Friday, June 17, 2016

four more

there are four more days of work.
we're tying up loose ends.
but first i am meeting with the amazing genevieve lapp.
we are intergenerationality,
 two papermakers, 25 years apart,
working on an exquisite paper
to add to hand papermaking's 
30th anniversary portfolio.
here's some 25 year old thai kozo soaking
overnight in cold water
 and the after cooking 
and final rinse
it's ready for genevieve.
she has some experimenting to do
after i teach her
the process of contact printing
on paper.
MANY pages
and another hemp bark book vessel in the works
and those four days?
i am astonished by the many and thoughtful presents
coming my way
from colleagues 
(here a parcel from our favorite substitute, mo, who 
stepped into TA shoes twice 
while i travelled 
to oz).
you can't quite see 
the lovely BIG chocolate and caramel treat.
i've been hugged by students, and a parent,
(you know who you are, s)
thank you all my friends.
this here woman sure feels loved.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

the kids

these two are not the kids,
they are friends
(this irresistible photo appeared on facebook)
jeff and isis.
(last year when she was 89)
these folks are my neighborhood,
sadly neglected by me of late.
so is this my neighborhood,
time to make hay
if the weather holds.
(it's not) 
 and this mysterious new addition,
plunked neatly into a field.
i can only imagine...
 the newest neighborhood
down the road 15 miles or so,
my new place 
on an old farmstead
 had one foundation now buried
and bits of stone wall.
 (lots of deer flies)
 jean has written about love of tools--
 i find deep pleasure in making tools--
this is the big stump loom
with a whitetail deer
bone folder
doing double duty as a weaving stick
 weaver's sword
holding the shed
a placekeeper.
 just for fun
and utility.
weaving shifu pages
as i wind down my final teaching year.
/one more class day/
/three days of exams for one student/
/a few more days after that/
/to put my room to rest/
this class is all done.
my class will disappear and not be replaced.
i find this to be surprisingly sad
for my students
who must find other placements.
i have had two retirement celebrations,
one with a pretty cake,
one with a cheesy certificate. 
i'm ready
and i will miss you know who you are,
i won't miss
what is happening now in public education.

Monday, June 6, 2016

big steps

i've been working
in special education for 21 years.
and my retirement is imminent.
special ed attracted me
because the students were different.
my preference has always been working with kids who have
emotional disabilities,
especially older middle and high school kids.
especiallly in alternative educational settings.
give me a wilderness site
or an old farm
or the woods
and i blossom as a teacher.
 the stairways to learning and growing and understanding are often
hidden away,
overgrown or tucked away.
and then sometimes a gift is given
 presented for the one given it
 gifts are like that. often given
not always taken.
this is the way it is.
sometimes i see
a deer, a mink, a turkey, a heron
great blue heron
 out the window at home
giving me the gift of beauty.
i've looked up to see
a kingfisher, a flicker, an eagle
 and at night i hear owls, many frogs, woodcock, and coyote
if i'm lucky.
around here 
this rural, impoverished north country,
there is so much loss
 buildings mark what was once
 what people have left behind.
or not run over on the road. 
this one i helped across the road. i hope
i hope she laid her eggs in the soft shoulder sand.
the other morning there were nine snappers laying eggs
along the roadside in a mile stretch, and then number 10
a bit further on.
 at home i am weaving shifu and here, below, 
is a failed bit of 
needle woven hemp.
 i'm just finding my way back into making
instead of teaching full time.
transitioning away from this path has been a surprise.
there have been two celebrations for me and other retirees.
and sadness as i leave 
some very, very
special people.

Friday, May 27, 2016

evening around here

i felt a whisper of spiderwebs
on my forearms,
a web i didn't notice
so intoxicated i was
with heady deep spring flowering.
...and then the droll
defiance of chipmunk.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

spring things!

i've added a button on the shop page
(hannah did all the work)
for you to order the little book about shifu and printing,
if you wish.
hannah has it here and at the new site (which i haven't yet sorted out).
i've sent out one already
and the paypal thing is working.
(thank you, betsy!)
i seem to have emerged from a funk
a change,
a tilting,
and now, well now
i have my sea legs
for a bit.
i returned to the place i call home last night:
 and this was above the little porch.
 it was beautiful.
the night was full of frogs songs 
and the sound of a few birds, 
woodcock, my favorite.
in the night, 
for the second one running
i was awakened around 3:00
by a loud bird sound
i think.
one or two calls
and that was all.
am i dreaming owl hunts?
 and we went out this morning 
to this marsh.
found a new emergence.
 i was thinking turtle thoughts
wondering how it is to be
turtle with the thick reptilian armor
while this soft human skin was feasted
by mosquitoes.
no worries,
escape happened fast.
 no turtles.
two events are coming up for me:

on june 4th,
come by the vendor tables and say HEY!


then retirement

a special wedding, then

August  20-21

I will be teaching at the Morgan Conservatory
Native Species: Ecoprinting
making prints from the Morgan's ecosystem


August 26th 

Spend a weekend in Northern Maine with a community of local artists working in the field of bookbinding, book arts, paper making and calligraphy. 
at the
Cobscook Community Learning Center 
10 Commissary Point Road
Trescott, ME 04652

The CCLC is located  in Trescott Township, Maine, between the towns of Whiting and Lubec in the Cobscook Bay region of Downeast Maine. 
this is a venue 
that is beautiful, wonderful.

(i can send you a pdf of this event 
or you can contact the north east branch of the guild of bookworkers...
if i was more adept i could attach the pdf...)

one of the things, 
including the new website,
and a collaboration with a special friend
are what i'm doing this summer.
November, A Map is almost sold out.
i will be taking a few to rochester with me.
i have recently been told that several universities
now have my artists books in their special collections
and you can see that information 
if you hunt under the publications at the top bar. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

there are spring things

it's certainly springing out there,
but it's been a bit chilly
these cattails 
are still 
sending seeds out into infinity
at the new place
the fiddleheads unfurl
and ferns of many kinds
perk up
inside an envelope
with a check for two of my books
was a little gift
for me
which made me happy.
i witnessed this nest
taken off a bad spot
for birds
very much like the nests for my new shifu books.
the fiber in here
included sheetrock tape!
and the trillium at the new place
carpets the woods.
it's spring
and i've made peace with the change.

Friday, May 13, 2016

not going

it seems like i just can't push
as hard as i used to.
i'm not going to cleveland.
i'm staying 
"to home"
staying put.
trying to get my energy
and harness this old gray mare 
for the next few weeks before retirement.
i am tired.
i didn't know how much,
but i am.
so with regret
i'm not going,
with joy in the staying, though.
there is a soft rain this morning.
and i've been "talking" to dear felicity
and to another dear, linda
and aimee and pam.
friends support just by their very beings.
others, some in the forms of magnificent crows
hover close.

Sunday, May 8, 2016


daffodils on my table
soft scent of cool windy spring
the earliest tree flowers
have become baby leaves.
the woods is closing in.
making homes for the babies.
my babies are in their 30's now. 
and both remembered me this day.
and i remember my mom
who had the birth name of
my legacy.
 indoors this week
i've been making samples
and shifu pages
for books.
next weekend i am going to 
but as usual, i am not wanting the drive.
these days i only want to fly west,
drive east.
maybe some day i will drive to the ocean
hop in a boat
and sail around some!
for mothers and honorary mothers,
a happy day.
but mostly, happy spring.
(hannah is working on the new site, i'm not there yet.)

Saturday, April 30, 2016


hannah is building me a website
trusting a recommendation from the amazing shanna leino
we're trying square space. 
it's built, i just don't know how to use it.
knowing me, 
it might not ever happen.
shhh, don't tell hannah.

two precious objects from australia
 stitching up a sheet of paper
 closer vision
 a grouse makes a brief appearance
on my way home last night.
 and then there's shanna's little awl
(check out her store, you will love her things.)
this too is exactly what i needed. 
small for my small hands
with a big point.

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