Monday, March 27, 2017

Boil That Water Down


  In a fit of delirium, after 12 hours in the sugaring shack, I wrote a poem set to music, or if you prefer the more popular term, a song.
  The tune is borrowed from the old Bluegrass song “Boil That Cabbage Down”, but the lyrics are 100% about my family and me .
The chords are G, D, C, G, D, A, C, G repeated through both chorus and verses, just in case you ever feel like immortalizing us in a poem set to music.
G               D
Boil that water down
C                 G
Cook it till it's brown
G                  D
The only song that I can sing 
   A         C     G
Is boil that water down

Louis was a city boy
Who longed for country life
Got himself a piece o' land 
and brought along his wife

They worked sunup to sundown
To try to make it fine
With deer and Bear and Fox
And an occasional 'qupine


Their boy was big and strappin'
And helped them all he could
By puttin' in new windows
And stackin' fire wood

The Chickadog was happy
But sometimes tried to dine
On the deer and bear and fox
And that occasional 'qupine


One day they got an idea
To make 'em something sweet
They tapped themselves some maples
To make a tasty treat

They started in with four taps
But how the story goes
They tapped into six more trees
And watched the water flow


They boiled it in the pole barn
They boiled it in the yard
Boilin' sap's a good ol' time
The work ain't very hard

Now syrup's on their pancakes
And everything they eat
They looked for miles and miles around
Their syrup can't be beat 


So if you get an inklin'
To do just what they done
Get yourself a piece o' land
And have yourself some fun!

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Sunday, March 19, 2017


Break out the buckets
Go find the taps
Pull on your Wellies
It’s time to tap sap!
Freezing at night-time
And warm in the day
Drill a hole in the tree
And you’re well on your way
To water that’s flowing
Though snow’s in the air
Soon in the shack
You’ll be boiling with care
You’ll sit in the shanty
While big kettles roil
With family and friends
So it wont feel like toil
You’ll laugh and tell jokes
And play some guitar
And talk of the sweetness 
You’ll put in a jar

  I would consider our foray into the world of sugaring at our new house on Three Bear’s Ridge to be a rousing success. We jarred about 4 gallons of delicious syrup, and had a great time doing it. If the weather holds, we may even be able to get a few more days in the shanty.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dog Day Afternoon

Silent, 'cept for the birds
Quiet, though the wind's in the trees
Hushed, yet the frogs croak their songs
The buzz in the air, are the bees

The ringing, I see but don't hear
As the fish break the surface to feed
A day by the lake in Springtime
Is all the peace I need

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Retreat to Move Forward

The Hilltop at Night

I walk through clover up the gentle slope amid twinkling, earthbound stars
The Summer breeze lifts the musky aroma of a well-watered Spring from beneath my feet as I walk
Courting crickets innumerable call to one another above the whispered secrets of the tall, bending grass
Silent explosions of clashing heat and cold silhouette distant treetops, mimicking the lesser flashes of light and life below
 I reach the summit and turn to look back on my ascent
My contented soul overflows, spilling down my cheeks to mingle with the tender drops of fresh rain.

  I penned this while spending five work and play filled days on the inspirational grounds of the Helderberg Writer's Retreat in Voorheesville, NY.
  I was very excited and more than a little nervous when Nanette Blake of  Vagabondage Press first invited me to attend the annual event. Although I've always loved to write, I've only just recently begun to share my work and am still quite sensitive about it. The thought of a group of writers analyzing my writing was intimidating, to say the least.
  I swallowed my self-doubts and began to prepare for my new adventure.
   Upon arrival , I found my excitement was merited, my nerves were not. I couldn't have asked for a  more supportive, fun-loving group of women to indoctrinate me.
   We started the extended weekend with cocktails, laughter and lobsters; A sure-fire way to start any undertaking right. The following days were filled with: writing critiques, "book reports", writing games, walks in the woods, drinks under the stars, and some much appreciated solitary work time.
   Sitting alone on the edge of the woods in my little chair with my dog curled up under my feet and my pen scratching away in my old notebook was one of the most personal, inspirational times I've ever experienced.

 The work time was peaceful and fulfilling and the playtime was bawdy and laughter filled, but of all the work and fun, the thing which struck me the most was how nice it was to have my brain all to myself.
Those moments are rare in all our lives.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


   While preparing for a show, I always escape to the woods near my house with my trusty recorder and headphones and walk along the lake reciting lines and/or laboring over lyrics and harmony to a song.
Today's walk so beautifully paired my work with my surroundings I felt a need to capture and share it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Lamb in Winter

Winter's cold touches not my heart
When, ahead of their time, the little lambs start

Tottering on legs, quite unstable
As each hour passes, becoming more able

 Standing with boots in two foot of snow
I chuckle and coo at the small lives below

I wish I could stand all day and stare
At the humbling antics of the little lambs there


Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer's End

Catch a firefly while you may
For the light diminishes every day

Jump in the water with a laugh or a cheer
Or float along quietly with someone who's dear

Count every star in the bright, moonlit sky
While listening to crickets trill their quaint lullaby

Kick off your shoes and walk on the beach
The castle you build will be well within reach

Bask in the glory and warmth of the sun
Or dance in the rain, just for the fun

Catch a firefly while you may
For the light diminishes every day