The day breaks

The day breaks

Friday, April 29, 2016

Alone with my thoughts about a cat

It's still snowing in the Rockies, not a major storm, more a shower to bring alpine flowers.  I have plans to visit Gunnison that may change into swim trunks and take a right turn to our Jacuzzi.  I've food and libation aplenty, plenty of firewood.

O is traveling with a friend from Nantucket to NOLA for the Jazz Fest.  This is not a complaint about her being away, it's more a precursor to my soon to be homicidal feelings for her cat complaining about her being away.

We have a big house, an A frame.  The ceilings can really ring with a howling banshee losing her cat damned mind and I've reached the rim of my gorge as I reach for her tail on the second day.  The windmill in my left hand window sits muted, covered in snow.  Suggests a peaceful resolution no matter how satisfying a kitty rocket could be. Swegen at my feet feels a shift in my weight, thinks it means a walk is imminent and I say no buddy, not just yet.  

Snow and Crocus

May 29th and the snow fall has been continuous since yesterday afternoon. Not much in the way of accumulation as the temperature has been above freezing.  Most of the new snow should be gone by later this afternoon as the temp. should get into the 40's.

Sarah is in New Orleans with our friend Amy from Nantucket, they are at the Jazz festival where it has been raining.  Not to worry they are intrepid travelers and have chosen the venues wisely that they are attending, all have tents and they've managed to stay dry.

I've begun working with the Crested Butte public schools offering an after school science club that highlights the Ranger program that I'll be offering at RMBL this summer.  I have 7 students, all are smart, engaged, and inquisitive and I'm having a blast with them.

I've gotten  the go ahead to start a writers group for poets at the Crested Butte library and that will begin in June and I will be attending a writers group in Gunnison beginning next month.  I have submission guidelines for several local publications and I'll be sending them work soon.

The animals have settled in to the new home and are very happy, as our we, with our new surroundings.

These are wild Crocus and they are popping up in the scrub areas all around us.  Yesterday my students and I went looking for them across the street from the school, I await their written report on the discovery this weekend.  Several of them are very good writers and inventive,  I look forward to some fun reading later this week.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

An Auspicious Start

I finally began working here in Colorado.  I'm conducting an after school science club at the Crested Butte Public School and I started this past Thursday, yep, the day Prince died.  As momentous as that was I will mark it clearly as a day in green  for Sir Gawain, as purple as the first crocus bloom.  We photographed and Id'd a butterfly, began tracking the life cycle of an Aspen, we talked about the eating habits of Magpies.  It was a good day, there was music, laughter, and a sense of accomplishment that adds up to past tense.

Tonight I’m Gonna Party

I wore a purple scarf
The day Clemens died

Remembered it was
Sandy Denny’s departure date
As well

Rode into Gunnison
With Swegen in the backseat

His head out the window
His hair blowing
The way I feel
                About death

The big horn sheep
On the side of the road
Indifferent and diffident
To everything
Save the task at hand
Look up as the pup
Says hello

To another round of
Purple rain

Let’s go crazy

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


It's raining right now, the first rain we've had since moving here.  I'm in our upstairs office and the sound is wonderful.  The kind of noise that says get a book, go curl up somewhere.  Count your lucky stars you have a roof overhead.  Both the cats have declared peace, this is usually a time of day for chasing each other around the house.  They sit across from each other close enough to my ears that I can hear them purr.  It's a low sounding throaty affirmation that they're happy and glad I'm around to take care of them,  Swegen, having been well walked (twice) and after a highly spirited sessions of catch, sleeps in the library all four legs pointing straight up at the ceiling.

It's time for some south sea stories for Somerset Maugham I think.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Jacuzzi and wine relaxed

It's just a little more than a month since O and I crossed the divide.  We both feel exhilarated and renewed by the experience, hell I've been wearing flannel shirts and working out doors.  We've begun a research project on the merits of Mexican Restaurants in the valley as part of our weekly trip to town.  I'm grading tamales, O's all about the tortilla chip. It's part of this rural life's ritual, obligatory dump run (You gotta see/smell the dump), stop by with our circular in hand at the City Market (insert South Park reference if you must), cruise the thrift stores, then back home. Come warmer weather we'll add yard sales and fishing to the list. Oh, there's people fishing now, they's crazy.

This is the off season for the valley, Crested Butte has this and next week off for spring break, Gunnison does not, they just returned.  Saw a poetry slam in Gunnison at the Arts Center this past Friday.  Nice space, I bar tended the event. It was a College event and the slammers were students. The next night I got a slot in the open mic. event at the Crested Butte art center, an even nicer space. Both community spaces are major contributors to what is a throwback (IMHO) to a time when FM was just beginning, giants sat next to you in crowded roadhouses and everything was everything. I like it here.

The second floor of our house is office/library, bathroom, bedroom. This is my half of the office, O's still un-packing. Pictures to follow when she signs the release:).

Swegen's library on the first floor.


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter 2016

It's only in the last few years that Easter has once again meant something to me, no I didn't find Jesus. However, I do believe in the resurrection.

In 2005 my wife Sarah and I were running Spoken Word Nantucket, it was our first year of really being able to afford to book the best in the field, month after month.  That year we hosted Brother Blue, Taylor Mali, Regie Gibson, Franz Wright, and others.  One booking above all the rest has stayed with me ten years beyond.  If you were thinking that our list is good but it's shy one Jack McCarthy, well no; it wasn't.  Jack was booked that year for Easter Sunday (our shows were on Sundays) but as you might recall Jack had a minor setback that year in the form of major heart surgery.

Which leads me to divulge Jack wrote me from his recovery room to assure me that he would be on Nantucket, have no doubt! It turns out Nantucket was important to him personally because back in the 50's his dad had run a summer baseball camp on the island, as a matter of fact his poem over takers (meant to compete with Patricia Smith's "Undertakers") was about Nantucket.  If you haven't heard it or read it, GET IT!

In total Sarah and I booked Jack 5 times, each time was a blessing in the truest sense of the word.  I have an e-mail from the first booking where Jack asked me to promise to re-book him if no one showed up to hear him on Easter.  Hell, you could see the line of cars coming from the Polpis Road all the way to the little classroom on the bluff as if it were that scene in Field of Dreams.  It was our first overflow crowd and all that came will tell you how much of a revelation his words were. I treasure that bit of electronic keepsake, it gives me pause to be thankful.

Today, Sarah and I took a ride to Taylor Reservoir, just a few minutes from where we now live.  We stopped and took some pictures and thought about all that's happened and how very lucky we are. Tonight I'll put on Jack's last CD and I'll hear him again and he'll make me laugh, cry, and think.  Happy Easter.  

Saturday, March 26, 2016

10 Days After

It's been ten days since my last post, things have gotten busy here at Len and Sarah's hideaway.  Most of the boxes are emptied and I'm happy and proud (I did most of the packing) that very little breakage occurred. Today we began the process of hanging our art, something we had difficulty with in our last home for lack of available wall space.  Finding some of the pics that have been in storage is a little like a second Christmas for us.  There has been only a few inches of snow here in Almont, we're tucked into a valley that seems to be a dividing line for snow fall at times.  Not a complaint, I hate shoveling.  Crested Butte got about a foot last week and Irwin well over that.

I got a spotlight reading at an event on the 8th of next month.  I saw a poster for an event called Syllables and Sounds "An Evening of Musicians and Writers" with a line that said if you want to participate... well, even though they'd closed enrollment a few weeks back the chance to include a Slam Poet was too great an enticement to pass on.

It's just begun to snow in the last few minutes and the forecast (now that I check) calls for a full day of precipitation so, I guess I spoke to soon.  Sarah and I plan to head into Gunnison to do our Saturday shopping and perhaps stop for lunch in one of the local Mexican joints.  We both love Mexican food and there are a lot in the Gunnison valley so, we be happy.