February 29th 2016

Shouldn’t something special happen on leap day?—as if we’d slipped into a world that only existed every four years.
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beets
····on leap day—the girl counting
········
slices
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Numbers. I count everything, and maybe she does too, wondering if there isn’t one more of everything?
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115 February 29th 2016 | bottlecap

February 28th 2016

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This would normally be the last day of the littlest month of the year—a cold but gentle month. This is the month when snowstorms, lit by a hidden moon, can make it seem as though the snow carried the light in its descent. And when the clouds clear, the fields smoothly sparkle as if the Milky Way had fallen underfoot. This February was a sorrowful one, waiting for a lover who never arrived.
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kale
····casting shadows—February’s last
········days
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The deer don’t like to come between the house and barn, but if the winter is long enough and snow deep enough, they’ll find our sprigs of kale. And that will be the end of that. But not so far this year.
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Our sprigs of kale, with a kind of green curiosity, hold their leaves above the snow and look for the sun.
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114 February 28th 2016 | bottlecap

February 27th 2016

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sliced
····apple—half in sunlight half cold
········as ice·

The sun was especially warm and bright lighting the kitchen table. Though it’s not the season for apples, the granny smiths hold up well this late in winter. We sliced one fresh out of the ice box, itself a mix of summer and winter.
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113 February 27th 2016 | bottlecap

February 26th 2016

Yesterday’s haiku didn’t end the way it began. It began with an image of water on ice—just the smallest amount, like a sheen, enough for the wind to ripple. An early suggestion of spring. But no matter how I tried, the observation never seemed to rise from the page. When I removed the water and the ripples, the original impetus for the haiku, I fell in love with it. It’s the closest I’ve come, I think, to capturing what I love about Basho’s haiku. It’s the ineffable observation that’s incomprehensible but somehow understood.  Life is a little like that too.
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wind
····the color of ink —writing before
········midnight
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There may be little work this coming month, but I’m looking forward to writing.
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112 February 26th 2016 | bottlecap

Gravitational Waves

T-88_88x85o me, the confirmation of Gravitational Waves is the biggest story of the year. My wife made a block print to celebrate the event. The barn is our own and the swallows circling above it? Think of them as the two black holes detected by LIGO last September 14th. Sort of a Vermont way to think of these things I suppose. She also made a little E=MC2 stamp to add to the block print. Soon as she adds it, I’ll post that too; but I couldn’t resist posting these first. You can see more on the Block Prints page.
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Gravitational Waves-Block Print-Tracy Gillespie(50 percent)

 

February 24th 2016

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mid-
····winter rains—in the window the red
········peppers
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They are like little red packets, pieces of origami or haiku wrapped in red paper. Such a bleak day—a wet snow that turned into another all day rain. I’ll have to grow more red peppers to keep in the window for days like these.
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110 February 24th 2016 | bottlecap

February 23rd 2016

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two
····new braids in the girl’s hair—each day
········longer
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The littler girl swung her head to feel her braids whip back and forth. At Christmas, her hair wasn’t nearly as long.
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Today my wife and I discussed jointly offering a class. I could discuss and guide the writing of haiku, and she could offer a complimentary course in block printing. I’ve been wanting to give a class on poetry for years—more than just haiku. But I’ve begun to think that writing haiku might be a good way to begin with poetry in general. The form teaches the mind to think purely of the image, to use words only necessarily, and to tightly knit content with form.
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But poetry, in general, too.
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109 February 23rd 2016 | bottlecap

February 22nd 2016

Today wasn’t as warm, but the sun was hot. In the Connecticut River valley, lawns have appeared and only piles of plowed snow remain. This is the first time, of all the winters I’ve spent in Vermont, there’s been grass in the last week of February.
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slipping
····into the pool of meltwater—yesterday’s sledding
········hill
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As the great French poet Villon once asked: Where are the snows of yesteryear? Our lives, our friends, our selves are like so much snow—a vanishing season.

 

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108 February 22nd 2016 | bottlecap