Tuesday, July 22, 2014

This Shining World

What does the world
mean to you if you can’t trust it
to go on shining when you’re

not there?

Look, I want to love this world
as though it’s the last chance I’m ever going to get
to be alive
and know it.

One morning
the fox came down the hill, glittering and confident,
and didn’t see me—and I thought:

so this is the world.
I’m not in it.
It is beautiful.

~ Mary Oliver, excerpts from, October 

The photographs are mine.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

She Lived In An Old Black Van

Yesterday, the public radio station, KAXE, featured my poem, "Yellow Pears," on their morning program, The Beat. I'm sharing it here, as I have with the others, and the link to the original posting of the poem: http://teresaevangelinespoetry.blogspot.com/2013/09/yellow-pears_25.html

It's one of my favorite childhood memories.

My reading: http://www.kaxe.org/Audiobox/Beat/KAXE_Beat_2014_07_14_TEvangeline_YellowPears.mp3

Image: Cristal Reza

Thursday, July 10, 2014


I love how the universe mirrors our thoughts back to us. At least, I think that's how it works. It sure seems to. For example: a few years ago, shortly after I returned to Minnesota, I was staying at a friend's house near Duluth. Driving into town one day, a song by Tom T. Hall came on the radio, "That's How I Got to Memphis," one of my favorite classic country songs. I hadn't heard it in years. As the song ended, I got a message on my phone from one of my son's old friends. She'd just had her first child. His name? Memphis.

A few folks have done versions of this song, including Bobby Bare, whose version I very much like. But, it belongs to Tom, the man who wrote it. I've always loved the feel of it, as they say ...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Rhubarb Summers

I'm not sure what I can say to convince you to read this article by Garrison Keillor, published in the National Geographic. Maybe you're already a fan and it won't take convincing. Maybe you've always felt you wouldn't find much in common with him, but I would beg to differ. This story, of his life growing up in Minnesota, is really Everyone's story. It doesn't matter if you grew up in the country, the city, or the suburbs, as did my friend, JB, who sent the original article to me via real mail (a letter in the mailbox! Oh happy day!).

Anyway, I loved every sentence of this beautiful piece of writing. It reminded me why I returned to Minnesota, my home state. My answer is the same as his. You'll find it here, right up to the last sentence:


 Photograph by Erika Larsen

Monday, July 7, 2014

Shirley, Visions of Reality, and the World of Edward Hopper

Tony, over at Wolves in the City, posted this trailer. I couldn't resist stealing it for a repost. As you might know, if you've been a reader of my blog for any length of time, I am a huge fan of Edward Hopper's work. I've posted more than once on this infatuation of mine. Austrian filmmaker, Gustav Deutsch, has brought thirteen of his paintings to "life" and created a film titled,  "Shirley: Visions of Reality." When I saw the trailer at Tony's place, I had mixed feelings. The original work by Hopper is so startling and intriguing I wasn't sure how I would feel about viewing a version of them in this format. I'm still not sure, but I do intend to do so when available. I need to remember to keep my mind open to all the possibilities. I hope you'll let me know what you think ...

Tony's blog is a very interesting, often hard-hitting, mix of news you won't find in mainstream media. He also includes art, music, poetry, and other bits of life. He has, more than once, introduced an artist to me through his posting of a particular piece. Many of his interests dovetail with my own and I'm glad for his discoveries from which I benefit. He hails from Scotland. You can find him here: neoclassics.blogspot.com

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Remembering Faron

I rarely re-post anything, but my micropoetry this morning brought one to mind and so I've decided to do so via a link. I guess it won't hurt to put a Christmas post smack dab in the middle of summer. I hope you'll click on the link and read, or reread:
I'll Be Home For Christmas, But Not With Faron Young

Here's my poem that brought this to mind:

Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Meadow

This summer, I have fallen in love with my place all over again. The meadow is a constant source of happiness for both Buddy and me. His smile, as he runs through the tall green grass, is infectious. He reminds me daily to remember the joy in life. Yesterday was certainly no exception. He waited patiently while I took a bluebell's picture and posed for me as I took a few of him. Okay, several of him. And more than a few of the sky, the clouds, and the field. He sniffed the air, sensing the critters that had passed through earlier, and kept an eye on Ma. He is one fine companion. I may have mentioned this a time or two.

“Ten times a day something happens to me like this - some strengthening throb of amazement - some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness."  ~ Mary Oliver

The photographs are mine.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Somewhere a Boy Fishes the Morning Away

One of my favorite songwriters is Neil Young. His album, Prairie Wind, is considered by many to be a masterpiece. I agree. It's Americana at its best. Here, from the album, is one of my favorites, "It's a Dream." Happy Sunday, Everyone.


"It's a Dream"

In the morning when I wake up and listen to the sound
Of the birds outside on the roof
I try to ignore what the paper says
And I try not to read all the news
And I'll hold you if you had a bad dream
And I hope it never comes true
'Cause you and I been through so many things together
And the sun starts climbing the roof

It's a dream
Only a dream
And it's fading now
Fading away
It's only a dream
Just a memory without anywhere to stay

The Red River still flows through my home town
Rollin' and tumblin' on its way
Swirling around the old bridge pylons
Where a boy fishes the morning away
His bicycle leans on an oak tree
While the cars rumble over his head
An aeroplane leaves a trail in an empty blue sky
And the young birds call out to be fed

It's a dream
Only a dream
And it's fading now
Fading away
It's only a dream
Just a memory without anywhere to stay

An old man walks along on the sidewalk
Sunglasses and an old Stetson hat
The four winds blow the back of his overcoat away
As he stops with the policeman to chat
And a train rolls out of the station
That was really somethin' in its day
Picking up speed on the straight prairie rails
As it carries the passengers away

It's gone
Only a dream
And it's fading now
Fading away
Only a dream
Just a memory without anywhere to stay

It's a dream
Only a dream
And it's fading now
Fading away
It's only a dream
Just a memory without anywhere to stay

It's a dream
Only a dream
And it's fading now
Fading away

~ Neil Young

Photo of Neil Young as a boy is from the album.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Light-filled Spoon

My obsession with the poetry of Mary Oliver continues. Her beautiful spirit comes shining through every word she writes. While reading her poem, "Logos," this morning, I was reminded of a poem by another poet, Hafiz, the great Persian mystic. Deciding which to post proved too difficult so I'm including both. I hope you're having a beautiful summer, infused with Love.

"Your Beautiful Parched, Holy Mouth"

A poet is someone
Who can pour Light into a spoon,
Then raise it
To nourish
Your beautiful parched, holy mouth.

~ Hafiz   (from,  I Heard God Laughing, translation by Daniel Ladinsky)


Why worry about the loaves and fishes?
If you say the right words, the wine expands.
If you say them with love
and the felt ferocity of that love
and the felt necessity of that love,
the fish explode into many.
Imagine him, speaking,
and don’t worry about what is reality,
or what is plain, or what is mysterious.
If you were there, it was all those things.
If you can imagine it, it is all those things.
Eat, drink, be happy.
Accept the miracle.
Accept, too, each spoken word
spoken with love.

~Mary Oliver

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How To Live In This World

I've been spending a lot of time with Mary Oliver's poetry ... what can I say ... it's teaching me all over again how to live in this world. Each one is like a prayer ...

"The Poet With His Face In His Hands"

You want to cry aloud for your
mistakes. But to tell the truth the world
doesn’t need anymore of that sound.

So if you’re going to do it and can’t
stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can’t
hold it in, at least go by yourself across

the forty fields and the forty dark inclines
of rocks and water to the place where
the falls are flinging out their white sheets

like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that
jubilation and water fun and you can
stand there, under it, and roar all you

want and nothing will be disturbed; you can
drip with despair all afternoon and still,
on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched

by the passing foil of the water, the thrush,
puffing out its spotted breast, will sing
of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.

~ Mary Oliver, from, New and Selected Poems, Volume One

Photograph by Montucky: montucky.wordpress.com

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Lighthouse

This is the poem with which I concluded my reading on public radio affiliate, KAXE, in Bemidji, MN, on April 11th: http://www.kaxe.org/Audiobox/Beat/KAXE_Beat_2014_05_01_TEvangeline_TheWorldIsYours.mp3
It was a wonderful evening in a very cool venue: http://www.railriverfolkschool.org/

I enjoyed meeting and hearing the other poets, and those who are doing such wonderful work in promoting poetry here in Minnesota. I graduated from Bemidji State, in what now seems like another lifetime, so it was a coming home, of sorts, home to a town I still love, a place that, in many ways, has brought me full circle. I am so grateful for the experience.

I have added the link to the original post on my poetry blog, as well:  http://teresaevangelinespoetry.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-world-and-everything-in-it.html

The photograph, of the lighthouse at Cape Elizabeth, is mine.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Crow's Voice

"Early Spring in the Field"

The crow's voice filtered through the walls of the farmhouse
makes sounds of a rusty car engine turning over. Clouds on a
north wind that whistles softly and cold. Spruce trees planted
in a line on the south side of the house weave and scrape at the
air. I've walked to a far field to a fence line of rocks where I am
surprised to see soft mud this raw day. No new tracks in the
mud, only desiccated grass among the rocks, a bare grove of
trees in the distance, a blue sky thin as an eggshell with a crack
of dark geese running through it, their voices faint and almost
troubled as they disappear in a wedge that has opened at last
the cold heart of winter.

~ Tom Hennen from Darkness Sticks to Everything, Copper Canyon Press, 2013.

Painting by Andrew Wyeth

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Five Forty Five This Morning

Had Buddy not sat up beside the bed
Had he not, in my hesitation, placed his paw on my outstretched arm
Had he not then followed me half asleep down the morning hall
Had he not led me outside where we stood on the porch together
We might have missed it
Its large cat body striding silently in shadow past the not yet blooming lilacs
Yes, some days are like that
You have to get out of bed before sunrise
Or you might miss the thing you asked for
The thing you're meant to see
Moving through the world with certainty and grace.

A photograph of my Buddy, keeping watch ...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Trap Or a Blessing

Several years ago, I had a vivid dream in which two of my sisters and I were in a burned out house. We were standing in the charred doorway, next to charred windows, wearing white clothing that was also charred. It had the appearance of an old black and white photograph. It was unsettling at the time because I didn't understand it and was concerned it might be prophetic. Now, I see it in another light, another perspective offered by "time." When I came across this poem the other day, I was reminded of that dream and how I have come to see "time" as simultaneous, not really time at all, but a montage of images based on my perceptions, that I am creating my "reality," and I am always free to choose how I am going to perceive it. Always. I honestly don't believe there are any exceptions.

"Morning In the Burned House"

In the burned house I am eating breakfast.
You understand: there is no house, there is no breakfast,
yet here I am.

The spoon which was melted scrapes against
the bowl which was melted also.
No one else is around.

Where have they gone to, brother and sister,
mother and father? Off along the shore,
perhaps. Their clothes are still on the hangers,

their dishes piled beside the sink,
which is beside the woodstove
with its grate and sooty kettle,

every detail clear,
tin cup and rippled mirror.
The day is bright and songless,

the lake is blue, the forest watchful.
In the east a bank of cloud
rises up silently like dark bread.

I can see the swirls in the oilcloth,
I can see the flaws in the glass,
those flares where the sun hits them.

I can't see my own arms and legs
or know if this is a trap or blessing,
finding myself back here, where everything

in this house has long been over,
kettle and mirror, spoon and bowl,
including my own body,

including the body I had then,
including the body I have now
as I sit at this morning table, alone and happy,

bare child's feet on the scorched floorboards
(I can almost see)
in my burning clothes, the thin green shorts

and grubby yellow T-shirt
holding my cindery, non-existent,
radiant flesh. Incandescent.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Oligarchs and Plutocrats and PsychoClowns

I was looking for a way to express my feelings about this latest ruling by the Supreme Court Justices (I use that term loosely), found this image over at One Fly's place ... and nabbed it. You know how I feel about clowns, so this was not easy to bring over to my site, but nothing exists more apropos. These clowns are destroying our democracy, such as it is, through a not-so-slow dismantling of everything we were led to believe this country stands for; they are publicly handing it over (as opposed to the previous, more private means) to the oligarchs and plutocrats who have long been in charge, maybe always, and ... here we are. I shall now restrain myself from using a lot of swear words.

One Fly's blog:

Thank you, One Fly!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Mark Twain and The Beach Boys

Yesterday afternoon, the plumber was here for a couple of hours. The fixings under my kitchen sink fell apart as I was fixing breakfast.  Normally, I try to do these things myself, but I had to admit bitter defeat on this one. It didn't take him long, so, while he was here, I had him change out a bathroom faucet that had been waiting for just such a day. Things not being quite up to today's standards in my little shanty, it required an extra trip to the shop for adaptable parts.

At the end of his stay, he felt obliged to inform me that my driveway was getting hard to navigate. One look out the kitchen window told me that: large mud puddles where none had been in any previous so-called spring. I could see my spring chore list growing as we spoke. Ruts would need to be dealt with. But, that was yesterday and today I can't see any of that for all the additional white stuff that's blowing around the driveway and piling up on the porch. Adding to the fun, as I peacefully slept, ice formed to a measurable tune. And, Daddy has taken the T-Bird away.

To help me find some humor I turned to Mark Twain. You can count on him to bring an amusing perspective to just about any situation. I found his speech to the New England Society regarding changeable weather, transplanted his thoughts to my neck of the woods, and voila! Smiles and nods of recognition to the rescue. For now.

"In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours." Mark Twain

Here it is, in case you could use a a few chuckles this morning:


Plus, a song by The Beach Boys to cheer one's weather weary soul.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Short Trip In the WABAC Machine

When I woke this morning and stretched into the day, I realized this very long, very cold winter was receding into memory, that summer will arrive, as it always has, and the red-winged blackbirds will return.

As a reminder of what is to come, I played the youtube video created by my friend, JB, using photographs I'd taken of this beautiful land I'm honored to call home. While playing it, I noticed another video on the sidebar that looked like fun. And it was. It's a short trip in the WABAC machine. What a wonderful moment between two great artists in their prime. I thought you might enjoy it, too. Linda and Johnny:

And, here is the original post and video:

The photograph is mine.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Compass in Your Heart

The public radio station, KAXE, has again played one of my poems on their morning program, The Beat.  I am so honored to be included in this fine group of poets, and am very much looking forward to the live reading on the evening of April 11th. I include a link to the poem here and also the original post:



Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Love of a Lynx

About two weeks ago, I was working on two poems - poems I had originally put on Twitter - wanting to combine them into one. One of the poems came about due to a plate I have hanging in my kitchen of a lynx in snow with a rabbit beneath its paw, a plate my mother once had hanging in her kitchen. It was a gift from her sister, who had traveled to Norway. I was thinking about finding an image to illustrate the poem on my poetry blog and thought how nice it would be to have my own photo to use. I had never seen a lynx but had occasionally heard them in the woods near our farm when I was a very young girl, a bone chilling cry as though the cry of a baby lost in the woods. I thought even seeing and being able to photograph footprints would be nice although from where I was sitting it didn't seem possible. I let it go.

A couple of hours later, I just got up from the computer and walked over to the window that looks out over my back yard. Right at that moment, a lynx came from the old chicken coop/garden shed and moved across the open space into the pine trees at the meadow's edge. I could hardly believe my eyes. I watched, hoping it would come out of the trees so I could see it again and make certain it was, indeed, a lynx, rather than a bobcat. I knew it wasn't a cougar, as it was definitely spotted with a shorter tail. Just as I wished for this, I saw it come from the edge of the trees, walking towards my woodshed. By this time, I had fetched my father's field glasses and got a closer look. It definitely had the longer legs and tufted ears of a lynx. It disappeared into the darkness of my woodshed, probably looking for a meal of mice among the wood. I watched it lie just inside the shed, behind the snowbank in front of the doorway. I went online and did some research on them, and felt relieved that it was very unlikely to bother Buddy, who was tethered at the front of the house, although I did keep a very good eye on Buddy while he was out there. I went back to watching it for awhile, but don't know when it left; eventually, I had to get on with my day.

I might have thought I was seeing things, except I just happened to look out the next day and there it was again, leaving the area by the woodshed and moving back across the open space to the coop/garden shed. I grabbed my camera and got two very poor images, my own personal evidence that I hadn't lost my mind. I wondered if she might stick around, maybe even give birth in the shed among the straw bales. I sure hope so. I decided to not let my curiosity get the best of me, but to stay away and let her have her space.

The significance for me has not been lost. I'm not certain how the world works, what the true nature of reality is, but I do wonder ... was it my own manifestation, was I seeing what I needed to see? Did I create it in that moment, as I suspect we do with all our moments? Was it a message from my mother, or perhaps even my great grandmother, who has brought me messages in visions/dreams before? I do know something quite wonderful happened and I don't need to have answers so much as I need and want to be grateful. It has been the springboard for healing, both emotional and physical. The strength and grace with which the lynx moved gave me the insight I needed to walk in this world with the same sense of strength and grace. It showed me what I needed to see and it provided me with a deep sense of caring and love that the world itself brings to us when we simply ask.

Here is the micropoem which brought me to this wonderful experience:

The photograph of the chicken coop is mine.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Making Room for a New Perspective

Normally I would say, 'Don't mess with perfection," but then I ran across something this morning in my pursuit of an image to illustrate a poem and had to make room for a new perspective. Serena Malyon, an illustrator, has taken several paintings by Vincent van Gogh and, using Photoshop, created what is known as the tilt shift. I'm fascinated by them and immediately wanted to share them with you.

Addendum: I've also posted my poem, "Vincent In Another Life," at my poetry blog with another image:


Here are the sites where I found them and more information regarding their creation: