In dawnlight

That’s Jupiter in the early glow
or Saturn
I don’t know which, and it will take earlier and earlier mornings to see them well enough to discern which is which by position
and to be quite honest, I am not interested in getting up earlier than this.

Though I do miss rising this early.

There’s a peace to pre-dawn.

A waiting.

But the world wishes me to teach night school, and if that’s where the students are, that’s where I shall go.

For now.

Door is open

To fresh air and sunshine,
the door is open.

Good dogs can wander as they please
— which is less satisfying, since that means that Mamaidh does not have to get up —
out to the mud, in to the water dish, out to the sunshine.

Dog fur smells of both snow and sun!

To My Best Little Buddy

You are the sweetest.

My Sgiobalta,
Of all the dogs of my life, you are the sweetest.

You cuddle,
you kiss my tears,
You bargain with me for treats,
You take me for walks and make dog snow angels.

Of all the dogs of my life, you are the sweetest.
You take yourself for a swim when you feel like it, just quietly paddling.
Sometimes I even call you Winter because you have generously welcomed that dog’s spirit to ride along with you.

I love you, Sgiobalta. Happy birthday.
I am grateful for everything that led to you being here, now.
Keep reminding me, Sweet Girl,
and may your days be good, and long on this earth.

Melting snow has revealed

Two bouncy balls!
I throw them,
blue with my right hand, orange with my left,
and good dogs give chase.

Max catches the blue one, he is faster,
then he drops it when the orange one comes close and fetches that one.

Sgiob happily fetches the blue one.

Until the time that both balls went tumbling down the meadow-hill and somehow only the blue one has come back.

I am picturing a very curious chipmunk — there’s a woods at the bottom of the meadow — or even a coyote some twilight who sniffs it and sees it and knows that it is a toy.

March walkies

The top layer in a thin bit of crunchy crystals which make a very pleasing sound and are not bonded together into glare ice, which is good because my shoes can get a grip on it.

The layer beneath is the remains of an ice storm which melted the next day in the sun and bonded together into a thick crust which breaks into shards.

Below the crust is about a cubit of old, old fluff, which means air pockets of all sizes. When it first fell, it was the fluffy deep stuff that one could wade through to break a trail.

So I can mostly crunch along on the top layer and the crust holds me up, but about every fifty steps I break through and that one leg drops down to the knee and I fall with bare hands (because it’s a sunny day and I am not cold) onto the cold crystals and broken shards of crust.

I got back up without fuss each time, which is better than I could have done a couple of months ago.

Tuesday, your metaphor is showing.

Received a very dear email today

From a poet who didn’t believe in herself. I replied. Maybe that reply can help or inspire you, too.

Let me tell you a few ideas I have about developing your poetry – first, it can be hard just to make the *time* to do it!  Do you have a regular Poetry Moment in your daily routine?  For serious simply keeping doing it is the best way to get where you want to be with your writing.

I do have a cute little informal, free, made of real people writing drop-in group on line.  If you’d ever like to drop in, please do.  The links and schedule for the different meetings are here: www.birchislandbooks.com/writerspace/

So, grammar.  English is a branch of the German language family on a Celtic language structure with a ton of Latin-derived vocabulary, adapted to be closer to Norse, with words made up and carried in by new friends in every century.  In the 1400s, the guy with the first English printing press said “I’m going to standardize spelling the way it is in the most formal, long-established documents” at the exact same time that the entire population of England underwent a massive shift in how they pronounced things.  In the 1800s, women trying to teach in the very most rural of frontier prairie schools tried like the absolute dickens to write up rules of grammar which looked like Latin because they had heard that Latin was the ultimate, perfect language.  Thus was born the American Academic dialect of English.

Here’s what I want you to know:  your first draft is for you.  It is impossible to make a mistake on a first draft because that’s the purpose of the first draft, to get the poetry out of your head and onto the paper, regardless of someone else’s idea of “correct”.

Later, if you wish to make a second draft which would communicate clearly to other people, great!  My method for turning a first draft into a second draft includes coffee and talking out loud.  If I read a sentence or a line of poetry out loud, in my native dialect of my native language, as the words come out of my mouth I can hear if they are the right way around and I can try different ways of saying the same thing until it sounds right.  If I then have to translate into the American Academic dialect, that’s later.  First I make sure it sounds like real sentences.

Antares

There you are
with the clouds finally peeled away.

Scorpion’s heart, you sound like a villain,
you look all red and pulsing,

But somehow I don’t believe it.

I believe that you are a friendly star, just there,
just so,
as a skymark so I can learn my way.

Antares in the morning sky.
Almost March.