Tuesday, April 26, 2016


My martenitsa on my apple tree.

When Tammeron Francis-Jones, my vineyard growing friend, came home from Bulgaria last February he caught me at the library.

"Wait," he said, "I have a gift for you."

He produced this little package of two small hand-made yarn dolls. I thought they were quite cute and thanked him immediately.

"No, no," he said, "you must know the story. I know you will love this."

The dolls are native to Bulgaria and they are worn towards the end of winter on your jacket or on your purse or wherever, as long as you have them with you all the time.

"And then what?" I asked.

"When the first blossom appears on your fruit tree, take it off and tie it on the branches. It will be a wish of fertility to that tree and good cheer to you."

I have been watching. Last week my service berry tree bloomed, but that is for burying the dead. (A custom from the early pioneer period!) So that wouldn't work.

Yesterday my Johnny Appleseed tree bloomed with its first blossom. Actually this year the tree is full of blooms. I think that will bring a good harvest in the Autumn and sure to bring cheer to this household.

I took my little dolls off my hobo bag and promptly tied them to the tree.

So, good cheer and fortune shall come to this old house of mine and all who enter. Please come on by and share in my good fortune!

Until tomorrow.
Lou Ann

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Beauty of the world will be relived through Steele...

Beauty of the world will be relived through Steele: When I turn on the light in the studio, the first thing I see is a poster depicting the work of T.C. Steele. When I turn around after turning off the lights, I see another poster. It simply is part of the process of creating and learning a new piece.

 Dress fashion 1910.

Here is the link to this week's column. It is all about the preparation for the T.C. Steele performance next week. Just click on the above link and enjoy. Below is my seamstress, Bernie...just a few blocks away from me!

 This is Bernie's studio...oh my!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Earth Fest in my town...

Earth Fest Today!

Today is Earth Fest in my town! The weather is stunning...ah...we wait so long for Spring and here it is!

Come on out to Briali Winery for a great day! There is music by all our local groups and lots of workshops. I am teaching two workshops...at 1:00 I am teaching a Haiku workshop with Tammeron Francis-Jones. We have journals for all of you so come on out. At 3:00 I am teaching a scholarly lecture on Thoreau, Beston, and Leopold...what did these men have in common? I will be comparing their work and their lives.

Yes, today is the day! See you at Briali Winery!! 
Here are a couple of my spring Haikus for your morning...

streaks of yellow haze
night of a thousand droplets
thunder in the throat

shivering flowers   
wearing winter's coat of lace
frozen diadems  

Friday, April 22, 2016

Celebrating the season...April's full moon

Celebrating the season: My April calendar looks like an old recipe card that has been reworked a dozen times...

Photo: Courtesy EarthSky.org

Ah, here we go with last week's column. I decided to post it today on the full moon of April. As you will read it is known as the Pink Moon, the Green Egg Moon, and the Worm Moon. Whatever you call it, enjoy the beauty of this spring full moon on Earth Day! Just click on the above link.

As always, thank you for reading and happy Earth Day!

Lou Ann  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Biking home in the rain...

There are times I just sit at school in my office alone. Maybe it is because the show is over and the students were so spectacular that it made me cry. Or maybe because the harpist played "Edelweiss" which was my dad's song and there was a hush over the students. Or maybe because you heard them read "O Captain, My Captain" and Sylvia Plath and Longfellow. Or maybe because their shirts were ironed and their dresses were new and you hardly recognized them at all. Or maybe because the thunder roared during the evening and the show went on. Or maybe it is because life is short, and poetry is how we must live our lives. So, I guess I'll shut off the lights and wipe down my bike and ride home in the misty darkness and let my tears mingle with the rain.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Do YOU have a poem in your pocket?

This month has been so exciting with Shakespeare's Sonnets on the Square, World Book Night, and reading poetry late at night at my own kitchen table.

Tomorrow evening, Thursday, April 21st my students at Trine University will be sharing poetry at the Cherry Blossom Poetry Festival. The event begins at 7:00 and is open to the community with no charge. 

I think what I love most about this evening is that most of my students are engineering students so the reading of poetry is a little out of their comfort zone. They have chosen their own poems from the classics. You will hear Dickinson, Burns, Thomas, Plath...well the list goes on.

Thursday is also national Poem in your Pocket day so what better way to celebrate? I know the students would love to have you in the audience, but you better get there early as Wells Theatre is quite small for such big poems.

Speaking of poetry, the reading of Shakespeare on the Square continues until the end of April. Every day at 4:00 we are reading sonnets and today we will reach sonnet #100. I have loved doing this every day, even when the wind doth blow as in "King Lear." 

I love that we can celebrate poetry and Shakespeare in such a tiny town...good for all of us!

See you on the square or in the theatre!

Lou Ann

Lovely, lovely cherry blossoms!


Friday, April 15, 2016

Do Not Write...

This poem is for all my friends who write. It was written
by one of my students and I am sharing it with permission!

Do Not Write, by Stevie Rosales

Doodle in your notes.
Paint a picture.
Build something from legos,
or paper.
Take a picture.
Play outside,
on the playground,
or in the woods.
Whatever you do,
do not write.
Find inspiration somewhere,
or create your own.
The writing will come.
But first,
something must inspire the writing.
Something must create a spark
before writing can commence.
So, do not write.