December 21, 2014

WHEN THE YEAR GROWS OLD by Edna St. Vincent Millay


I cannot but remember 
 "She had a look about her that I wish I could forget..."
  When the year grows old—
October—November—
  How she disliked the cold!
 
She used to watch the swallows
  Go down across the sky,
And turn from the window  
  With a little sharp sigh.
 
And often when the brown leaves
  Were brittle on the ground,
And the wind in the chimney 
  Made a melancholy sound,
 
She had a look about her that I wish I could forget—
The look of a scared thing sitting in a net!
 
Oh, beautiful at nightfall the soft spitting snow!
And beautiful the bare boughs rubbing to and fro!
 
But the roaring of the fire,  and the warmth of fur,
And the boiling of the kettle were beautiful to her!
 
I cannot but remember when the year grows old—
October—November—  How she disliked the cold!
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

November 4, 2014

SAINT FRANCIS AND THE SOW by Galway Kinnell

Berkshire sow and piglets. Photo from M. Dobson of Wind n' Woolly Acres
The bud stands for all things,
even for those things that don't flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;

as Saint Francis put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath
them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

© 1980 by Galway Kinnell  1927-2014
Online Source: http://faculty.washington.edu/jnh/vol1no1/sow.htm
 
What a lovely poem. I had to share this. I do not have pigs, but the poem would be fitting for any mother, including a ewe. Thank you Mary, for the photo of your lovely sow!  ~Val


My Outaouais Arcott ewe Brownie with just born quadruplets.

October 5, 2014

Weaving life, wool and Walt Whitman

"Leaf Island" by V. Fiddler - a study in diagonal techniques.
 
by Walt Whitman
Weave in, weave in, my hardy life,
Weave yet a soldier strong and full for great campaigns to come,
Weave in red blood, weave sinews in like ropes,
      the senses, sight weave in,
Weave lasting sure, weave day and night the weft, the warp,
      incessant weave, tire not,
(We know not what the use O life, nor know the aim, the end,
      nor really aught we know,
But know the work, the need goes on and shall go on, the death-
      envelop’d march of peace as well as war goes on,)
For great campaigns of peace the same the wiry threads to weave,
We know not why or what, yet weave, forever weave.

September 30, 2014

Young Lincoln ram Hamish (center) cuddled up with other rams for an afternoon siesta.