Greenfield Annual Word Fest

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A reminder for anyone who will be in western Mass this weekend. I’m reading at Greenfield’s Annual Word Fest (GAWF) on Saturday, October 24th at 7 pm. (doors open at 6:30) at the Recorder building on Hope Street in Greenfield. There’s a convenient, and usually empty, parking lot a little further down the road on the left, across from Hope and Olive Restaurant. Six poets from west county will read for approx. 10 minutes each. The reading will only last about an hour and there are at least a dozen other readings happening simultaneously all around town, so come and help make an audience. I have books for sale at the book fair in the Arts Block building, the festival headquarters, on Main Street, and will have a few with me at the reading. The festival is taking place every weekday evening this week and all day Saturday and Sunday. Hope to see you!

Autumn Makes Me a Cross Between Martha Stewart and Rosemary Gladstar (with a little Robert Frost thrown in)

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Or some kind of weird craft-making-homesteading-poet hybrid. I’ve been writing a little bit, in between picking apples and making vats of applesauce, picking herbs and making oxymels and ear oil, but even my poems feature crochet hooks and compost piles. And I have been reading, books like Textiles: The Whole Story, Slow Stitch, and Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years (I kid you not). As the husband says, I’m on one of my kicks. So, in the spirit of my favorite blog Posie Gets Cozy I’m going to post a bunch of photos, though not as many as that blog because (country living) my internet connection is painfully slow. You can find the needle felted crone in my Etsy shop, along with the small stitched squares and pumpkin. And maybe I’ll share that crochet poem next time.

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I’ll let Robert Frost caption this last photo. I do wonder if he made applesauce with his bumper crop or just wrote this poem.

After Apple-Picking

My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.