23 September 2016

Autumn Poetry

by Amy Lowell

All day I have watched the purple vine leaves
Fall into the water.
And now in the moonlight they still fall,
But each leaf is fringed with silver.

Source: Poetry

Autumn Sky 
by Charles Simic

In my great grandmother's time, 
All one needed was a broom 
To get to see places 
And give the geese a chase in the sky. 


The stars know everything, 
So we try to read their minds. 
As distant as they are, 
We choose to whisper in their presence. 


Oh Cynthia, 
Take a clock that has lost its hands 
For a ride. 
Get me a room at Hotel Eternity 
Where Time likes to stop now and then. 


Come, lovers of dark corners, 
The sky says, 
And sit in one of my dark corners. 
There are tasty little zeroes 
In the peanut dish tonight.

Source: Poetry

Day in Autumn
by Ranier Maria Rilke
Translated by Mary Kinzie

After the summer's yield, Lord, it is time 
to let your shadow lengthen on the sundials 
and in the pastures let the rough winds fly. 

As for the final fruits, coax them to roundness. 
Direct on them two days of warmer light 
to hale them golden toward their term, and harry 
the last few drops of sweetness through the wine. 

Whoever's homeless now, will build no shelter; 
who lives alone will live indefinitely so, 
waking up to read a little, draft long letters,   
and, along the city's avenues, 
fitfully wander, when the wild leaves loosen.

Source: Poetry

The Heat of Autumn
by Jane Hirshfield
The heat of autumn 
is different from the heat of summer.   
One ripens apples, the other turns them to cider.   
One is a dock you walk out on,   
the other the spine of a thin swimming horse 
and the river each day a full measure colder.   
A man with cancer leaves his wife for his lover. 
Before he goes she straightens his belts in the closet,   
rearranges the socks and sweaters inside the dresser 
by color. That’s autumn heat: 
her hand placing silver buckles with silver,   
gold buckles with gold, setting each   
on the hook it belongs on in a closet soon to be empty,   
and calling it pleasure.

Jane Hirshfield, "The Heat of Autumn" from After. Copyright © 2006 by Jane Hirshfield.  
Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

by Marjorie Pickthall

Now in the West the slender moon lies low, 
And now Orion glimmers through the trees, 
Clearing the earth with even pace and slow, 
And now the stately-moving Pleiades, 
In that soft infinite darkness overhead 
Hang jewel-wise upon a silver thread. 

And all the lonelier stars that have their place, 
Calm lamps within the distant southern sky, 
And planet-dust upon the edge of space, 
Look down upon the fretful world, and I 
Look up to outer vastness unafraid 
And see the stars which sang when earth was made. 

Buffalo Dusk 
by Carl Sandburg

The buffaloes are gone.
And those who saw the buffaloes are gone.
Those who saw the buffaloes by thousands and how they pawed the prairie sod into dust with their hoofs, their great heads down pawing on in a great pageant of dusk,
Those who saw the buffaloes are gone.
And the buffaloes are gone.

Source: The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg (Harcourt Brace Iovanovich Inc., 1970)

16 September 2016


"Without great solitude no serious work is possible."   Pablo Picasso

This week's blog is all about me. Of course you say, why shouldn't it be?? Things going on in my writing world of late—

The Summer 2016 issue of the Tipton Poetry Journal is now published and available online at:  https://issuu.com/tiptonpoetryjournal/docs/tpj31
I have three poems in that issue - Lunation, Trajectory, and A Pearl of Strings in Distant Waters. Go take a look.

A poem will also be forthcoming in The Crafty Poet II: A Portable Workshop by Diane Lockward due out in the next few weeks. My poem is called Synthesis. All poems in the book are examples of writing to a prompt.

I have a poem (Lithic) in the upcoming anthology Blood, Water, Wind and Stone by Sastrugi Press. It is due out this fall.

Bearlodge Writers of Sundance WY (which I belong to) is hosting a Writer's Workshop. Morgan Callan Rogers, author of two internationally-acclaimed novels and several short stories, will present an all-day workshop for writers on Saturday, September 24, in Sundance, Wyoming. The workshop will be held from 9a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Crook County Courthouse. The author will also be available to the public to sign her books Friday, September 23, at Wild West Espresso in Sundance from 4 to 6:30p.m  There's still time to sign up if you hurry! 
$50 per person. Lunch is included.
For more information or to preregister for the event contact Ayme Ahrens at (307) 399-2000 or aymeahrens@yahoo.com.

The next issue of our poetry magazine, Gyroscope Review, will be out very shortly - October 1st. Want to see what we have done in the past, and the type of poems we are interested in publishing? Read our back issues, available for free at http://www.gyroscopereview.com  Follow us on Twitter
@GyroscopeReview or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/GyroscopeReview. 

03 September 2016

What's Cookin'

So what has the Periphery been doing the past month? Fermenting food! This is what started us on our fermenting adventure, Kimchi. Pickled napa cabbage with hot pepper paste, diakon radish, carrots, green onions, garlic and fish sauce. I make mine a bit milder than normal, since I don't like getting the top of my head blown off with the gochugaru - powdered red chili peppers. Fermented in the crock for a couple weeks and cold packed in Mason jars. Another batch and we'll be ready to get through the winter in style.

Pounds O'Cabbage

This is regular green cabbage, a couple of volleyball sized heads. Don't let the size of the bowl fool you, it's enormous. This cabbage was destine to be sauerkraut. Yes, again with the pickled cabbage.
This batch had cabbage, carrots, some red onions, and spices. Just the basics.

Kraut in Crock

This is the kraut nestled in my 1.6 gallon crock. No, it is not a stoneware crock. It's a newfangled plastic and clay with vacuum lid. I'd like a stone crock, but they are expensive, and really hard to lift. This crock laughed at my meager pounds of cabbage, and it fermented away nicely for a few weeks. It even has a little plug in the inner liner so you can burp your ferment when needed. 


See that lonely little jar on the left? That's cabbage brine. 'Yuck' you say, why save that? Well, it had its use. I made fermented Red Onion Relish. Onions don't ferment on their own, so they need a little help. No pictures of the relish, because it disappeared too fast. Great on burgers and sandwiches. I'm going to make a new (bigger) batch this weekend. The little bit that's left now will go on the Labor Day grill meal.

That lovely jar of liquid is my fermented tea - Kombucha. Kombucha is a sweetened tea that is fermented with a SCOBY (a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). It's in its second stage, I fermented it, put the scoby to rest in its hotel, then added raspberries to the jar for a short second ferment. The SCOBY consumes over 90% of the sugar during fermentation, so it's good for diabetics.  It's got beneficial probiotics and acids. And it has some of the fizz of soda without the drawbacks of soda.

Scoby taking a nap with its brethren in a Mason jar hotel. 

Bottled Kombucha
My raspberry Kombucha safely tucked into bottles. Six sixteen ounce bottles. A few days further fermenting and into the fridge they went. Popped the top on one tonight, and it was wonderful. Light and fizzy tea with hints of raspberry. The next batch is already brewing. I think it will be pomegranate tea. What's next on the fermentation hit parade? As soon as the weather cools, sourdough bread. And in the future - Kefir. (Yogurt with a tang.)

What's cookin' in your neck of the woods?

26 August 2016

Dog Days

In celebration of National Dog Days, here are pictures of the dogs in my life. I'm sure Anon was missing his daily dose of Corgi pictures . . . .

The faces that launched a thousand photos.

The faces, all grown up but still very photogenic.
I'm ready for my close-up!  And to explore all that open space behind me.
Ready, willing and able to supervise all your activities, food related or not.
Flashback Granddog - when we could still pick him up.
100 pound granddog that still thinks he's a puppy.
Granddog 2, complete with bat ears and eye spots.
Granddog 2, wondering when supper is served. Look at that sweet face - so hard not to give in.
Dogs of days past - My Basenji. I have a thing for radar eared dogs, okay?
And finally, here's to Anubis, the cat that thought he was just one of the dogs.

19 August 2016

August Fun Facts

August is watching you from the side of the road.

Fun Facts about August

respected and impressive.
"she was in august company"
Synonyms: distinguished, respected, eminent, venerable, hallowed, illustrious, prestigious, renowned, celebrated, honored, acclaimed, esteemed, exalted; great, important, lofty, noble; imposing, impressive, awe-inspiring, stately, grand, dignified.
"our august guests"

From the Latin augustus ‘consecrated, venerable

Or you know it by its common form:
noun: August 
The eighth month of the year, in the northern hemisphere usually considered the last month of summer.
Named after Augustus Caesar, the first Roman emperor.

Did you know that today is National Aviation Day?
National Aviation Day is observed each year on August 19th.  
This day is dedicated by Presidential Proclamation to those who helped pioneer aviation in the United States.

Established in 1939 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, this holiday was issued a presidential proclamation designating the anniversary of Orville Wright’s birthday to be National Aviation Day. 

It is also National Aviation Week – August 15-21

And finally, it's National Coffee Month. I'm down with that. In fact I think I'll have another cup of java to celebrate.

50 Years Ago 
Sixty-one years after Hawaii's annexation by the United States, President Eisenhower proclaims it the 50th state, August 21, 1959. 
100 Years Ago
In August 1909, one hundred years after his birth, Abraham Lincoln goes into circulation—on the penny. It is the first time a portrait appears on a regular issue U.S. coin. 

August Birthstone - Peridot
Peridot is an olivine, one of the few gemstones that occur in only one color, an olive-green. The intensity and tint of the green, however, depends on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure, so the color of individual peridot gems can vary from yellow to olive to brownish-green. The most valued color is a dark olive-green.
Olivine in general is a very abundant mineral, but gem quality peridot is rather rare. This is due to the mineral's chemical instability on the Earth's surface.

Dog Days of Summer
The Old Farmer's Almanac explains that "the phrase 'Dog Days' conjures up the hottest, most sultry days of summer," coinciding with the heliacal rising of Sirius, the dog star, in the constellation Canis Major.

Homer, in the Iliad, references the association of 'Orion's dog' (Sirius) with oncoming heat, fevers and evil, in describing the approach of Achilles toward Troy:

Sirius rises late in the dark, liquid sky
On summer nights, star of stars,
Orion's Dog they call it, brightest
Of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat
And fevers to suffering humanity.

And with that bit of poetry, I bid you a happy remainder of your August days. May they be less sultry.