Sunday, February 2, 2014

II. conversations with ghosts in situ

gray bayou. somewhere between baton rouge and new orleans.  january, 2014.

laughing, that's right 
yes they were, they were  
laughing them in, laughing 
at prairie dog town fork 
when the soaking rains came 
and laughing as they skimmed 
over the red river mark, 
bluewings in the flyway 
funneling into the sun, 
onward to the gulf they flew
on their way home to galveston.

yesterday as today
some didn't stay, some strayed
but most were homeward bound—
or trying to discover such a place
as you, dear ones—and yearned
for rest near the bayous
in the years when
an ocean of big bluestem
and land-locked mariners
in prairie schooner flotillas
that blazed new trails in the grasses.
rasps, sighs, barks—palm, pine, shorebird—
joined the clicks and moans
of freewinging above
corridors of flatwoods, clear

lovely ones, you remain—many did not—
secure in your sugar palace
in the company of the fittest oaks
in moss, dark linked
with the others, equals free at last
you flit the night air over shadow gardens,
whip over batture, over bound mississippi
a land disfigured, levee swollen
witness an iliad of loss;
what does losing mean, losing
your hundred thousand acres, the taste
of beeless honey in your mouth
losing yourself and all

yesterdays and tomorrows, colorblind
days indistinguishable blend
no longer circle dancing with sun and moon.
i too will unlearn that
and this: the difference, little birds, between
when we played with our mothers' cast-offs
played we know better, grown-up is better
how we longed to be like them, to speed up time
to be like them, we thought we had
all the time in the world
and when that black & white dream dissolved into

awareness of your alluvial caress, you
washed over me like the grains of sand and soil
that crumbled and bled out of your saccharum fields
and rose again in riverbed waves of mud
breaking me routinely, routinely hypnotizing me
your breathing a sound that was silence
scattering my thoughts piece by piece
you put me together again
o beautiful blackness, together we glide
though you don't light long enough.
my senses long to interrupt
the perennial part of amaranthine stillness
i struggle to hear the sere reed, interpret
the raw glaze tuning your throat
but everything's garbled, the connection obscured.

About This Poem

While in Texas, I was thinking about how the Texas prairie was lost, lost like so many people, in a relatively short time. Scientists, environmentalists, and other individuals who recognize the benefits of prairie grass and wetland habitats along the Central Flyway are working to bring a little bit of prairie back to the Houston area. Driving down the coast of Louisiana, you don't have to go far to find a ghost or two. I recently got to know a few on their own turf, around the sugar plantations near the Mississippi River, and added them to my personal circle of ghosts. Water, wind, birds, live oaks, sugarcane, native grasses—where you find these, you will also find the other ones. They seem to belong out there with the natural world they once roamed (not in creepy crypts or dark alleys—New Orleans can keep those!), nature and spirit no longer lost to each other, but reunited. So that's what I did, brought them together again.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I. conversations with ghosts serene

do you remember nightfall on the coldest
night of the coldest year, the wind
after howling
the entire day
us climbing
between smooth, frosty sheets
frigid toes and feet overlapped
like the child's game with stacked hands
only this time the bottom one wins

after an evening in front of the fire
remember—you do, don't you?—
the many faces lit bright and hot
equal measure
of flame and fierce bonds
love beyond the sting, the frozen froth
of seawater, the stoney peaks, the abandoned
mill, the silent fields
dead above
but not below

there is a sound
that comes to me, no sound
you or i have ever heard before, a cry
like laughter, laughter
like a cry
to penetrate all chill—frightening?
no....bold, knowing—
it is time to listen to them
let them in
—the grandmothers, mothers, cousins
aunts, daughters, friends—they are here

expecting us to set off, become
part of the bluecold landscape
but we will risk
linking tears, laughter
sorrowjoy mixed along a calendar
of days telling where to go and when
and how one minute we're shivering
the next we're wiping sweat off our necks

Friday, November 15, 2013


basin point no. 5

and what rift what    wrinkle    caused someone to ask
how much smaller is smaller still than    small     how much
outside the window an edge    somnolent smudge
dawn cracked     door of beginnings and repetitions    the source of
no one knows how small    small therein contained is    
as assemblages stacked    nano particle inched into    particle
then droplet into    r  o  o  t
me next    my patch of earth added
to yours equals our planet    our solar system wedged into galaxy after galaxy
slivers nested like matryoshkas    specks shards    shreds
gliese slips into dorado another into libra    that slight move delivers a good fit
your very cells never missing minutes    now pinched between
thumb and forefinger and released    the universe drops into the deep
velvet of my pocket    letting go the stellar tracery of my dreams

Friday, October 11, 2013

the old waters

oh yeah. ok, this. and this. a steady growl and a squeally wheeled stampede will surely find me. phantasms will roll over me and trample me, i just know it.

a vibrating turbulence thunders and rumbles underground, overground.
a seethe, a grinding roil, a change—i feel, the trees feel, the very firmament

feels the weight. snap awake, sort of. whether i wish
to or not.

monday. monday means garbage. monday means garbage/recycle day and that means early cacophony. clang da bing da boom.

my husband didn't forget to put out the containers.
that's a good start.

here's another one: i want to get outside and hum my spirit back in.
walk down the driveway in light rain. ready to roll the plastic bins back to the garage.

as i flip the lids closed, i notice, in the bottom of one, bright, sugary white
chunks—airy polystyrene left behind—stuff that bonds, like bone, rock, prayer.

i want to see what an eye, sharply focused, will reflect back at me:
mirrored sky, fiery leaves, golden pine needles in night rain's puddle leavings.

what about me wanting a lens that sees me
not as i am
not as what the light of day makes me
too much of vanity and reverie

but one that sights what i will be
atoms connecting and disconnecting
stardust, house dust, weed and skin
(click here to read more).

of course, it is mostly unverifiable, mostly conjecture—until
some chemistry, some physics, those blocks of albescent pearl: the always
nature of tweaked molecules, the descent from algae
from plankton that swam the old waters waiting

waiting for us to unloose them
waiting for us to deliver testament
how we go from here
where we go from here.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

my cousin's america

Detail of Marc Chagall's America Windows, Art Institute of Chicago

on that late summer thursday in my cousin's america
midwest, illinois, land of state sovereignty, national
unity, after chicago, after art and people-watching
in millenium, the set changes to the fox river
i walk to the end of the path in st. charles, my toes
nearly touching the pudding mud, bite into
an apple, study a sign explaining non-point source
pollution—it seeks the lowest spot, the spot where
i stand, the entire riverbank. they say they will bring
the lost prairie back, since strip malls are rootless there's no
drinking the rot and wreck of runoff, clean the river
with angelica, aster, black-eyed susan, snakeroot,
blazing star, prairie clover, tall grass, wheat grass. how about it:
straight talk this time, no double talk, no song and dance.

i seize on this, my non-routine, this minute
compared to yesterday's minute and the minute that's coming
at me with the current's rush. look there, there: coasting—coasting—
wheeling in a chevron backlit by sky unspooling, the wild
geese land in a world-web much like ours: feed, fly, mate
talk, sleep. an earthbound journey dreaming itself, dreaming
the next stop on the map. press on the brakes, slow
the vehicle to let you pass, an almost identical story
to the one i tell of my america, only in maine it's wild
turkeys i try to save. together we multitask
alert to impending disaster, we fluff our feathers
train our beady little eyes on the arrival of what we call hope:
a timely procurement of our next meal.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

an exercise in drawing the erenow

funny little word, a bite full of dust, shouldering the burden of centuries, but salvageable. needs a living tongue to carry its tune, like star embryos which also hum, but only hot, but only if we pay attention to them growing with accumulated matter, occupying spacetime the same way proust's combray church does. we can try to draw a picture with a pencil of the before this time and the after this time but good luck with that—it never works. four dimensions are beyond us. focus on a roundish piece of fruit instead—for example, a black pretty lady. before you puncture the flesh, chew the skin and swallow the juice, explore the circumference with your mouth—a quick method of circumnavigating hawking—the hypothesis of finite extent, nonexistent boundaries, nothing holding you back, nothing preventing your travel. begin here and end here or keep going. today the baby intentionally scatters wooden blocks across the floor, a spider struggles to scale the bathroom sink and rent-a-chicken incorporated doesn't have a problem with you returning a loud-mouth hen that's upsetting the neighbors. make note of the fact that time slows at higher speeds. but don't let that stop you. come aboard. follow the horizon. sail in the direction of the already collapsing boundary. tomorrow try to capture that ruin of blue.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

can you tell me

can you tell me who all these people are
     where they come from, where they're going?
          can you tell me who is sitting and who
               is standing, posing for the camera?

we sit on the edge of the bed beside
     the window overlooking the lawn, the dunes
          the sea, the white curtains fluttering in the salt air.
               he takes the 8x10 from my hand and is silent

remembering, recalling the blood ties
lives frozen behind the glass.

a little smile and then these are my parents indicating
     with his finger an attractive old couple in the center,
          and these are my sisters and brothers
               at this point he gives them names—his parent's children

and the children's children. the newest ones
aren't even in the picture—the children's children's children.

(it is for one of the newest ones
that some of us gather in the big old house
by the sea to celebrate a one year birthday.)

i replace the frame on the dresser
     and we leave the quiet of the room
          and plunge again into the motion, the heat
               the fine noise that humans make

and marvel at the size of this ordinary clan
     this wealth in sheer numbers
          like the swish, the swoon of the depths, the vast
               untamed blueness caressing multitudes of dolphins and fish

we enter into the unbearable, the improbable
     the unexplainable wonder of it
          the weight that keeps us, presses us
               that holds us in place.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

the lost key


in the clearing beside the hall called mercury
amidst the ancient industry of living things,
the buzz and song and whir of insects
and birds, stands a craggy crowd
live oaks and post oaks with sun scorched
wind hardened bodies marked

with many rings, lines in endless circles
rough brown arms and elbows and living hats
of vivid green tip toward earth and eavesdrop
glad, bright and shining in the celebration's glade
where the old fragments we are certain and you are lodged
now reach them and the company gathered below them

now find their way new again, the way of remembrance for,
remembrance of, remembrance toward, forward, beyond 
remembrance because this day when the key is lost is the day
we witness two beings offering words engraved
round and round eternity, the day come, the day gone again
the trees motionless in the blossoming hush of evening
the stars a rising flourish in the southern sky
unlock delight in the vow stay there forever.

Monday, June 24, 2013

curious objects and other animals

Uncommon Objects, Austin, Texas, June 2013.

a single downy feather rests on top of a pale blue dresser in a shop housing uncommon goods. a feather not meant as part of the display but a random one descended from who knows what, who knows where. who knows what, who knows where? everything in the shop is either weird or old or wonderful or all three: dolls and parts of dolls—heads, arms, eyes— bleached animal skeletons and skulls, china, silverware, furniture and antique jewelry. it smells in here, but it's not actually a bad smell. it's just that this stuff has been around long enough to have witnessed plenty of good times and plenty of bad times—and probably plenty more times it would rather not have witnessed at all—that it can't help letting off the whiff of time, of tomb, the aroma of accumulation, of year after year scratching each surface, the scent an extract of tired eyes and gnarled hands and limping breath.

next stop, downtown. we descend the streets—eighth to sixth to forth to cesar chavez and finally the lake and the bridge. we wait and wait for dusk and one of austin's famous performances. in the end, we are disappointed. the night we position ourselves on the bridge black clouds slide in and block the backdrop of the sky. lightning excites the southwestern horizon. tall, bright street lamps throw enough light so we manage to see them if we stare directly below us into the river. here they come: at last, on their own unfathomable schedule, they are starting to wake up. first a few, then, slowly, surely, many, many thousands of mexican free-tailed bats emerge into the night. they glide low over the water. they do not soar above our heads as i expected, as i was warned, but weave in and out in a smooth, silent follow-the-leader formation under the bridge. the looping stream of bats is tight and circles together in the same direction, their fast fluid motion like the opening of flood gates. with a gush, their little light brown and gray bodies become a waterfall that pours down the warm spring evening.

hundreds of thousands of bats. hundreds of thousands of small beating hearts and flapping wings turn east into the night (but we can't see them!) along the texas colorado river—one gigantic body with many moving parts—to zero in on the heat and shimmy of fresh batches of hatching insects. they will devour zillions of them until the dark diminishes down and a new light crawls over the bats' fur and some ancient instinct forces them to thrust themselves into reverse and back across the land and the ravaged rip of night toward caves or, in this case, the underside of the congress avenue bridge, to succumb yet again to the lure of another day's deep sleep.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

the sweet slowness of it all

Mountain and Hay Bales by Karen Dawson

Slow blogging is speaking like it matters, like the pixels that give your words form are precious and rare. It is a willingness to let current events pass without comment. It is deliberate in its pace, breaking its unhurried stride for nothing....  -Todd Sieling

this thing, this thing right here, has turned into an exceedingly slow creature, a slow blog that's like a slow jog, ambling along the countryside at a leisurely pace, a pace that allows it to enjoy the scenery and hear itself think without panting or huffing or puffing—or maybe, to be honest, with just a minimal amount of panting/huffing/puffing—without getting too sweaty, wearing out its knees, developing shin splints.

it can take its sweet time. please throw away the clocks! it may remain silent, if it wishes, for days, weeks or months. yesterday's aha moment remains suspended, on the verge of something, like all moments that hover on the quivering edge waiting to be written down, to be bestowed or, if not bestowed, that are left to fall away, unspoken for yet another day.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


with nowhere else to go, nowhere better to be, took up residence on the cove after the summer people left to become winter people and exchanged one big house on the sea nestled in pines for another big house on the sea nestled in palms.

she snuck across the frost-hardened, moonlit lawn and began her extended stay as an icy wind off the water knocked the thermometer down so low it could barely lift itself above freezing. her name, inaccurate. no longer golden haired but a life-beaten gray—where-oh-where had the years gone?—she wintered over, invisible in plain sight, constructing a just-right nest of comforters in the smallest bed in the smallest room of the house.

ms. locks made it her policy to eat only one non-perishable or frozen food item per day from the well-stocked pantry and freezer. but first, with a gusto she hadn't felt since last year, she took two weeks to consume—with great ceremony, shoveling in a handful here, a handful there—with vigorous displays of open-mouthed chomping—and, it might be added, an inspired, spit-flying smacking of lips—one satisfying bag of doritos and three of potato chips and two of oreo cookies; then, as always, she proceeded to melt skewered marshmallows over the vulcan hart range, sandwiching them appreciatively between graham crackers and chocolate bars.

but soon her time was up. before summer came, she vanished again, leaving hardly a trace of herself. the single person aware of her phantom presence was a child—the young granddaughter of the owners. upon arrival, and after experiencing a few nonplussed moments, the little girl administered her annual correction: she grabbed her teddy bear, who, for yet another winter, had been subjected to sleeping against the wrong pillow! in the wrong bed! in the wrong room! tucked him in her own bed, and whispered the tender question. she and her stuffed companion heard the words and were braced by them turning over and over again in silent, swirling echoes against the four walls—do you still love me best, me best, me best....?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

insert poem here

it's that time of year again—the academy of american poets poem in your pocket day is TODAY.

discover a poem, fold it up, put the wonder of it in your pocket—or at least put it somewhere where it might be conveyed—and carry around a little inspiration, a little mystery, a little memory, a little experience. read and reread. feel the pull of an imaginative journey offering, perhaps, a secret, and always pleasure. whatever you do, don't forget to share it.

here's a poem by mary oliver that's in this, my virtual pocket....and in my real one, too.

~Mary Oliver~

Don't bother me.
I've just
been born.

The butterfly's loping flight
carries it through the country of leaves
delicately, and well enough to get it
where it wants to go, wherever that is, stopping
here and there to fuzzle the damp throats
of flowers and the black mud; up
and down it swings, frenzied and aimless; and sometimes

for long delicious moments it is perfectly
lazy, riding motionless in the breeze on the soft stalk
of some ordinary flower.

The god of dirt
came up to me many times and said
so many wise and delectable things, I lay
on the grass listening

to his dog voice,
crow voice,
frog voice; now,
he said, and now,
and never once mentioned forever,

which has nevertheless always been,
like a sharp iron hoof,
at the center of my mind.

One or two things are all you need
to travel over the blue pond, over the deep
roughage of the trees and through the stiff
flowers of lightning—some deep
memory of pleasure, some cutting
knowledge of pain.

But to lift the hoof!
For that you need an idea.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


~ originally written with a black sharpie fine point on the clean side of a used piece of white hp everyday copy & print paper which has since been recycled.

a handful of words, elvers
in a net, glassy and precious
a handful that is not enough
for the telling—some springs the wind
hollers louder, soft flesh of mud
shivers hot with sun—worn skin of ice
loosed and the vernal land speaking
equinox, conversation in a language
measured dark & light, death & life,
emptying & filling, dormancy &
awakening, garnering & gifting—
eyes lift from march squalls to april
reaping, time's calculations printed
gathered in infinite sheaves born of trees
their numbered days cut and pulped
packed/tossed/reused we recycle a life
seek what is missing and in the seeking
discover the sought after slipping
through our hands, a twofold loss
closed eyes open we are conceived
open eyes closed we sleep and in silvery
fragmented gossamer swim away.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


was the core of me starving—layers ripped, peeled—losing hold, cold? like a floe
fleeing, outward bound?

(as yet unknown realm/unanswered questions.)

a small spot appears at lunchtime while i hold a spoon
and stir fresh vegetables in a pot, the beginnings of soup, a broth
of oxygen bubbles, a steady steam of spice feeding the space
above my head where shiny silver pans covered
in a moist venous glaze hang from wooden
pegs along a beam. a small spot i ignore.
a small spot. i ignore. a small squeeze on the left side of my chest.
it's really nothing at all. it grows and shrinks—
smaller, bigger, smaller, to almost nothing,
almost nothing at all.

i imagine fibers elongating—thumpbabump—trying to inch their way out. i think,
absurdly, of valentine's day, the throb of love, the center and shape of it—fat, red, oozing.

(who made up that blood is blue?)

blood is red, red and burning, and it plays a satisfying game of survival.

cars flow along the on and off ramps on forest avenue, disturb
accumulations of litter that bite the curbstones near the bent
forms of pedestrians who battle the winter wind. a man hops from one foot
to the other clutching a sign: homeless please help any way you can. 

i walk into the ER no problem, fill out a few questions on a clipboard.
symptoms: ghost dance/soft pirouette. nurse hands me a thermometer,
pumps up a cuff on my arm, pronounces everything normal, says the wait
won't be long. his earring glitters under the energy saving lights.

i lie on a gurney, chat with the docs. i feel good. i never see my monitored
numbers plummet, the lines descending behind my head. i never think i am
a goner, but my eyes see gray. everything turns to a dim rush
a blur of people doing their jobs. later that night i learn my husband cried.

this flip of a thing—this filipendulous detail—decides to tumble
on to monday, its eyes ravenous for tuesday, rolling rolling each day,
each day for a long time after that, never stopping, always onward, its
movement undeterred by the dark uncertainty of an indifferent spit of road.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

in the calm before

maybe '13 is gonna be like '69, '78, '97it's gonna blow out there! that's how the real old timers talk when a blizzard's coming. the new old timers on the news concur. they're reading the maps, the models and the almanacs, the tea leaves and the crystal balls. once they stop peering, straining their eyes, they offer up a prediction. they tell us to stay home. don't move.

in '78 i broke the law. i didn't stay home, didn't hunker down. classes canceled, i drove my vw to maine after the governor of massachusetts declared a driving ban. the worst was over but the snow kept coming. when i stopped at forbidden intersections and inched forward past towering man-made mountains of white powder on my way to the interstate, i imagined the scream of police sirens, but there was no one out there to catch me. not a soul.

put away the devices of our own devising. cameras, cell phones, laptops won't help us now. wind remakes shorelines, alters the course of rivers, wipes fishing ports off the charts. while the waters rise, networks succumb, bullets fly, people wash laundry, children grow. life separates, split by commas, into one thing after another.

in the calm before, we say we wish this day would never end. please don't let it end. the way the light bends through the smudged window and the snow sticks in the tall pines and the dog turns circles in her bed before she settles, and you, you drink a cup of coffee that's already getting cold.

the way that it is heartbreaking. we want to gather it up and press it, amber-like: small pieces suspended, preserved for a million years, an adornment, a crucible of illumination, tawny blare slashing through it, slashing through us. we edge around corners becoming the apparatus of our own survival, don't you see?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

after bramhall

a renegade light begins to undo the grip of the dark, rubs the sleep out of air that is becoming wicked, wicked. fierce wind gusts from the west and abuses the swaddled walkers and joggers who brave frigid temperatures as they cut through the remaining gloom.

(but spring can't be too far away because lee in virginia says she saw a huge flock of robins on a lawn; they must have been storing up calories for fly north fast, birdies.)

arms paddling, various sized backsides swaying or bobbing up and down, some of these people wear vests over their layers with neon yellow markings and happy little lights that blink away what's left of the night.

my feet and i, we're bad, very bad—we take the coward's way out. we retreat indoors—sissies!—away from the cold and into a snug little room downstairs. flip a switch, hear it whir, watch the tiny orange lights flicker and light up the console, the machine coming to life.

i climb aboard.

stride after stride, lap after lap, mile after mile, my breath in rhythm with my molecules as they spin and loop in an unrestrained aerobic dance. it feels good, this breathing room, where all of me is living in air.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

the coat

she had been on the verge of leaving for ages, lifting her coat off the hanger, wrapping a scarf around her neck, pushing her feet into boots, planting a hat atop her head.

our young selves—the child i was, that my children were—would hear her calling "go outside. enjoy the fresh air...but it's cold out there—don't forget your mittens and heavy socks," as she attempted to get me, and later her grandchildren, out the door.

winter turns to spring, summer arrives, fall, then winter is once again upon us and she, dressed in her coat, ready to go, lingers.

this image of my mother bundled up in her coat, impatient to move on but stuck and going nowhere, is what i have. it does not exist except that i make it exist. in my possession are real pictures of her—some recent, some from decades ago, some nice black and whites and early color ones that are fading to yellow—but today i don't notice those, i only notice the one of her in her coat and hat.

an abrupt little breath and she is ready, she is prepared for this final departure. "get going," she'd say to us. "you'll overheat and catch a chill if you stand around in the house too long dressed in all those clothes."

but now it's her turn to leave. "go, mom," i tell her. "please go. it's time."

her hand grasps the doorknob and finally—finally!—she turns it and opens the door. she hesitates a moment but does not look back over her shoulder. when i think of her leaving us i am standing in my kitchen viewing the impossible—a procession of snowflakes that defy gravity: the snowflakes don't head obediently toward the ground but fly free like small bleached bugs, higher and higher in the sky of an upside-down world, the world reflected on the granite countertop.

so many weeks buttoned up in preparation, so many hours spent waiting. when my mother steps out on the air to greet snow and sun and moon and stars, i bow my head, my face hot and wet. at last, for her, relief. she had been in that damn coat way too long.

In memory of my mother who recently died peacefully at her home after a long illness.
Dear heart, best friend, I will never stop missing you....

Saturday, January 12, 2013

logging on in aroostook county

i have no idea where the weeks have disappeared. one minute they were right here—i'm telling you i had them firmly in my grasp—and then, just like that, they were gone. life is crazy sometimes, filled with the unexpected. it meanders, it zigs and zags, it careens. in maine, life is good, though. so very, very good.

as proof of the good life we lead in maine, the following terms highlight, among other things, how advanced we are.


1.  log on - make the wood stove hotter

2.  log off - don't add no more wood

3.  monitor - keep an eye on that wood stove

4.  download - getting the firewood off the truck

5.  floppy disk - what you get from downloading too much firewood

6.  ram - the thing that splits the firewood

7.  hard drive - getting home in winter

8.  prompt - what the u.s. mail ain't in the winter

9.  window - what to shut when it's cold outside

10.  screen - what to shut in black fly season

11.  byte - what the black flies do

12.  bit - what the black flies did

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

payment, please

one day it's warm, the next day it's cold. a little bit of rain, then a dusting of snow. the grass is green, the trees are naked. i have to stop to let three wild turkeys cross the road while en route to my annual mammogram appointment.

i pull into the parking lot of the new medical building in yarmouth. the macadam in this lot was rolled out black and slick onto a farmer's derelict field. a red barn still stands as proof of the old ways, a beacon hailing from more than a hundred years ago in the middle of tall, withered grass. without the barn, i would have no idea that this had been land that produced, that made something out of nothing. the farmer's acreage still produces, only now it produces housing developments, a gas station, and the medical office i am about to go into. the red barn is in good condition, obviously loved by someone. a smidgen of pastureland remains, clinging to the old barn like a child afraid to let go of its parent.

have you noticed there is no photo to go along with my story today? the powers that be at blogger have informed me that i am out of luck, i am at the end of the road, that i have run out of space.* odd thing is, i never knew i had space to begin with, let alone that i could run out of it. they are demanding payment for photo storage. don't quite know what i'll do next.

my medieval torture session over, i harbor gloomy thoughts as i exit, maneuvering along the pavement of the parking area under dismal gray skies.

*has anyone else been told they are out of space and will have to pay up to post their photos? one blogger i know has been doing this a lot longer than i have and has always posted photos, too. she received no such notice.