There is

There is even time
to take a bucket and a trowel
over to the March creek
to spoon a cache of stones
the size of jewels for a ring

and rinse the in the cold rush
within a screen mesh
so I might fill, when they are dry,
the flat black bowl you gave me
for my own Zen garden

losing myself when I rake it
within my own present
as I did a few moments just now
gathering the tiny minutes
that endlessly make their way down to me
to use or keep
for my own reflection.

DDD / March 1, 2023



Available in print or as a PDF from

We stopped in at the Brooktondale General Store a few weeks  ago, a delightful spot, and split a fine sandwich and beer off their chalkboard choices. Up by the front window there was a shallow stack of books, and as soon as I picked one up and flipped a few pages I knew it fit into my day as sure as the lunch we just finished.

The book is Intersections, by Susan C. Larkin; a genuine and perceptive "local" book and author-resident. It is the kind of book I wish I had the nerve and vision to write about my own experience in a rural community. The premise is straightforward: a series of interviews with her neighbors on two intersecting roads about the reasons for enjoying living where they do. The interview are capationed by large lush black & white photographs by the author which are reason enough to cherish the book.

Without any editorializing on her part, the beauty of the book is how the responses to her few questions reveal the abiding close-felt, common passions of all her neighbors even as the economic and life-style differences between them are easily understood. But it is the sincerity of the voices and the honest attachment to this particular place where they live that makes small potatoes of what might have fallen to inflammatory social fireworks in a lesser book - a testament to the author and her neighbors, both.

I found it to be a gently told, but profound book of lessons; reinforcing what we ourselves have found in 45 years in this one place - wants are basically simple; love, enough, and a home in the world.

iPod images

During the twenty-teens I went through a few-year stretch of composing montages on my iPod Sketchbook app. The size of the device precluded any attempt at "drawing," but the tools to manipulate photos made it very intuitive to cut and paste, overlay, and play with the images.

I collected a folder of online paintings, compelling images, and my own photos to work with as a a palette; using the images over and over. I hope to share them on the blog as I move through the year.

Here are three that re-work the same motif.



By lamplight

Sleeping Joe

Sleeping Joe, January 21, 2007



LCD painting / January 1981

LCD / January 10,2009

Mine eyes

 Recorded this poem of mine in the ACSLIB back in the day. Really enjoy the rendition.



Back to burning Danny's wood,
the pieces shaped like ampersands -
hollow cheery and maple yokes
on beveled ends that will not stand.

Lying heaped beside the stove,
I love each cob-jobbed wretched piece
that I myself wrought in the Spring
when days stretched out beyond my reach.

February 11, 2023


My bronze turtle
burrowed under
leaves and cold

ticks a quicker beat
like impatient maples

when an urgent sun
melts the February snow
from around their feet.


How deep
are the feet
below the pate
of this stone
melting away
February snow
despite being
cloaked behind the barn
every Winter minute
of the day?

Late to the party


It happens; you miss writers and books along the way that you would think you would not ... like reading a complete book of poetry by Sharon Olds for the first time when its her latest one, written when she is eighty, and me nearly seventy, and then having to get-up-to-speed on the "deal" of her life, which touches every poem, and then growing as a reader within the span of those pages from first labeling it a crutch that one can only play off of for so long, until recognizing it as the honest-to-goodness swinging door she must hinge her life to if she ever hopes to catch a glimpse of the world and love it.

Her writing is courageous as well as expansive, and beautiful - the way a streaming comet is, even as its orbit strains to escape what brings it round to us. Indeed, she has dealt with the defining ordeal of her young life (abuse at the hands of her mother, but also a profound understanding of her) by dealing with it throughout the long journey out into this reach her life.

But Olds, while not beyond the pull of that torment, has not let it define her as much as using it as a prism to separate out and embrace the great poignancy it reveals in love, loss, and the the gifts of this world. And she gives me a necessary strength to read the later works of poets, which is sometimes very close to the bone.

Sketches from the 1970s

 I have been scanning drawings from my old 5" x 8" sketchbooks for a project. These are two rare horizontal ones; done with my old reliable black medium point BIC stick pen.

The stage at Nazareth College, 1977

View across the Oneida River, 1977

Changes the season brings


From the batch of poems I wrote over the last two year:


It was about the gravity of the giving from you
and the acceptance of meaning from her -

his sixty-year-old Sanforized summer shirts;
one striped, straight at the waist, cinch-able,

the other a fine red Cornell check;
both ready for her frame and life-force

as the season and the rarity of her nearness
brought you to readiness too,

and so a seemingly casual porch bestowal,
yet a legacy as authentic and guarded

as your father's cap and your mother's shoes.
Curious, the coming together that precipitates

at last the release from touchstones
smoothed by years of dear remembrance -

perhaps just knowing she will wear them
in the sunshine and on the open road;

carrying something of all he was away,
yet sharing this world with you again.

by DDD / July 11, 2022

A post by Emperor Maximilian


Emperor Maximilian's Triumphal Arch

This is an image of a 10 square meter composite woodcut print created in 1515 (in an edition of 700!) for the then emperor of the Holy Roman Empire; a man whose ideas, like Leonardo's, were ahead of materials and technology.

In order to help establish and secure his reputation throughout his kingdom and posterity he conceived the idea of a Triumphal Arch on  paper to be posted in villages and cities in his domain. Created from 195 block prints  on 36 large sheets of paper, the resulting monster print became a testament to him that was over 3 meters tall. Incredible. It was accompanied by a Processional "print" that was 50 yards long!

This amazing undertaking appeared as a paragraph in the same Albrecht Durer biography from my previous post. 

The effort strikes me as an early effort in social media; using wood blocks and paper instead of Twitter and Facebook to get one's narrative told the way one wanted...but what a Herculean effort to pull it off! Of course Old Albrecht had a big part in making it but I learned that the actual "carving of the blocks", his and everybody's back then, was done by formschneiders, woodblock cutters. Who knew?

So once again I am humbled and amazed by the ambition, resolve, and limitless appetite of royalty through the ages.



Four thousand school children serenaded Kaiser Friedrich III with folk songs
under the great linden tree when he visited Nuremberg in 1487, and His Majesty
is said to have rewarded each with a gold florin on this occasion.
                                 - Jane Campbell Hutchinson / Albrecht Durer, a Biography

Perhaps it's just because
most of the text so far
in this scholarly biography of AD
is so clinical and dense, but
I think this morsel would have stopped me
even if it were strewn in some
paperback bodice-ripping romance
because so few pleasant and innocent moments
surface from the fifteenth century. Of course,
a gathering of four thousand students sounds a bit too
Teutonic for innocence,

but that school children,
folk songs, and a linden tree
were recorded at all by some attendant scribe
and then included in notes to the author
by the overworked grad-assistant
mining German black-letter in documents
from the Holy Roman Empire,
and then, despite being way-off-subject,
plunked as a refreshing aside by Hutchinson
in this de-assessioned tome from
the now defunct Pine Manor College library
that I got for four dollars

that, well, it makes my elbow tingle.

DDD / 01/30/23

Outside the house, inside the barn


11" x 17", graphite, June 2020

11" x 17", graphite, June 2020