Snow at Oak Creek Farm

Through the window
Edges frosted in fog
Trees stand in coats
Of newly-fallen snow

It drops in clumps
And showers
In the breeze
And as birds flit
From branch to branch
Or the bending branches
Shake it off
To reach a little higher

Once-invisible wires
Of a pasture fence
Are bold, uneven
Strands of white
Stretching from
Post to post
Like lengths of
Hand-spun yarn

The snow falls again
In thick heavy flakes
Adding to the
Blanket of white


NaNoWriMo 2017 – The Adventure Continues

NanowrimoLast year, I took part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short, or NaNo for even shorter).  For those unfamiliar with NaNo, it is a month-long event in which writers worldwide undertake to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.  I jumped in, and with little planning “won” by writing more than 50,000 words in the month.  But my novel wasn’t finished.  After NaNo, I worked on my book off and on.  Finally, I finished writing my first draft in September.  Now, it’s time for reviewing and editing my book.

My wife and I were talking last week, and I told her I didn’t intend to write during NaNo this year.  Instead, I’d use the time I’d put to writing to my review and editing process, as well as another project I’ve had kicking around in my mind.

I was comfortable with that decision.  It felt good.

But, apparently, my muses had other plans.

The thing about muses, you see, is they don’t play by our rules.  They don’t necessarily abide by our plans, if they run contrary to theirs.

Thus, I woke up in the tent in the pre-dawn twilight out at the coast with a story idea in my mind. As I lay watching the morning brighten and listen to the birds wake up, key characters began to develop, as did the plot.

My wife awoke next to me and I looked at her. “I guess I am writing NaNo this year.”

And so it begins…another novel from concept to completion.  OK, Muses,  you got your way.  Let’s do this!

Larkspur Lane

Spring is in full force here at the farm.  Today’s poem is inspired by a little splash of color down by the creek.  Enjoy!

Waist tall stalks
Tipped in purple
Stand on either side

Showing off
Adding brightness
To the shade

It brings a smile
Each time I walk
Through Larkspur Lane

Larkspur Lane

Larkspur Lane


The other day, we were walking along the creek here on the farm, enjoying the spring day. As we stood under a western red cedar near where Maurie likes to sit and enjoy the creek, I noticed the fairy house she’d made a couple of months ago. When we came back up to the house, I wrote this poem and thought it would be fun to see what art it would inspire. I left the poem on the desk when I went to work, and when I came home, the art piece below was one of several she’d created that afternoon. Enjoy the poem and one of Maurie’s works of art!

I saw the tree
As I walked
Down the sidewalk
Bark was peeled off
Down low, in an
Uneven arch
The wood below
Weathered and gray
It looked like a door
With the wildflowers
Growing off to the sides
And the flat stone out
In front, like a porch
And I wondered
Who lives in there?

Art by Maurie Kirschner, The Green Woman

Art by Maurie Kirschner, The Green Woman

You can visit Maurie’s blog at:

High Places

Mt Rainier from Wonderland Trail - Summer 2001

Mt Rainier from Wonderland Trail – Summer 2001

Take me to the high places
To the mountain peaks
Touched by morning’s first light
As the rising sun reaches
For a handhold as it pulls itself up
From its nightly slumber
Let me join my shadow
To that of the mountain
That stretches miles to the west

Take me where rivers are born
In frigid snow melt lakes
Nestled amongst scoured rock
And solitary wind-sculpted trees
Away from the bustle
And noise of civilization
And where forests and fields
Stretch before me
In a vast patchwork quilt

Take me to the high places
To the domain of pika
And marmot and mountain goat
To the mountain peaks
Where I stand in the light
As the sun reaches out
And caresses me with its warmth
As it bids good night
And slips into the sea

NaNoWriMo 2015 – Taking the plunge!



30 days…

50,000 words…

1 novel…

That’s the challenge of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.

I first heard about NaNoWriMo in 2010 when my wife entered.  It looked like a lot of fun, and I’ve wanted to enter since.  For a long time, I never made the commitment to jump in and do it, despite having a story concept rattling around in my head for  years.

This year, we noticed that our local library has hosting a planning party for this year’s event.  Well, we decided to jump in.  We went to the party, me without really deciding what I was going to write.

Now here we are, late in the evening of day 4, and I’m sitting at 11176 words so far…over 1/5 of the way to the goal.  It feels pretty good.

I’m learning a lot about my approach to writing a story. I don’t tend to map it out (or I haven’t so far 😉 ).  It makes it all the more exciting to see where the characters are going to take the story. because the heck if I know! (OK, I know how I want it to end…)

As I busily write my novel, I’ll drop in and write a few thoughts about the process and the event itself.

Do you NaNo?  If you do, introduce yourself in the comments and let me know how it’s going for you!




Autumn Traveler

Autumn Traveler

Autumn Traveler

I have watched the water
Ever since I was young
As it flows past my home

Over smooth rocks
And swirling
Into quiet pools
It looks like so much fun

I have always wanted
To ride along
To see
Where it goes

Dressed in my autumn best
Of golden yellow
I unfurl
Stretching out
To greet the wind

And let go of my branch
To float down
And land
On the stream

To ride along
To see
Where it goes

Autumn Apples

King apples outside our window

King apples outside our window (photo by Maurie Kirschner)

Rosy Cheeks
Peer into our window
From their place
Tucked amongst the leaves

Hanging down
Across the path
They invite us to
Reach and pluck
For a sweet treat

Or they brush our
Heads and shoulders
To drop
An evening snack for the deer

McKenzie River – July 7, 2015

Bruckart Bridge

Bruckart Bridge over the McKenzie River, Oregon

Sitting on sun-warmed rocks
Icey-blue water licks at my toes
As it chatters and babbles
Flowing past my perch
Swallows glide by
Chasing down their evening meal
Bees buzz along
Leaves of alder and blackberry
Rustle in the breeze
A warm wind blows
I smile
The river flows…

Winter’s Arrival

The first snow of the season arrived overnight. In honor of the occasion I share with you this morning’s poem.

It’s a day for sweaters and wool socks
Steaming mugs of coffee and hot cocoa
Fires in fireplaces and bowls of soup

It’s a day for snowball fights
And building snow people
Sliding down hills on plastic sleds

In the middle of autumn
Winter arrived today
With determination

Days of clear weather
Became cold and cloudy
And snow arrived overnight

Out my window is a blur of falling snow
Stuck to the trunks of trees
And burying potted plants

I will put on boots and a warm jacket
And stomp in the snow
Listening to it crunch underfoot

Icicles will hang from my beard
And my nose will redden from the cold
And all the while, I will grin like a little boy

I have to confess I love Winter. OK, that may be a “well, duh” statement to people that know me.  What can I say, just call me Captain Obvious.  There’s just something about the snow that thrills me.  I love the cool weather and even the flat out COLD we get during the Winter.  I love the warm sweaters and down jackets, and scratchy knit hats and glove.  I love fires in fireplaces and wood  burning stoves.  I love the sound of the snow as it crunches under my boots and squeaks under my snowshoes.  I  am looking forward to skiing again this winter (after many off the slopes) with my return to being a ski instructor.

When we moved to Bend, as much as I was looking forward to the warm high-desert summers and swimming and paddling the lakes and rivers here, I was also looking forward to experiencing a mountain winter.  We really had one last year, even getting three feet of snow in one day.  From the looks of today’s snowfall, we may be getting it again.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to bundle up and go enjoy the snow!

I hope you all enjoy the second half of your autumn, whatever the weather brings your way1