Storms a Coming by Jane Miller – Guest Blogger

 

Storms a coming.

by Jane Miller 

My husband and I live with his mother in an old farmhouse with parts dating back to 1842. Except for the window lined porch that faces west, the house is structurally the way it was 100 years ago when the third generation of the Hunter family lived here. Their ancestors were a Scottish Presbyterian family who cleared this portion of Depreciation Lands.

Often my thoughts go to life as it may have been stretched out over a nearly 200 year history when the family sustained themselves with their labors in the fields and there were horses in the barn. Now the horses are gone. The farm is in transition. Our work of the day includes for me, the care giving for my mother-in-law, Lois—almost 90—and the patients my husband “sees” on a computer in his office that was at one time our dining room and in generations past, a kitchen. The beauty of the evolving nature is one constant. We especially enjoy our summer evenings.

On one of the first warm nights this year we sat together on the back deck after mom was in bed, I grieved the loss of the horses and a pasture plowed under by Farmer Beahm, who will soon plant field corn. The sun was heading for its sweet spot between the tree-lined hills as clouds gathered bits of gray.

I remembered an evening nearly 35 years ago on May 31, 1985, the evening a 25-mile long twister took out the trees of that hill and my mother and father-in-law, along with our three-year-old son, hit the basement. I think they wanted a room with windows to better see a storm a coming in addition to daily witnessing the beauty of nature.

On this May evening—one of the first ones a coat and blanket not needed—another storm was brewing. It was May 12, just before the world began opening up to our “new normal” and all of the unknowns this will bring. Then in the skies, a real storm collected clouds and we were fascinated as we watched where the sun would soon disappear in the West. Rick had a Scotch in his hand. I had my camera.

The beauty of the moment mesmerized us and we didn’t heed the warnings of the winds. Our eyes were on the skies, when rain pelted us. For the moment we laughed through the winds, making sure my camera was safe and Rick anchored down the furniture we had to evacuate.

I thought of the storms of the past and the ones that are brewing and a word came to my mind about life on the farm. Resilience. Crops fail. You replant. Animals that sustain you will die. It’s not a moment to moment feeling. It’s a joy that doesn’t depend upon what is happening to you. It’s about being grateful for every moment in every time.

Life goes on and it’s always day by day. Farmers look for their rewards at the end of the day.

Storm a Coming

The Gift of a Well Chosen Book

The gift of a well chosen book.

When I went to breakfast with my friend R a couple of weeks ago, she presented me with this book. She’s found it in a Wisconsin bookshop, months ago and saved it for my birthday.

Tonight I photographed it with a candlestick and the pair of socks, almost complete- I’m decreasing the toes. You see this poetry book is printed by Candlestick Press! It’s one of their “Instead of a Card” pamphlet series.

There’s even a poem by Emily Dickinson.

You are invited to read the Ten Poems about Knitting poems by a lovely introduction written by Di Slaney (poet and Co-owner of Candlestick Press in Nottingham UK)

https://humag.co/features/di-slaney

Dear R,

Thank you for the perfect poetry book for me and the bookmark’s thoughtful inscription.

I sit and knit. And knit. And knit. And read poems about Knitting.

R

You always ask if there is anything you can do…….

A good friend passed early Wednesday morning. You always ask if there is anything you can do…..

E64A6081-9C28-4E2F-ADC3-AE72009D3B33Cj and her daughter at Thanksgiving a few years ago.

She was a loving mother, a devoted sister,  an excellent teacher, a strong woman, a heartfelt writer and a steadfast partner.   An advocate for so many students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Inspiring thousands. A Madwoman writer at Carlow University. 

I  can picture her signing Go Tell it on the Mountain at a Christmas Choir Concert

Reading her poetry at Poe*Art, touching us with her words.

Playing music to motivate the scores of teachers who became students every summer in The Western Pennsylvania Writing Project at the University of Pittsburgh.

Another friend who taught with her for a couple of years remembers her playing Rocky’s Theme to get the students geared up for testing.  The same friend said Cj always made lemonade when life handed her lemons.  So true.

Here is another song she’d play for her students and sign with them.

 

The plea for help with medical expenses is now compounded by the additional need for Funeral/Memorial costs.  If you’ve ever received a bill in the mail after someone has passed you’ll understand why I am getting this request out to the world.  Cj was always supportive of my blog efforts and an avid follower.  

No amount too small to help the family through this difficult time  Click to donate

Thank you.   E64A6081-9C28-4E2F-ADC3-AE72009D3B33

 

By Their Sidewalks You Will Know Them

First posted in February 2010 and again in 2013.  Thanks Timons Esaias Guest Poet

Sidewalk Shoveled

Tim’s Poem Came to Mind as I Admired the Concrete First Time in Two Weeks – Photographed Feb 2010

By Their Sidewalks You Will Know Them

Originally there were eleven Commandments

Moses, perhaps confused by the unfamiliar

snow, ice, and sidewalk,

botched one, and left it out.

But Buddha said that though Life is Pain,

falling on ice is gratuitous pain

and those who cause it, by neglect,

should never escape the Wheel of Rebirth;

and Lao-Tzu agreed, for those who will not

clear the path will never find the Way.

Zoroaster, in the endless war of light

against ice, demanded diligence;

claimed that those who surrender

the public way to the Enemy

have empty souls,

can scarcely be regarded as human.

The Prophet, regarding sidewalks and snow,

is silent; but his sura

Sand Drifting Against the Caravanserai Gate

is thought to apply. The condemnation there

is brutal and eternal.

Plato counted safe sidewalks as fundamental

to the ideal Republic, noting that those remiss

in this clear duty lacked all character;

and his pupil – perceptive, immortal Aristotle-

further declared, famously, that

lack of character

is destiny.

-Timons Esaias
Timons Esaias is a writer and poet living in Pittsburgh. His short stories, ranging from literary to genre, have been published in fourteen languages. He has had over a hundred poems in print, including Spanish, Swedish and Chinese translations, in such markets as 5AM, Bathtub Gin, Main Street Rag, Willard & Maple, Elysian Fields Quarterly: The Literary Journal of Baseball and many others. He has also been a finalist for the British Science Fiction Award, and won the Asimov’s Readers Award. His poetry chapbook, The Influence of Pigeons on Architecture, sold out two editions. He is Adjunct Faculty at Seton Hill University, in the Writing Popular Fiction M.F.A. Program. This poem was originally published in hotmetalpoets.com when it existed.

This entry was posted on February 19, 2010. It was filed under poetry, Things in the Snow and was tagged with city scene, HIghland Park, photo of the day, photography, Pittsburgh, Poem, poet, poetry, shovel, sidewalk, snow, Timons Esaias, urban scene, winter scene.

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16 responses

Bill

Too deep for me.

February 19, 2010 at 7:07 am Edit

Reply

Toni Kichi

Makes me happy that our sidewalks are clear and clean – thanks to Mike!! I couldn’t handle all those punishments! Seems like an almost normal day today!! Thanks for starting it with something special!!! Did Bill mean the snow was too deep – or the poem??!! Either way, I agree! My mind is mush (like this snow will soon be) — been in the house too long!!!

February 19, 2010 at 8:42 am Edit

Reply

Dorothy

All tis is great Ruth. It is like your photos and words are a diary of living through these snowy days.

Dorothy

February 19, 2010 at 9:12 am Edit

Reply

erica

Too wonderful for … words?? 🙂 Changes my attitude on shoveling, altho I am already somewhat aware that I smile and feel satisfaction when I get to the concrete! A bit anxious now, tho, about the snow still on the bushes, bending branches low over the sidewalk leading to my caravanserai gate ……! 🙂

February 19, 2010 at 9:52 am Edit

Reply

Arlene Weiner

There is a special place in hell

where, frozen in ice, only his rear

exposed to Satan’s teeth, he’ll dwell

whose sidewalk’s untouched while his driveway’s clear.

February 19, 2010 at 10:50 am Edit

Reply

joseph k

that is one great photo

joseph

February 19, 2010 at 4:27 pm Edit

Reply

Bonnie Imhoff

I know the snow is a pain, but it is beautiful. I enjoy the pic very much.

POST NAVIGATION

7 THOUGHTS ON “BY THEIR SIDEWALKS YOU WILL KNOW THEM – GUEST POET TIMONS ESAIAS- ORIGINALLY POSTED 2-19-2010”

Meet the Man Who Made Copies of the Film Quart Jar Poet

Imagine Audio Media President

Meet Dino Pandolfo who graciously consented to be part of my People at Work Series. He has a full recording studio and can create multiple copies of DVDs and CDs(see below) right here in Ingram a West End neighborhood in Pittsburgh.

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The Quart Jar Poet: Dorothy Holley is a film I made  in 2005. Dorothy was a good friend to me- an encourager. Dorothy Holley-Poet, Friend

 

Dino created the copies to be used as a fundraiser for  Madwomen in the Attic-he was a pleasure to work with and they look wonderful. He even carted the boxes to my car.
The Madwomen Reading series presents the second annual Dorothy Louise Holley Memorial Reading featuring a poetry reading by Diane Gilliam

Saturday, November 12, 2016
Kresge Center, Carlow University
Reading at 7:30 p.m. (book table at 7 p.m.)
Reception and book signing following the reading
Free and open to the public
Free parking

Historic South Side Presbyterian Hosted Poetry Reading

What is so rare as a day in June?

Friday June 10th

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Poets Mike James, Roberta Hatcher and Timons Esaias

IMG_0257Book signing after the reading

Note:  Roberta Hatcher’s book cover of French Lessons is shown in postcard form above- Watch for information about upcoming Book Release Party  Finishing Line Press

Mike James drove up from Chapel Hill to read and he has a new book, Peddler’s Blues forthcoming (August) preorder at Main Street Rag Press

Timons Esaias    2015 Louis Award winner  On Friday, June 24, and Saturday, June 25, from 7:00pm to 10:00pm, get your autographed copy of the book directly from Timons at In Your Write Mind, Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA. or click his name to buy from Amazon link. Published by Concrete Wolf

IMG_0268Poets  Michael Wurster mentor, poet, teacher, Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange founder,  (front right)

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Michael Wurster and host Pastor Kathy Hamilton-Vargo

 

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 10.38.23 PM.pngThe Poetry Reading was Sponsored by The Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange and hosted by South Side Presbyterian Church.

 

The Satisfaction of Sock Knitting

knitsocks

A Handknit Sock

There’s a math to it. The cast on. Count
the multiples of four.
Last year it was hats and cowls.
This year, socks.
I want to try the fish lips kiss heel.

It’s a simple thing. How a sock is knit.
You start with yarn.
Needles as slim as toothpicks.
Terms like toe and gusset and cuff.
My friend says, "it’s too much work."

There’s a rhythm in the repetition.
The making. Clockwise circles.
Some throw, some pick.
Row after row after row.
In time you get length and warmth.

There’s the calm you long for,
around and around and around.
Turn heel for a path to Zen.
You think of those you love.
The grandmother who taught you.

The wet squeezed out,
pairs hang to dry. Later fold
their softness, admire the colors,
ignore imperfections.
Find comfort, hidden in shoes.
My squishy hand knit socks.
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