As My Son Heads South to Big Mountains and Broad Valleys


O’ Virginia: all rolling hills, blue-lavender

mountains, and Appalachian twang, country

stores and Dinosaur Land. O’ Virginia,

Virginia, your red-bells roadside, your light,

your sorrow, your tin-pan songs and screeching

owls; the Shenandoah’s black bark and quick

flowing creeks, your cattle, your thorough-

breds, your cool evenings, and crimson cheeks.

Grapes draped o’er vineyard lines, the crisp

tang of Virginia wines.

O’ Virginia! Virginia!

Jackson and Jefferson and Washington and

Lee, the days of chivalry, fleeing to be

free. Virginia, O’ Virginia, your land—green,

so green! My son comes to you, young

chestnut, plants his roots, sure of his

gut. As he walks the long colonnade will he

hear your beat, the sweat-drenched scent of

a tattered fleet? O’Virginia what will you do!

Feed him, hug him, see him through— highland,

lowland, swift rivers, morning dew.

In Which I Explore Nature, Art, Photography…

Vincent van Gogh, sunflowers, Cumberland’s beloved Franklin Farm, and more.

An excerpt from my newly published essay, Devotion (you can read the entire piece online, page 12 at The Tishman Review):

[T]he sunflowers do tell a dyed-in-the-wool tale of the vagaries of time. The cycle of life. The land and the people. Sunflowers are at once beautiful and tragic: they are vivacious and bright, a bloating bloom of sustenance, a bee’s libation, a bird’s victual, and no sooner does the bee syphon its last bit of nectar from the crowded disc of florets than the sunflower sheds its last seed, curls inward and fades. Like farmers rolling hay in the field, they fold for the season.


New England Snow Farm

Some of you are beyond ready for spring to roll in (if it could only do so without the mud), but I’m still enjoying the feast of snow here in Rhode Island.

Today, I had a tiny essay published in Yankee Magazine, so if you’re super-happy (or not) about this crazy-wonderful winter, visit Yankee, where you can read my little piece, New England Snow Farm, and feel the magic of snow.

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