Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mist in Morning

Mist down Blue Ridge.
Mist a myth.
It speaks
in whispers on week-day morns.

Lept-year into
new March
as fresh bright greens giggle
at early

Barn owl settles for calm
after winter
in winded
Ever heard his cry?

Little Jonquil

Morning mist,
promised rain.

Little jonquil laughing,
So it was cold?
Not I.
Brush off the fear,
and smile.

Rye fading.
Little sprouts wink.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Folded Secrets

Totero ran here,
and left no hints for the new ones.

Mahala grew here.

They watched and ran,
but not away.
In silence.

Wanting nothing.


Beautiful ones.
Most of my verses for you
will be private.
Most will be
shared only with us.

But you must know
how deep the feelings go.

Through the heart.

Pure joy on big son's face,
standing on the campus
before the doctors
brought news of
little son.

Pure perfection
in tiny babe's eyes
as she is born into
a world already

Purity of heart in
Seven years.
Teacher of new ideas
and bringer of new friends.
(While others disappeared.)
Cementer of a few, forever.

Three giggling souls
Touching the sky
together with
none of us
in your way.

Writing like fire

Am writing like fire now.
Rolling out.

Memories not of others
but of this one.

Angles not of others,
but of me.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Town Stories ~ Roanoke, Where Oakey Lived

It's taken me a lot of years to reconcile this town.
Town where my brother died.
Town where my grandfather prospered.

Town where my father led school change
(for the better).
Town not kind to my father after awhile
(power play).

Town where my teen years were
tumblesome, sadsome, and funagoodbit.
Like everyone's.

Where little girls of the '30s ran through Raleigh Court,
giggling, and
my cool aunt Nancy took me in her 
convertible to a movie starring
Elvis Presley.

Town where I started writing,
stopped writing to love,
will now write (late) for the remainder of my days.

Photo, today, at intersection of Colonial Avenue, Roanoke,
at Towers Mall. 

Just beyond the stop sign, what used to be a
quick summer's walk to Oakey Stump's sprawling brick home. 
My great-grandmother. 

Rail widow and native of Floyd County,
reveling in the city where she could take the bus to get nice
lingerie and raise children to work and go
to war.

Many stories & poems to come of grandfathers, fathers, brother, and 

Frog man

Frog man from Michael
long ago
in coastal Mississippi
on bayou seldom 

Frog man lost,
for years after 2005,
the year of 
the year of
the year
we drowned.

Frog man back.
Crawled up
and clawed, too.
Like us.
All of us.

Jupiter, Venus, and the Force?

Humble attempt at time/motion.

Jupiter rising, Venus in wait.

But Crescent Moon: 

She's on the move.

In flight.

Feathers floating, frenzy

of alignment.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Great White on walk.
Flying down Half Mile Road.

Oh, spinning.
So happy.

Grin at the end.

No cat in sight.

Mahala is Woman.

Mahala knows.
She will do as needed.
But new man will never know
Lover with arrow.

Will never know
Mahala’s spirit.

Will never know
the blackfoot running as swift wind off long mountain.

Mahala knows

Grandmother of many greats.

Sarah Mahala your daughter, 1803.
Mountain settler.

The free kingdom lies
deep within Cahas, the One.
Totero knows.
Mahala knows.

Folds of old stone holding green shoots.
Lands we burned for corn,
Deer running past rabbits, the owl carrying us.

The old men ask me,
Why is woman strong? What does she say?

Totero knows.

Great White and the Barn Cat

                                  We have a code,
                                  Great White and I,
                                  on her lead she is calm.

                                  Last night, 'tho,
                                  we went in the barn
                                  and Great White met Barn White,
                                  a fat wild cat and lover of crunch.

                                  They're both fine now.
                                  But in the swirl of 'discovery',
                                  this one landed on her
                                  on the lumber pile.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Mahala has arrived.
She has much to say.

Above, her granddaughter.
Tomorrow, her mountain.

Morning at Cahas Mountain

                           Tractor slid, mud flying.
                           Great White crazed by whipped winds.

                           Peaceful White, curled over clay.
                           Hawk at pine.
                           Tractor waits.


Friday, February 24, 2012

The Road Home

Evening, Callaway Road.

Five Mile Mountain waits.

Bird song.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

No-Name Creek as ground warms

   Soft creek
  from never-failing spring.

  To the Blackwater.

Blue on Biloxi brick


Hibiscus & crocus,
from the snows.

Brick, through Camille,
later Katrina.

Return to clay
from clay.

A cow named Sue

Neighbors' cows.
Guernseys, they of the rich cream.

They name 'em.
This being Sue.

But my favorite is LeBron.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Me & Buddy Guy

Husband & I enjoyed an evening with Buddy Guy at the fab Jefferson Center in Roanoke a few months back.

Glad our President got to meet him, too:

Bear scat

Usually not seen,
except at night,
in snow.

Bears, skating down
back pastures
into draught
of No-Name Creek.


Straight out

Snow melt,
Guernseys headed out.

On the road,
over the preachers.

Bumper sticker goes on today.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wake up

Sunrise over Callaway,

a Tuesday wake-up.

Hay time

Husband's Angus calves,

waiting for hay.

Missing rich pasture beneath.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Giz at 12

Gizmo Ku Chin the Pekingese.

Cried at Katrina.

Rebuilt with us.

Those who know him have always
walked a wide path.

But the years have brought loyalty,
and lost sight,
and big rides in the pickup
with his dad.

Great Pyrenees, warm sun

What thinks Coco
of the old guardian lineage
as she watches her pasture?

No sheep here, just
and blue birds.

And that giant Cooper's

Sissy at 18

Sweet kitten,
free to our 9 year old
years ago.

Survivor of Katrina.

Home now on our farm.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Snowing in silence

Silent snowfall, scampering songbirds.
Great White in circles.
Trees warmed by gift of cooling water
at thirsty roots.

Light, lingering, lovely snow,
licking limbs & pasture.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Racer

Junior gears.
Son's eyes.
Faster it goes.
Racing is here.

Three blackberries

friend with three blackberry bushes,
twice a friend,
vines into the years.
juicy blue-black on our mugs
in summer.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

First mobile post

And under the covers, at that! Think of the magic we'll find mobilized...

Turkey trot

Wealth in the natural world ~ great wild turkeys, 23 Husband counted today,

Blue mist lowering into the sleep of the wild and secretive draughts,

Andrew's star rising from west.

No-name Creek in winter

John said, it ain't got no name. So No-Name Creek it is, folding into the Blackwater at the edge of the Blue Ridge.

Husband cleared it out for a 'park', where the someday horse will ride.

Running clay tonight.

At Eidts Grove, once
My three children, Michael, Mary Catherine and Andrew. We lost Andrew to an hereditary disease a few years after this sweet shot in Eidts Grove, Ontario. Many poems under way on this topic. 

Loving Billy
Loss will be part of my theme, and of my poems. My brother Billy, in happy days of youth. A fisherman and a gentleman, and lover of nature. In bottom photo, in the late 1970s, we were watching for hawks riding thermals in the Appalachian mountains.

At Bethlehem

Misty morning, headed toward Bethlehem Road with much work to do. Learning to balance creative urges with research for essential projects.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My brother Billy's birthday

Today, Billy would have been 51. He was 8 years younger than I, and much smarter, kinder and gentler. We lost him at age 20 in a terrible accident that altered all of our lives forever. Invited to attend Harvard, he chose Boston University for sophomore year. At the time of the accident, he was thinking of many fresh options for the direction of his life, which had already taken him on three trips to Europe. I miss him every day, and talk to him every night. He was a great young man, and beloved.

Stump family picnic

The Stumps - part of the happy side of the family. Always jovial (except for Grandfather Rob, he whom I tied up to the front porch rocker when I was but 5).