Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Snyder's Hound on a Snowy Day

It's another snowy day, with snow just peppering down.

Even my dogs hesitate to go out these days; I think they've gone soft, but then I haven't been out much myself lately so I can't fault them.

I sorted my bookshelves over the past two days, a daunting task let me tell you. I planned to do it this winter, and then I bought this other shelf that would work in a corner of my bedroom if we cut it in half--it was 8 feet tall and kinda flimsy, but cut it made two study shelves. So we cut it, I painted it, then had to paint that corner of the room because painting that room was on my to-do list too, and I didn't want to put the shelves in, then have to move them again to paint. I'm not sure about the color, kind of a pale lime green, but I guess I'm going to use it anyway. I think it will lighten up the room.

Anyway, in the course of all that uproar I found a thin book of poems but a lady I just loved. Her name was Elaine Rowley, and she was the great-grandmother of one of my granddaughters. Elaine had seen plenty of hardship in her life, especially after her husband was killed in a logging accident not far from my house, leaving her with seven children to raise. (You can read his obituary here--he's buried in the church graveyard near my home.) She managed it somehow and was one of the sweetest natured people I've ever known. at the time I knew her, my sons were just little boys, and she was always welcoming when we came to the library, where she was working at the time. She passed away before my son married her granddaughter, but I know that would have pleased her, even though the marriage did not last more than three years.

I didn't know she was a poet back then, and only learned that a few years ago. And then I found a book of her poems at a thrift shop, a thin volume it was, lost among the heftier volumes. The first poem in the book is this one, Snyder's Hound.

Snyder's Hound

The folk in the valley hear this mournful sound,
and they say it's Snyder and Snyder's hound.
Out in the hills on the forest trail
You kin hear him holler and the hound wail.

Snyder was a man with a friendly grin,
but he was a loner--he always had been.
And you never saw such a dog around
as that blue tick brute known as Snyder's hound.

When the skies were starry and the nights were still,
'cept for the callin' of the whip-poor-will,
you could spot the fire of this mountain man,
and smell the bacon in his frying pan.

You could hear that hound with his lusty bawl,
and the swift fox answer a defiant squall.
'Twas a desperate chase and a frenzied fight,
'Till Sunday crowded out Saturday night.

Then one September several years ago,
The heat closed in and the storm did blow.
And when Sunday came all the people feared
That the hound and Snyder had disappeared.

They searched the mountain and the trails around,
but they never found Snyder or Snyder's hound.
They mourned their loss for many days,
and explained the matter in different ways.

Some folks think 'twas the hound's intention
to chase that fox to a new dimension.
And there in a land by time set free,
the could run non-stop through eternity.

And when they swing near the earth's own flight,
You kin hear that chase on a Saturday night.
High in the hills on the forest trail,
You kin hear him holler and the bog hound wail.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Pearl in His Hand

I have often mentioned the poet Ted Kooser in posts; from Iowa but currently I believe living in Nebraska, Mr. Kooser was our country's Poet Laureate from 2004-2006. His poems, especially those in Winter Morning Walks, are my favorite reads, and I love to read them aloud to my husband because Kooser's work is meant to be read aloud, to savor the images he creates. Often I find that the poems lead to some interesting conversations.

Here is one of my favorites. Try reading it aloud, even if you are sitting alone in your room. You will see what I mean.

January 9

Clear and still.

Ten below zero at dawn, and the sky
like the skin of a pearl,
nobody warming the pearl in his hand
but leaving it spin on the black glass table
with all of us inside,
right down to me here at my window,
warming my hands on a cup,
right down to a goldfinch, green and gray,
no bigger than a breath,
picking a single thistle seed from the feeder,
right down to a thistle seed.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Projects Everywhere

We had a few days of warmth but now we are back to winter. Which is as it should be, for January. Today it is snowing on top of the icy icky that fell yesterday evening. This is perfect gather in time, time to be by the fire and cozy in the house.


It is also a great time to move forward on projects, and they are scattered all over the house and workroom. It is both a disadvantage and an advantage to live so far out: a disadvantage in that we are not on the way to anywhere and few people venture out our way even in good weather. In wintry times, forget having visitors. The advantage is that we can spread our work out all over the place without worrying about anyone seeing the mess!

So here it was early this morning:

In the kitchen, a mirror and a picture get new paint. After finishing the mirror, I decided I didn't want to use it as I think the silvering is just too bad. So another mirror will be on the table later today.

Also in the kitchen the drawers to the dressing table that the mirror will go on, and painted picture frames--finished, thank goodness.

In the living room, ebay sales wait to go up to the mailbox,

and another drawer to the dressing table.

In the log room the dressing table awaits glazing and waxing,

a small trunk waits for paint and other work,

and a mirror and more picture frames need paint, backs, etc.

This doesn't include the projects Larry is working on out on the back porch and in the workroom. There is only room for one of us to work in the workroom since the dogs and cats are in there, staying warm in this bad weather. So my work has moved inside the house, for now.

I guess I know what I will be doing the rest of this snowy day.

Stay warm and safe, friends.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.
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