|Ludwig studio >
writing > woods
Toad Hall Times
Wind in The Trees
The neighbors' plastic newspaper mailbox explodes with shrilling baby
wrens, there’s yellow mushrooms growing all
over the driveway…pyrolla blooms, teaberry and
whorled loosestrife (world loo strife!) the
new batch of kittens (always black) have ripped
the door guardian’s hair out of her braids but
we’ve finally figured out the secret of the
solar lamp. One of the kittens has a tan foot…hot
then cold, rain then stars.
mushrooms of every shape and color except blue
"shroom, shroom, shroom"
The bats protesting behind the shutters throughout
the day sound like pump actions spray bottles:
“squeetch, squeetch, squeetch”
Unknown animal den at Wintergreen Rock with
neon mushrooms on its doorstep…seven blossoms
on the teaberry "berr, berr, berr"
Thuds in the dark longness terrorists get painted
by morning light into black kits and kats. The
gamboling fawn doesn’t even stop for pleasantries
with me kneeling in the moss on the hill.
mower Brown, I say Mr. Brown…
Running scrambling spiders frightening in their
knowledge Now its cold. It is 42’.
fawn and 3 doe. Yarrow. Wood peewee. Woodsmoke.
Springs flowing from mountain foot. Kingfisher.
Bonesett. Jewelweed. Lifeless body of immature
goldfinch. Thirty feet over the road little
bat flutters down the dusk. White splotches
move in the hemlock darkness: skunk. Wavery
screech owl, calling, it drifts long and swirls,
as long as the river.
Queen Anne in all her lace dances for summer’s
end with golden Rod and Iron Weed John. Mail
(my heart) man sez appreciatively, “Them’s tanks,
eh?” Aye. My tank. My mailman my vw van.
Battering the windowglass with his beak in pursuit
of his reflection, a cardinal wakes me from
where I’m helping Brad Pitt flee though the
desert. Garter snake and dead dragon fly. Dying
in the pine needles is a Dobsonfly, or hellgrammite
from Silodea (suborder), in Neuroptera (order)
which also includes lacewings, dustywings, mantispias,
antlions, springlions, spongillaflies and snakeflies,
in Pterygota (subclass).
Down in the valley lies the river. Old phoebe
nest in the clothespin bag.
sez shouldn't we have autumness now, here she
comes snarking through the dead limbs,
looking for orange leaves. Acorns fall a quarter
mile to bang like gunshots on the stacked sheet
metal waiting patiently for its journey, under
dead leaves and branches, sinking into moss
and hummus and tiny toads hop. Cook doglerettes
bark. Baneberry taller than I across the road.
Moon and window make a painting -- Wyeth, Andy's,
ghost slips silently, behind the pines back
into the shadows, smiling to himself.
In the even’tide dimness two doves startle from
maple haven, from wildmeadow haven, a cottontail
hops slowly down the path. A piece of blue glass
pulled from the dirt; it is for him.
Today must be the day to abandon dogs, it’s
rainy. They look into every car that goes by
and into every face. The sheriff rolls up. Once
I walked over a mountain dirt road with a dog
Jingle jangle shnuffling invisible dog on dutiful
night patrol without pause, through the yard,
round the corner, he's gone…and late in the
nightness a freight whistle turns musical in
half-dreaming, playing long and melodic. No
West but nuwest, the wilderness inside. Tall
Black fur with big eyes soft slow and unflurried
amongst the sweet fern and pussy toes, under
white pine boughs. There's a nest in a low branch
crotch made of moss & pine needles. Bending
Junco ringing like a bell!
Depthford pink – no flower guides!---and namesake
tiny toads. Hawkweed and dark crawling
to swallow, sourfully. Sweet, sweet sorrow till
the day I die.
Soapwort, chives, lemon balm, applemint, asparagus.
Foggy crescent moon through white pines hand
in hand with lightening bug against black needles.
This - this - will be a painting.
red orange violet green: mushrooms all. Moss,
fern and Indian pipe. Jay, crow, wood thrush
and wren. Bat shrudders behind shutters, lost
energy with each tremble. A lucky stone sheared
by stress or blows reveals its clean, fresh,
pure surface…glistening white. Force overwhelming
but yielding clarity.
The roof begins to leak, drip drip through the
white ceiling crack. (Solaris, The Last
Wave, the woman artist in Cleveland Museum)
Cardinal whistle in the falling rain, in the
is a balance of liturgy, work and lectio
divina. We try to follow our 12th century
Cistercian founders by becoming lovers of the
place, lovers of the sisters, and lovers of
The Big Open: On Foot Across Tibet's Chang
Publishers Weekly sez: "Adventure writer Ridgeway
(The Shadow of Kilimanjaro) crafts an urgent,
poetic narrative as he guides readers across
Tibet’s barren and treacherous northern plateau
in search of the calving grounds of the chiru,
an endangered antelope. Along with his three
companions-late nature photographer Galen Rowell,
Conrad Anker, who wrote the foreword, and Jimmy
Chin-the seasoned mountaineer traces the female
chiru’s 200-mile migration route."
Outside is moss, tiny young white pine seedlings,
warm air breathing down the mountain slope,
blowing blood warm into all life vessels tethered
to the riverbank, bobbing in the icey whacks.
Fresh British soldiers marching down the log,
sweet sweet trailing arbutus down clinging to
the earth below their feet. (view here:
at the Toad Hall studio )
Mourning dove calls, calls; a woodpecker, a
Late in the evening rain falls.
The workshop smells of old hope, and dreams,
sawdust. Hot wind fills house, thawing desires.
A single yellow forsythia bloogy fragile: all
Upon second inspection dozens of white arbutus
waxiness are found, spilling down the hillside.
When I went to rest my elbows on the rail, there
were rubbery numb blobs there instead of a bone,
that didn't belong to me; severe thunderstorm
warning, daffodil yellows and a pink haze of
new buds over trees, piles of spent flares from
wreck on the curving mountain and the charred
remains of Ohio woman's 4th house. Wind blow.