows, thinking

of the lonely earth.

A Letter

                  after Li Chang-yin

I will not ask you

what we know too well,

the heart has

its own intelligence.

I lower the flame in the lamp

by the snowbound window

and let the moonlight in.

Two thousand miles away

you have said goodbye,

and there is no returning.

After Chu Yuan

With you

I will go down

to the river

and bathe in a quiet pool.

I will dry your hair

in the sun

singing a little,

facing the quiet wind.

With you

I will climb the slope

of evening,

warmed and content,

thinking of home.


John Haines

Of Your Passage, O Summer

Limberlost Press, 2004