Monday, March 30, 2009

Remembering the Giddy In Grunt

Spring by our standards in the area of Haines, South East Alaska, were met head on today.

Light, snow flurries mixed with diffused shots of sun and the occasional blast of cornflower blue and direct yellow. It kept it beautiful to be out in and the trail conditions just right for being on top of.

The remaining snow depth is also measured by local standards and this year would be considered moderate. That's to say if you had legs ten feet long, you'd only sink in
up to your crotch when you punch through after stepping off to the side of the trail.

With legs of a regular length, there remains that suspended above a bottomless abyss feeling that I find rather exhilarating.

And when your boot gets stuck, which invariably happens, it's an aerobic workout getting back up with one leg extended back behind to keep your exposed sock from getting wet.

Then, as I bent forward on the well supported leg to try and fish the cemented boot out, my ham strings which have been forgotten for much of this winter sang the hallelujah chorus. Thrilling!

This was on the way to the barn to tend to triplet lambs born early yesterday evening.

The jerry jug of warm water for the new mama and her barn mates was bumping up against my thigh sloshing pleasantly. My biceps have turned to oatmeal this year as well. But it'll come back. I promise myself.

Today went well and for the first day of serious grunt and I'm glad to say that I took it at a reasonable pace. Now that things are thawing, I'll pull the sled full of barn material out onto the garden compost areas five times again tomorrow.

Daughter Hannah's bringing out fresh bedding for the new comers and the others who are pending birth in the next few days.

Somehow my love for this crazy lifestyle has always won out over the occasional season of inertia. Hoping to make an old timer's comeback this year (I hope, I hope, I hope).

The babies are still a bit scruffy looking but darned cute none the less.

(For my own use and any one else interested, here's a link for High time I get the weights going, a sort of "do or die" effort, emphasis on the "DO".)

Friday, March 27, 2009

In The Splendor That Is Spring

I delight in the darkness of the new moon.

Gifted by my Hannah Rose, this lovely necklace creation to adorn my shadow dance. I'm loved.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Back Among The Angel Birch

The week is moving by so pleasantly.

Traversing along our snowy trail, the light and feel of sunlit peaks, chilled smell of cottonwood, willow and river, the music of thawing breeze all so familiar, I get vertigo.

I'm moving through my own body.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Dance, Beloved, For The Price of A Poem

A surprising warmth greets Mason and I, our long explore tired

The snow stays quite stickily on my red heeled shoes.

Barn friends are still waiting for clear ground;

their pointy cloven hooves, starving to join us

down in some green leafed out bower.

Just as my voice hits a high note, a tremendous slide

blind crashes ice shattering off the roof.

The red expanse looks at us gratefully; the smoke stack spared.

I'm again impressed with gravity.

(A wonderful Writer's Almanac with Redoubt and Volcanic Spew)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shadow Sister's Time of Lament

She said..."You know, back then at night the city would have this stunning silence which I adored, until the wretched times. Then the slamming, switching cars and squealing train brakes were my own personal Hades, clawed yet comforting.
It was like all the rage I forbade myself to express, found outlet nightly with the train's chaotic symphony, gently greasing down into my body with the radio's smoky FM style.
Darkest heaven on Earth."

They really didn't know how to reply. Back then she was offered another babysitting job and the lure of the open road after graduation. Which she took, grateful to leave them in peace and go to find her own somehow.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Image Reader

A wonderful contribution and conversation recently transpired on

The Maiden's Journey is mythically portrayed in the art photography of Patrisha McLean's Flower Girls Blossom, and has been shared in an article by Ann Image Reader. Access is linked in the title.

Sally Mann, also known for the sensitive and insightful photography of her children and sentient landscapes she loves, has assembled a new body of work, What Remains.

Sally's beautiful work takes an artistic look at the dying process, death and...well, what remains. A descriptive coverage of the documentary on this new phase in her unique and controversial career can be seen with the link provided.

Once again, it's the stories of our lives and passages shared and portrayed where cultural evolution can be glimpsed. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Ensuing Coils

Most afternoons, when bugs were young and drifted snow piled deeply all day, we'd hunker down under a common blanket, properly sandwiched. With paper words and pencils we'd draw straight through towards evening, making up stories, the ones that mood dictated..

(...and the mood always dictated)

One would have a take on WHY the dragon scorched the villagers season after season.

Another would feel compelled to drum up the smells of the scorched peasants, with lavishly obscure names while detailing the costumes and complicated quests.

The third, Cougar, youngest and most loquacious of all, would give voice to her vindicating girl hero. Cougar's valiant maids always rose victorious, upsetting One and Another by chancing cliche and repetition and prospective audience.

As the lamp wicks flickered low and effective, the tale would charge on, industrious, and roiling.

From out beyond the veil, held breath listening to a noise familiar. A thin, squealing, insipid tone. The wheedling whine of liquid sucking for air. Jerry jug grip, tightly tilted for the nightly fuel, the engine caught and spluttered to life.

Then followed grand clomping stomping of snow laden boots and bashing against the door.

Muscles bulged around quarters of spruce and hemlock, mere warmth for the evening as Poppa walked through the door.

Evening's electric light vanquished the dragon's spell, suspended now as words from the dance drifted off, past opening credits of that night's movie.

Things would pick up again. Later with lights out. We'd build up the fire and all tuck in.

Dream new material for the following day.

(linked in the title is a connection to Bent Lorentensen from Denmark and his report from the recent conference in Copenhagen on global climate change. Well worth reading.
Also, Gather science writer, David K. shared this article on the conference with really fine additional links. Take a look at his Dake Page as well with the RSS feed provided to the left.)

We're getting a sharper picture as the coils tighten.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Helping to Steer / or hand me an oar!

Spreading the word...

I've added a few new features in The Blue Room (go through the window by clicking a link up and to the right).

The Blue Room now has The Writer's Almanac updated daily as a feed. Podcasts are available there and by going back through the vast archives a person can glean a good cursory exposure to literature and history. I've recently started going back through the great links Garrison Keillor's always keen to provide.

Ted Kooser, was the US Poet Laureate for 2004-06 and hosts American Life In Poetry which I've linked to. You'll find also The Poetry Foundation's RSS feed. These are both wonderful sites for all genres of poetry and prose.

Careful though, you might get lost.

New here to the Hinterlands' page is a feed to Bob Edward's daily show. There you should be able to get podcasts of the weekend show (though my piddy Pewter no can do).

I've featured an award winning documentary that The Bob Edwards Show produced called the Exploding Heritage on the practice of mountaintop removal for coal mining purposes in Eastern Kentucky. The show aired back in 2006. I hope to post a PDF transcript, excellent for those of us 'back-eddies' who are tech limited by choice or denial. It's a good read, just how to feature it here....?

Which leads me to my fellow Luddite, Kentuckian and poet/writer activist Wendell Berry (he's committed and I've fallen from grace, thus this blog), I've an RSS feed for a fine web page devoted to Mr. Berry's on going efforts.

These stories of controversial land use issues, will remind many of our on going challenges in the Chilkat/Klehini Valley and provide impetus for some of the potential environmental nightmares looming our way.

Hope you enjoy and give me a little feedback if inclined!