November 30th 2015 | late November

On the first night of December:

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finally—
····apples fallen and the tree laden
·············with stars

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24: November 30th 2015

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Was out late tonight. The night is cold and unusually clear for November— and the stars brilliantly glitter. But then, in just an hour and a half, it will be December. The night, in truth, is really December’s.

November 29th 2015 | chickadees

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snow
····and stove-ash coming and going—
···············chickadees

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23: November 29th 2015

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I finally put the bird seed out. I used to feed them year round but we began to be overrun by rodents—mice, rats, voles, nattering and quarrelling squirrels. The mice liked to store the seeds in our walls. I replaced a window this summer and the space between the jamb and rough opening was stuffed full of seeds—years and years of them. I’ve also hung the feeder over the brook immediately  behind our house. The water carries away any seeds the birds drop. It didn’t take long for the chickadees to find the feeder. A pair of cardinals, long-time residents in our back wood, also showed up. The chickadees reminded me of snow the way they’d come and go out of the fir trees.

November 28th 2015 |November

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more
····light in clouds than in the sun—
········November

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·I was reading Buson and Basho for inspiration today. I felt as if a haiku might not come; now almost midnight. I was remembering today—a real November day—the chilly sun and the black trees. There were only glimpses of blue sky above the layers of cloud and when the sun, once or twice, did filter through, it was as cold as none at all.

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less
····light in the sun than in the clouds—
········November

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I had gone to bed and was thinking on the art of haiku, the subtle difference between a mediocre haiku and a good one, and it occurred to me to change the emphasis from “more light” to “less light”. The revision also ends the pivot on clouds rather than the sun. I think this second version is much better.  I’m also thinking I might try to write an online journal—Tiny Poems: A Minimalist’s Guide to Poetry.

22: November 28th  2015

November 27th 2015 | by the road

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crows
····by the road—waiting for squirrels to make
········mistakes

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I love crows. There’s an intelligence about them that, as far as native Americans storytellers were concerned, made them equal to the coyote. Crows can remember the speed limits of the different roads they frequent. When they see a car coming, they’ll time their leap into the branches accordingly. One very seldom sees a dead crow along the road,  but many, many squirrels. I saw a couple today, and the crows were celebrating an absolutely delightful Thanksgiving.

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21: November 27th 2015

 

November 26th 2015 | golden rod

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November—
····will my bones will be beautiful as the golden
········rod’s?

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There’s still been no snow to lay down late summer’s flowers. The golden rod have all turned copper. I picked some, a lady’s slipper, aster, and some burdock (for which I’ve always had a fondness) and Meadowsweat which, though it looks dead, continues to live through the winter. The stem is green when snapped. Now I have my vase of November flowers on the kitchen table and next to it a book called Wildflowers and Winter Weeds. I thought of a poem I might write. A first line occurred to me: ‘November has its flowers too’. We’ll see if I can make a poem out of that.

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November
sunsets—remembering when golden rod
···················was gold

 

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Listening to Bach’s First Cello Suite as I write this. When I was out for my walk today, the golden rod, bleached a beautiful beige like tufts of wool, turned gold again catching the late fall’s sunset. The edge of the field was momentarily aglow.

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20 November 26th 2015

November 25th 2015 | spider

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spider—
····crawling for warmth under the heel
···········of my boot

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19: November 25th 2015

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  • Lunch was sitting by a wood-stove. We had to keep the doors open, for work, though it was cold outside. We kept the wood-stove loaded with wood. I noticed a spider had come over the door sill. It came across the white tile, slow and cold, until it finally crawled beneath the heel of my boot. I carefully stood some twenty minutes later.

September 23rd 2015 | abandoned

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abandoned
····in the old truck bed—leaves, water and
········the sky

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17: September 23rd 2015

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  • Out under an old apple tree, birch and hemlock, is an old blue pickup truck. The tires are cracked and flat and the hubs are rusted into the dirt. There’s almost something beautiful about it. If I were a good photographer I could capture the dignity of the old machine.

November 22nd 2015 | favorite rake

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my
····favorite rake—lost somewhere under
············leaves

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16: November 22nd 2015

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  • Every fall it occurs to me I ought to probably bring in my tools from the weather; every year I’m having to replace the handle; and every year I swear, by God, I’ll change my ways.

November 21rst 2015 | frozen apples

 

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won’t
····let go—the bare tree’s red, frozen
········apples

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15 November 21rst  2015

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  • This was a wonderful year for apples. The trees are still full of them though their leaves are long gone. They can be beautiful like this. In the river valley, where there hasn’t yet been a hard frost, they’re still good for saucing—lots of sugar if a little soft.

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tree’s
····filled with frozen apples—feeling
········guilty