O, you champion! Offering your lithe and silken palm to the unscrupulous air, the sum of your long, invisible efforts emerged from winter’s sleep: The cupped green sepals, the rising pistil; the delicate stamen, capped with the soft anther that carries your posterity. The perennial turning of your petaled face toward lethal possibility: The late frost. […]

I was saddened by the recent death of Stéphane Audrane, the marvelous French actress who starred in Babette’s Feast, a cinematic gem that won the 1987 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Audrane’s distinguished career spanned six decades and a variety of roles, and she always considered clothing in her approach to characters,  she told The […]

It’s not true, what they say. God often gives you more than you can handle, then stands back and observes as you adapt.  Or perish, like the infinite others who were given more than they could handle and are no longer here to say so. God is not cruel, just curious, like a researcher whose […]

Spring is in the air, which means the ash and cherry trees in my back yard are about to renew their perennial gromance. Their affection arose nearly seven years ago, when I planted the van semi-dwarf cherry – a modest-sized  tree, $30 at Walmart — a scant five feet from the ash, a slender but […]

The wind howls in the dark and up the hill she scatters, the light grey feathers touched with chestnut, specked by blood and blown, blown now, everywhere and nowhere. The bobcat killed her here, after taking her from the yard while I sat in the basement 20 yards away, watching a movie. Unhearing, unseeing, complacent. […]

Listen, they said, in the way of their kind, not caring if I did. The small rumble, the soft staccato of pearls tumbling into air from bodies too new to know, blind and modest as a palm, or a memory. Tiny ears tucked like page markers in a long book whose stories you love. From birth, […]

I have a hard time letting go of anything, which explains why I recently cobbled together the remains of an old bird feeder into two birdhouses that may, or may not, soon be inhabited by birds raised during the Depression and thereby unembarrassed by material expressions of poverty. For a cycle of seasons,  the feeder […]

Keep: The face God made after God mastered faces: Your nose, straight and strong, the porcelain, fine-grained skin. The pitch-dark eyebrows thinly arched over cobalt eyes; most of all, those depthless eyes, rimmed with a boy’s long lashes. The coal-black hair cropped short, inclined toward unruliness. Your bed head. The soft lay of your land. […]