Foxglove Moments

Foxglove Moments

Foxglove is the name of my property, five acres overlooking the Lewis River Valley that was covered with the wildflower when I first moved here in 1996. 

We all have to face it: Some things are not meant to be.




[First published: June 2, 2019]

September 30, 2018

The chipmunks and I are developing a very special relationship.

I think of them as my little woodland friends.

They think of me as a food source.

We're very close.



Storm surge.

Light layered between darkness.

Sunset seems steeped in significance.

Or maybe just one of those days
when anything can be a metaphor for something else...

I really need to stop fretting about the next four years.






March 31, 2016


















    Some days the sun doesn't simply set.
    It takes the world with it,
    and this valley becomes
    a shimmering chameleon
    of changing color and mood rhythms,
    a creature of the night
    slowly waking,
    mysterious, lurking,
    freed at last by the departing light.





March 24, 2016

They are collecting pieces of people at a Belgian airport.

A child is tortured to punish his father.

God has been appropriated for a dubious political campaign,

and a thuggish clown wins another presidential primary.

At times the world seems too much with us,
and too much to bear.




Yet this day will also offer blossom antidotes,
beautiful, brief,
the relief momentary,
but it is enough, it is enough,
before the world comes rushing back in.






January 9, 2016

Recently, on a dreary afternoon
in the bleak of winter
and snowbound by a sudden storm,
I, writing at my desk,
experienced that uncanny feeling of being watched.

Pausing my pen, I turned with growing apprehension
to the glum gray light outside my window,
and there did behold two glowing orbs staring out of the dusk at me.
"Fiend!" I cried. "Infernal fowl who haunts my dreams!"
(Okay, maybe I was getting a little overdramatic.)
"What message bring you from that other world?"

I braced myself for the specter to speak the dreaded curse of
Or maybe, Anymore?
But it spake not. Neither did the apparition depart,
but kept its unholy vigil outside my window,
staring, forever staring with its red zombie eyes

...which actually turned out to be the ruby underparts on the hummingbird's throat.
But still kind of spooky.




November 21, 2015




He remains serene whatever the season.

In Tales of Tokyo, Jason goes walking by himself at dusk along the coast of Matsushima. Overwhelmed and weighted down by the woes of the world and by the pain, misery and loneliness that seem our human inheritance, he comes upon a stone Buddha:

"Imperturbable and serene in heat and cold, the Buddha sat there with that secretive smile, like one who knows but isn't telling; and Jason wondered, can one really live in this world and know such peace, such calm, be so undisturbed by life's disappointments and its sorrows, so untroubled by its desires and temptations, without being made of stone?"

When I walk this hillside and come upon a buddha, I wonder this still.









November 15, 2015


"Man, this rain sucks. We shoulda went south with the Reds for winter."

"Aah, they're a bunch of wusses. Besides you hate flying."

"I don't like the cold and the rain together. Separately, I can take, but not together."

"Get over it already, will ya. It's not even officially winter yet."

"Is it just me or is he watering down the drinks again?"





November 10, 2015


Watching autumn do its thing,
slowly overtaking summer,
day by day, leaf by leaf,
blossoms dying without grief.
It's just what they do,
And they seem to know it.

I wonder at how effortlessly,
how perfectly the seasons pass.
No grandstanding, no defiant show,
they just...let...go.













November 5, 2015

Every year around this time, approximately four billion maple leaves fall in my yard, half of which manage to land in my pond.

Each is the size of an elephant ear--a large elephant.

And each spring I clean my pond, removing a foot of decomposed leaf sludge from the bottom.




So this year I looked into getting a pond screen. The pond shop didn't carry them, but the helpful store assistant suggested that I make one myself. "They're easy to make," he said.

Easy to make. He was probably thinking of someone like my father or my nephew Ryan; he probably wasn't thinking of someone like me who isn't always sure which end of a hammer to use.



 So I took his advice and asked Ryan to design and construct me a pond cover, netting on top so the pond can "breathe," plastic on the sides so the leaves can slide off.






I'm pleased with the result. My pond is now protected from the annual leaf assault. Once the leaves are all down for this year, we'll dismantle and store the cover until next fall.






For now, I happily sit back and watch the large maple leaves happily fall where they may.