Sunday, December 31, 2017

December 31: Last day

Cleaning the house.
The year’s last sunlight
out the back door.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

December 30: Arctic story

Story with polar bears.
Halo around the moon
beautiful, chilling. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

December 29: Transition

Boxing up Christmas.
The old cat
sleeps through it all.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

December 28: Frigid

Below zero:
finishing off the cookies,
watching cooking shows.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

December 27: Fresh snow

Wind chill below zero.
On the snow-covered lawn
tracks of one squirrel. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

December 26: Driving home

just ten degrees 
miles and miles of snowy fields
only one crow flying

Monday, December 25, 2017

December 25: Watching starlings in a snowstorm

Christmas morning.
Starling on a windowsill
eating windblown snow.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

December 24: Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve, after dark.
First glimpse of the moon
we’ve had in days.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

December 23: Musée National de Beaux-Arts

Musée de beaux-arts—
watching a single crow
fly through blowing snow.

Friday, December 22, 2017

December 22: Feeder watch

Snow begins to fall.
As many juncos as flakes
under the feeders. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

December 21: Solstice

wren on the suet
all the Christmas lights plugged in
Winter Solstice

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

December 20: Three crows

Three crows perched low
waiting for whatever
is thrown from the mouse traps.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

December 19: Long shadows

Nearing the Solstice
we cast long shadows
across the fresh snow.

Monday, December 18, 2017

December 18: Upriver

Snow falling fast
I can barely make out
two ducks flying upriver

Sunday, December 17, 2017

December 17: Gardens Aglow

Trees strung with Christmas lights
illuminating in snow
the small tracks of voles.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

December 16: Sea smoke

Hidden by sea smoke
long conversations
of long-tailed ducks

Rockland Breakwater this morning

Friday, December 15, 2017

December 15: Squirrels

Holiday season—
one leafless tree decked
with five fat squirrels. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

December 14: Deer in the woods

A week before Solstice.
Shadows of deer
moving among bare trees.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

December 13: Election

While the Solstice is about a week away, sunset this afternoon is a tiny bit later than yesterday. Our turn toward the light has already begun.

Election results.
One minute more of daylight,
one less of darkness.

December 12: Bridge

Early morning dream:
bridge across Penobscot Bay.
Sky white now with snow.

Monday, December 11, 2017

December 11: Cemetery

Village cemetery 
where my grandmother’s buried
covered with snow.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

December 10: After the storm

Echoes of last night’s storm—
laden branches letting loose
small clouds of snow.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

December 9: Snowstorm

Shadow government.
Three crows flying
in a city snowstorm.

Friday, December 8, 2017

December 8: If wishes

Diversionary tactics. 
Trying to wish gulls
into Snowy Owls.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

December 7: Orientation

Home renovation.
Being able to find
the Big Dipper.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

December 6: Host

After the rain stops
white-winged host of gulls
descending on the lawns

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December 5: Renovation

Bathroom renovation
The spiders have all moved
to different corners.

Monday, December 4, 2017

December 4: Full Moon

Setting full moon—
bedroom window lit up
as if it were morning. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

December 3: Frost Moon

Making our way home
from one view of the full moon
to the next.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

December 2: Complicit

The 2017 Word of the Year, according to, is “complicit.” 

hands perfumed with balsam
from selling Christmas trees.

Friday, December 1, 2017

December 1: Moon

full moon rising
over a neighbor’s house—
another lit window

Thursday, November 30, 2017

November 30: That sky again

Turn off the radio.
On the mountain's rosy face
glow of sunset.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

November 29: That sky

Hazy gibbous moon
holding itself aloof
from the lurid sunset.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

November 28: Winter moths

Winter moths—
it figures the females
would be flightless.

Monday, November 27, 2017

November 27: Deck the halls

Fake news.
Clipping holly boughs 
to tuck in the plastic wreath.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

November 26: Lucky 7

flock of seven geese
if you believe in omens
that’s some luck right there

Saturday, November 25, 2017

November 25: Last one in

After sunset—
bright half-moon rising,
one last dove flying to roost. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

November 24: Sharing

Sharing my cereal.
Tiny pearls of milk
on the cat's chin.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

November 23: Thanksgiving

Cold morning, no snow.
Titmouse singing in the yard.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

November 22: Thankful

Moment of grace:
vole dashing under my tires
was only an oak leaf.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

November 21: Light in the darkness

facing down the darkness
at the end of the street
hazy crescent moon

Monday, November 20, 2017

November 20: Re-reading Bernd Heinrich’s WINTER WORLD

Shivering I read
how tree frogs survive
being frozen all winter.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

November 19: Trespassers

Flock of gulls grazing
in the rain-soaked field
“No Hunting No Trespassing”

Saturday, November 18, 2017

November 18: Crabapple

Laden crabapple tree—
was it really the cause
of the crows’ racket?

Friday, November 17, 2017

November 17: Night light

awakened in the night
somehow reassured by
the modem’s green light

Thursday, November 16, 2017

November 16: Being read to

crime novel set in Venice—
I want to keep driving

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

November 15: Dark early

Darkness by 5.
Hoping I don’t meet a skunk
on my way inside.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

November 14: Winter training

state fairgrounds race track
sound of one horse trotting past
I can see my breath

Sharing: Elemental haiku

Elemental haiku

Just have to share this Periodic Table composed of 119 haiku by Mary Soon Lee, from SCIENCE. There's a haiku for each element, including one for not-yet-synthesized Element 119. To read each one, click on or hover over an element on the table.

Monday, November 13, 2017

November 13: Snowy Owl

Holiday planning.
A friend texts
about his first Snowy Owl. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

November 12: Yard work

Remembered too late
summer’s flowers
already frozen in their pots. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

November 11: Queen of the Night

Streetlight’s out.
Surprised at the front door
by Cassiopeia.

Friday, November 10, 2017

November 10: Pecha Kucha

The ceramics artist
describes his simple cups
as three-line poems.

PS: Artist Simon van der Ven later shared the "cups" part of his talk:

"A beautiful, handmade cup is a three-line poem about consideration. 
The foot speaks about a relationship to its ground, about stability and how it will lift.
The body of the cup talks about a relationship to your hand, about separation and containment, about the definition of inside and outside.
And the rim offers its wisdom in its relationship to your lips, offering and delivering warmth, refreshment, stimulation and redemption to your body.
Making cups allows me to make hundreds of little useful sculptures, to wrestle with the intricacies of proportion, weight, and balance, to explore texture and color, to try new techniques and perfect and evolve established ones.
Making cups gives me a chance to be part of your everyday."

Thursday, November 9, 2017

November 9: First frost

Scraping frost off my car
how I envy
the flock of geese overhead.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

November 8: Drouthy Bear

At the Scottish pub
trying to gossip
without being overheard.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

November 7: Moonlight

Awake to moonlight
so bright through the bedroom blind
I think it’s morning.

Monday, November 6, 2017

November 6: In the Whites

Even the truck driver
stops to photograph
the roaring waterfalls.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

November 5: At the A1 Diner

Riverside diner—
eating at eye level
with the high water marker.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

November 4: After the storm

After the windstorm
new bridges for squirrels
across the river

Friday, November 3, 2017

November 3: Audubon Folio

Was invited to a read a poem today at a unique event: the monthly page-turning of the Bowdoin College library’s Audubon folio. On the first Friday of every month, the Special Collections librarians (it takes two!) turn the supersized page to the next bird. This month’s featured bird is now the “Yellow-breasted Warbler,” now known as the Common Yellowthroat. 

Turning the page—
another month begins,
another bird flies in.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

November 2: All Soul’s Day

Two crows lift off
something dead on the roadside—
is this transmigration?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November 1

Day after Halloween.
Putting all the skeletons
back in the closet.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October 31: Halloween

Halloween party.
Long walk home after dark
lit by a spectral moon.

Monday, October 30, 2017

October 30: On Trail #9

Cathedral Woods.
Crow makes sure the others know
about the intruder. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

October 29: Starling

Atop the steeple
starling aspires to music,
doesn’t quite succeed.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

October 28: Ferry ride

It’s amazing—
the human capacity
for staring out to sea.

Friday, October 27, 2017

October 27: Foliage

Packing for a trip.
Maple tree in the yard
just starting to lose leaves.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

October 26: Front door decor

Window box flowers
clashing with Indian corn,
Halloween pumpkin.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October 25: Inertia

Lying late in bed
Roar of heavy rain falling 
onto slick red leaves

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

October 24: Sick day

Afternoon rain.
Drifting in and out of sleep
alongside the cat.

Monday, October 23, 2017

October 23: Nap

Afternoon nap.
Distant flock of crows calling
up on the mountain.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

October 22: Bread Loaf

Autumn poetry reading.
Fireplace crackling
with warm applause.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

October 21: Sky-watching

Writers’ conference.
Watching Orion’s slow rise
over the mountain.

Friday, October 20, 2017

October 20: White River

Following the White River
to its mountain source.
Driving back in time.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

October 19: Warm spell

Indian summer—
even the garter snakes 
are out on the trails.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October 18: Detour

Bridge closed.
Geese float upriver
waiting for dark.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

October 17: Vultures

Vultures soaring southward—
how to watch them
and not think of death?

Monday, October 16, 2017

October 16: Fall

Imprints of the fallen
leaves on the sidewalk
Ghost season

Sunday, October 15, 2017

October 15: Wind in the willow

With each gust
willow boughs reaching
across the window—

Saturday, October 14, 2017

October 14: The Magic Flute

What’s not to love about a staging of Mozart’s opera “Die Zauberflote” (The Magic Flute) that features lots of colorful bird puppets flitting around Papageno the bird catcher, a giant flying goose to carry the three spirit guides, and dancing bears?

Humming aloud
music from The Magic Flute.
Field full of geese.

Friday, October 13, 2017

October 13: Signs

Woolly bear caterpillar
hustling across the road
Winter is coming

Thursday, October 12, 2017

October 12: Cacophony

before the sun’s up
first crows, then a flock of geese
must you be so loud

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

October 11: Sumac

Deep in conversation
he still notices 
the scarlet sumac leaves.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

October 10: Safe harbor

Indian summer—
schooners wrapped for winter
in a glass-smooth harbor

Monday, October 9, 2017

October 9: Holiday

No mail today.
During a pause in the rain
neighbor’s rooster crowing.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

October 8: Rainy Sunday

Lost in a book.
Out in the rain crows 
making a racket.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

October 7: Painted Ladies

Afternoon spent trying
to glimpse the undersides
of Painted Ladies

Friday, October 6, 2017

October 6: Harvest Moon

harvest moon
rising over bales of hay,
skeleton on the lawn

Thursday, October 5, 2017

October 5: Warm spell

Car windows open.
A yellow leaf
becomes a fellow passenger.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October 4: Tempo

Indian summer.
Walking home
in time with the crickets.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October 3: Chill

Cold snap.
Turning up the heat
and the car stereo.

Monday, October 2, 2017

October 2: River, early fall

low water
the drowned forest
sees daylight again

Sunday, October 1, 2017

October 1: Skunks

fall constellations
in the backyard
holes dug by skunks

Saturday, September 30, 2017

September 30: Island wedding

When a professional birder gets married on an island that's a fall bird migration hotspot, there are more important things to focus on than getting him into his suit.
Wedding party
trying to help the groom
see a rare bird.

Friday, September 29, 2017

September 29: Wave action

Waves crashing
the length of the harbor.
Late night conversation.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

September 28: Beauty enough

Heron preening
under the daylit half-moon.
What more do you need?

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

September 27: Restless

Migrants' flight calls
within the evening fog.
Restless night alone.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

September 26: Foghorn

Feel it in my heart--
foghorn's long, low bass note
sounding above the surf.

Monday, September 25, 2017

September 25: Lunar photography

After nightfall
it's all out of focus--
trying to shoot the moon.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

September 24: Card games

Cards on the lawn--
explaining what it means
when hearts are broken.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

September 23: Butterflies

Searching for Question Marks--
existential dilemma
in the garden.

Friday, September 22, 2017

September 22: Equinox

autumnal equinox
in the trail smooth new chestnuts
offering balance

Thursday, September 21, 2017

September 21: Ants

Trying to drink my tea
without disturbing
the sugar ants.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

September 20: Storm

Wakened in the night
by wind rattling my door.
Ghost stories.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

September 19: Focus

Morning meditation:
trying to find the green bird
among the leaves.

Monday, September 18, 2017

September 18: Island flora

island cemetery
where to find gentian flowers
disturbed soil

Sunday, September 17, 2017

September 17: Fog

Fogbound island.
Watching painted ladies sip
at the zinnias.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

September 16: Chrysalis

On the slop bucket
perfect chrysalis
embellished with gold leaf

Friday, September 15, 2017

September 15: Night sky

Rumors of northern lights
draw us out
under the Milky Way.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

September 14: Class trip

Yesterday I helped lead a group of seventh graders on a nature hike in the Hodson Preserve in Camden, during which they were to record observations in a journal. What seemed to interest them: plants they could eat and the orderly lines of sap wells made by sapsuckers in birch bark. But mostly, as is natural, they were interested in each other.
Kids on a field trip.
I catch their interest
with Indian cucumber.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

September 13: Red

How to ignore it:
up on the mountain
first glimpse of red leaves.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

September 12: And so it goes

waning moon
boughs of ripening apples
long walk alone

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11

Goldenrod shakes under
the weight of bees.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

September 10: Long distance

Hurricane news.
Crows relaying calls
up and down the river.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

September 9: Red alert

When we hear the crows making a racket in the yard, we never know what we're going to find back there. Sometimes it's an eagle up in a tree, sometimes a hawk or an owl, and sometimes a more terrestrial creature.
after crows harangued
the fox over the river
chorus of crickets

Friday, September 8, 2017

September 8: Hurricane 2

Hurricane season.
Radar shows clouds of songbirds
making their way south.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

September 7: Hurricane

Tracking the hurricane.
Last night I dreamed
of staring ghosts.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

September 6: Youth

heavy rain falling
young finches wait in feeders
chowing down, unafraid

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September 5: Osprey

Atop the schooner's mast
osprey has a lot to say
to us earthbound souls.

Monday, September 4, 2017

September 4: Dark night

on a dark and stormy night
until we're asleep

Sunday, September 3, 2017

September 3: At the restaurant

family restaurant
small girl at the door says "bye"
to all of us

Saturday, September 2, 2017

September 2: Head Harbour

heart of stone
exposed by low tide
at the mercy of the moon

Friday, September 1, 2017

September 1: Bog

raven overhead
each pitcher plant a pond
in which we might drown

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 31: Nighthawks

Fall migration is underway for many birds, including Common Nighthawks. These agile fliers can be seen now at dusk, wending their way south over fields and rivers in loose flocks of five to five-hundred. Most will spend eight months or so of their year in South America, which might more appropriately be called their "home" despite the fact that they nest and raise their young here in the U.S.
driving home near dusk
nighthawks flitting overhead
also heading home
Version 2:
driving home near dusk
nighthawks flitting overhead
thoughts of flight

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

August 30: Harvest

Muskmelon big as my head--
all day its perfume
sweetens my kitchen.

August 29: Tuesday morning

Sun breaking through clouds.
Clamor of the crows
moving upriver.

Monday, August 28, 2017

August 28: Music

Red squirrel sputters,
back-beat to music blaring
at the mini golf course.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

August 27: Stridulation

At the front door
single cricket chirruping
a summons a dirge

Saturday, August 26, 2017

August 26: Route 52

Roadside orchard--
boughs of ripening apples
half-cover a road sign.

Friday, August 25, 2017

August 25: Miss

Lunch meeting.
Braking in time
to miss the squirrel.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

August 24: Delivery

View of the harbor
blocked by a delivery truck
Native Produce

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August 23: Quintet

Writing about crows
when five crows appear
on my neighbor's lawn

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

August 22: Gallery

shrill cries of an osprey
tourists perusing
paintings of the harbor

Monday, August 21, 2017

August 21: Solar power

after the eclipse
reflected sunlight
setting fire to the river

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Saturday, August 19, 2017

August 19: Sleeping in

Late summer, late in bed.
Percolating coffee,
one goldfinch singing.

Friday, August 18, 2017

August 18: Spruce Head

Lobster shack lunch.
In the saltmarsh sandpipers
feeding at low tide.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

August 17: Diana Krall

It makes me happy
to hear on the radio
"Cry Me a River."

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August 16: Vireo

No more singing.
The vireo too protests
summer's wane.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August 15: Deceit

We don't think of Blue Jays as mimics, but they can imitate other birds, especially hawks, surprisingly well. The ones in our yard pretend they are Broad-winged Hawks, Ospreys, and Red-shouldered Hawks on a regular basis. You have to pause and listen carefully to be sure about what you're hearing.
Fog hides the mountain.
Unseen hawk's piercing call
or is it a blue jay?

Monday, August 14, 2017

August 14: Flagstaff Lake

Driftwood on the beach.
Imagining the town lost
under these waves.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

August 13: Bog

Losing my flip-flops
amid pitcher plants
in the quaking bog

Saturday, August 12, 2017

August 12: Lake

The song of the Eastern Wood-pewee sounds like the three-part whistle you makes when you're trying to get someone's attention: pee-o-WEE.
Crawford Lake
pewee's beckoning whistle
we wade right in

Friday, August 11, 2017

August 11: Lawns

neighborhood lawns
flock of free-range chickens
five grazing crows

Thursday, August 10, 2017

August 10: Hat

Sun on the sidewalk.
Little boy in flip-flops, shorts,
furry leopard hat.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

August 9: Moon-viewing

driving around town
looking for the best angle
to watch the rising moon

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

August 8: Primrose path

sunlit primrose blossom
replete with primrose moth
perfect relationship

Monday, August 7, 2017

August 7: Plover

The plover--and its poignant cry--was a familiar trope in classic Japanese poetry.
island beach
water's too cold for swimmers
first migrating plover

Sunday, August 6, 2017

August 6: Edison Studio

in the studio
she shapes in clay
what she imagines bronze
Sculptor Daphne Pulsifer, Monhegan

Saturday, August 5, 2017

August 5: Pebble Beach

bedrock geology:
white quartz intrusion
a lucky stripe for some

Friday, August 4, 2017

August 4: Manana

As the fog lifts
we can count the goats
across the harbor.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

August 3: Harbormaster

U.S. flag atop
the harbormaster's shack
blowing northerly.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August 2: Fog

Enveloped by fog.
Atop the smokestack
unseen osprey crying.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August 1: North Haven

after-dinner walk
doe with a fawn
crossing our path

Monday, July 31, 2017

July 31

July is over.
Cat watches out the window,
striped tail twitching.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

July 30: Painted Ladies

Morning meditation:
Watching butterflies shift
among coneflowers.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

July 29: Smoke

loosening my hair
as we get ready for bed--
bonfire smoke

Friday, July 28, 2017

July 28: Bluebird

Above the berry patch
shadow of a bluebird
slipping through the leaves.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

July 27: After rain

The rain has stopped.
Across the harbor
a cardinal resumes his song.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July 26: Saturn rising

Summer evening--
Saturn in the telescope,
whiff of nearby skunk.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July 25: Camden Harbor

Busy harborfront park--
much for the Laughing Gulls
to find amusing.

Monday, July 24, 2017

July 24: Moth mail

Out of the mailbox
flies a small, paper-white moth--
what's the message?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

July 23: Botanical gardens

Lavender in bloom--
among the bumblebees
pinching a fragrant sprig.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

June 21: 6 a.m.

Falling back asleep.
Red-eyed vireo chanting
his morning mantra.

Friday, July 21, 2017

July 20: Neighbors

I show him a bluebird,
he urges me to pick
his raspberries.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 20: Dawn

Awake too early.
Letting birdsong replace
the chatter in my head.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July 19: On the lake

line-up of boat trailers
boats moving through
the mountain's shadow