Mid-Winter Thaw

Walnuts lie in leaves

Much like the mud-caked golf balls

Replete in these woods

(In the spirit of Lemony Snicket: “woods”, a word which here means “a grouping of more than a dozen trees”, as in “Nebraska woods”. Similar to “Nebraska lake: a body of water big enough to turn a boat around in”.)

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To my sister, about the house we grew up driving by

Remember that test house? The one with the fire department and the FBI bomb squad and the whole town on edge? It’s gone now. There’s a crater of dirt instead and one of those double-wide houses that they build then plant and expect it to grow a family like so many wildflowers on a bare green hill.

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Mid-Winter Moon

With 19 days left of being 19, I’m feeling terribly nostalgic, so here’s a poem I wrote on my 17th birthday nearly 3 years ago.

Mid-Winter Moon


Did you see her tonight?

She was huge – bigger than I’ve ever seen her—

And I’ve seen her many times.

She took up the sky

And shown off the snow

A honey-gold colour, like Paradise.


Maybe the trees,

Maybe the snow,

Maybe our vantage point from the top of the hill

.     Looking down at her.


I’m 17 today—

Do you think she knows?

Maybe that’s why she filled the sky with the face I love best.

Maybe that’s why the fanfare, the gold colour, great size,

Maybe that’s why she’s larger than life.


Dearest Moon, come down tonight.

Sing me to sleep – my head aches with tears.

Be the solace I long for, the one I don’t fake for:

Be my comfort, my peace, and my joy.


Did you see her tonight?


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Sea-Fever – by John Masefield


I must down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a gray mist on the sea’s face and a gray dawn breaking.


I must down to the sea again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied ;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.


I must down to the sea again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife ;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.


Oh, how I miss the sea!  The quiet hours spent with my feet in the cold, moody Atlantic (O kindred spirit!), watching the tide drain from the sand between Gola and the shore of Gaoth Dobhair, my only company the shrimp dancing on my feet—never has my soul felt so at home than on those faerie shores.  Yes, I probably romanticise it, but I am, after all, a decided romantic.  (On a less poetic note, my TOMS still have sand from those shores imbedded in the soles.)dsc_0451

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Mid-Winter Sun

The sun blinds me, makes me sneeze

The winter sun, the winter air

The blue, blue sky—incredibly blue!

I wouldn’t believe it if I weren’t seeing it

Not in Nebraska, more fields than people,

Crop-duster capital of the world.

No, it’s incredible.

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Ferris Wheel

A note I found that I wrote in high school:

The girl on the Ferris wheel doesn’t care what the people below do or think, but only that the sky is so close, she could bring some of the blue home in her backpack.

I’m betting this was inspired by that Aaron Sprinkle song, “Not About To”: “I know that you could feel / like a girl on a Ferris wheel.”

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Do you ever forget your dreams?  You think you’re following them, but you get so wrapped up in whatever you’re doing that you forget what it felt like to love that thing and that dream.

And then you see someone doing their dream so wonderfully that it reminds you what it was like to be passionate about something.

Noah Gundersen inspired me this afternoon to pull out my hollow body and turn up the gain like I haven’t in years.  More to come on these thoughts, but I will definitely be putting away my classical rep this Christmas break.

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