October 17, 2016
I don’t want to leave! Loved the people at the reading and in the workshop. Jaime and Jerod made us feel like royalty. Every day was a revelation on the property’s trails. I took photos for future writing. I worked through a knotty problem in a book-length piece about the Lenap (Delaware) losses at Gnadenhutten, Ohio, in 1782. Tom is working up essays about Sister Bay, where he lived 50 or so years ago.
Here also is a draft of a poem:
Hairy Woodpecker in Autumn
The woodpecker thumps chromatic scales
as it sounds wood of high birches.
Alone before the rain the bird twists shadows
at canopy tip, solitary, ceaseless
Hollow booms shift to higher pitches
as it circles a dead limb and back
to trunk’s bass. This is work, no concert.
Winter’s survival song is percussion, not lilt.
I see the ladder back, its feathered foliage,
brief glimpses of beak. I feel my silence
far below. Sumac berries slowly ripen.
Tiny spiders knit snares in purple asters.
In blank clouds to the west, light dims
from slate darkness rumbles faint thunder.
Denise Low Weso, Lawrence, KS
Poet and memoirist, former Poet Laureate of Kansas