Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad Invites Us to Commune with the Past

This book will break your heart            then mend it                       and break it again.The history of slavery is a loaded cannon but Colson softens the blow without diminishing the cruel realities of that era by converting the metaphor of the “underground railroad”… Read more

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Remembering Okla Elliott

Non-stop news of death and dying this week and last week. When that starts to overwhelm I wonder why my friends are dying. Why seemingly everyone I know as a friend, family or colleague is losing a family member or friend. The air is pregnant with death I cannot wait for it to break. I anxiously… Read more

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The first Christmas without Dad

Lights at the ArboretumThis is the first Christmas without Dad. I thought I was going to be strong. I’m trying to be strong. As early as September, the time I normally book my ticket home, I realized I didn’t want to go home for the first time in many years and I knew why. Dad was my Christmas… Read more

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Fires, Rattlesnakes and Bear Burrito

Saturday, October 29, 2016. the theme here is vibrancyThis was supposed to be a short hike so I could return home in time for an evening party that involved spinning fires. The weather was awesome–upper 70’s with a chance to hit 80, and when you’re in the trees, it’s nice and warm since you get… Read more

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Sukkoth/Sukkot/SukkahWe just celebrated the turning of mapleswith mapleshapedcookiesthe hopicecreamand appleciderIt occurred to me how it takes so little to celebrateBack home we only acknowledged big eventsI know whyBirthdays weren’t among the big events         But funerals were. And… Read more

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Paint the Quad poetry

When I was an undergrad many years ago my favorite expression with friends was, “Let’s go paint the town red” and red we did paint wherever we ended up. We were in touch with the spirit of freedom, a little bit of anarchy and tons of creativity. College, especially,  inspired that kind of liberty…. Read more

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The marriage of movement and stillness

I’m driving to Craggy Gardens when a baby bear leaps out of the woods on the right side of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I’m not driving fast on the snaking, hairpin bends, so it’s easy to slow down and watch the little black bear. I’m excited because it’s the first time I’m seeing a bear…. Read more

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The Year of the Hare

It’s that time of year when I think about the next classes for Spring, and if time permits, beyond Spring. The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna magically fell into my lap while I was browsing. I was skimming through the selected poems of Herbert Lomas online when I saw Arto’s book listed at the… Read more

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On Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing novel

This is not going to be a review.I came to this great novel via my compatriot and mentor in Syracuse, Arthur Flowers. He left me a phone message praising the novel and also suggesting that it reminded him of some of the strategies I was dealing with (or needed to pay attention to) in my… Read more

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Summer snapshots in Asheville

  This view, free, is worth returning to again and again. Location: Looking Glass Rock, Appalachian Mountains–via Blue Ridge Parkway, Mt. Pisgah National Forest. Pic by traveling companion.Summer is my favorite season because of all the sun to harvest. Mountains to climb. The heat doesn’t… Read more

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