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poem of the day — Merwin

February 18th, 2024

For the Anniversary of My Death


“Every year without knowing it I have passed the day   

When the last fires will wave to me

And the silence will set out

Tireless traveler

Like the beam of a lightless star

Then I will no longer

Find myself in life as in a strange garment

Surprised at the earth

And the love of one woman

And the shamelessness of men

As today writing after three days of rain

Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease

And bowing not knowing to what”

W. S. Merwin, “For the Anniversary of My Death” from The Second Four Books of Poems (Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 1993). Copyright © 1993 by W. S. Merwin. Reprinted with the permission of The Wylie Agency, Inc.

Source: The Second Four Books of Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 1993)

Spring books, on the way…

February 17th, 2024

Spring Books 2024

  • Chickens! Bok. “Family is Family,” written by Melissa Marr, with lovely, vibrant art by Marcos Almada Rivero, is a sweet delight about Little Chick, who is becoming aware of other families. (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Random House; skedded for release 3/5/2024; picture book for all ages, $18.99.) He’s confused when the first-day-of-school-letter from Miss Walrus says to have your mom/dad/big brother or/big sister walk you to school. “First days can seem scary!” But all Little Chick has is his two moms? No dad, no siblings, hmmm… Thoughtfully written and most definitely inclusive.
  • “Wild Places: The Life of Naturalist David Attenborough,” is a new gorgeous picture book from the author-illustrator team of Hayley Rocco and John Rocco. (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Random House; scheduled for release 2/27/2024; all ages; $19.99.) “If we take care of nature, nature will take care of us,” Attenborough said. This British biologist, naturalist, broadcaster and documentarian has been doing the astounding work he does for seven (7) decades. SEVEN DECADES. This is thrilling. Here’s some more info about him. Happy reading, happy viewing, and what a great story. “We must rewild the world,” he said, “If we act now, we can yet put it right.” Please, and thank you. (Includes author’s note, photos, bibliography and more. Peace.)
  • Hello, beauties. “Sourgrass” is a sweet and delightful book about the friendship between two little girls, Sofia and May, who share a love for each other, their homes, playtime and sourgrass. (Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster; skedded for release 3/26/2024; $18.99.) Written by Hope Lim, with illustrations by Shahrzad Maydani, this is an ethereal, delicate and powerful picture book. Highly recommend all three of these titles.

Bon appetit, babies. Enjoy your weekend.



February 11th, 2024

“A time it was, and what a time it was, it was/ a time of innocence/ a time of confidences…” — “Old Friends/Bookends,” Simon & Garfunkel

Steve and I split up a few years ago and I still can’t really write about it, wrap my head around it. So I won’t.

(All photos by Steve P. Rawley/use with permission only, please)

Apple Blossom time


Keeping a watchful eye

A little help from our friend

berry patch

Onion bed Work in progress work in progress North Portland transplant Chicks and hens Planted!! Progress Florette Getting established Finally ripening World's smallest watermelon? Columbine Stepping out granny smith

and sometimes…

February 10th, 2024

Then & Now

“Miaow” (Photo by Nancy Ellen Row Rawley/2023/use with permission only, por favor)

…I just want to read, not review. So that’s what I’m doing. What’s on the coffee table today?

Bon appetit and have a superfine weekend.


“Go Forth and Tell” and other new picture books

February 9th, 2024

Spring Books 2024

  • I reviewed “Mazie’s Amazing Machines” awhile back, and wanted to give it another shout-out. It’s a heck of a picture book. (Written by Sheryl Haft, with illustrations by Jeremy Holmes; Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Random House; 2023, all ages, $18.99.) Whether she’s building a Roly-Ramp, a Pulley-Lifter, or a supercool Waker-Upper Rocket Machine, Mazie McGear is always getting creative and helping others at the same time. Woof, Doodle! Love this one for bringing STEM and STEAM to life. (In honor of National Engineering Week, Feb. 18-24.)
  • “God’s Little Astronomer,” is science and theology from writer/elementary teacher Tina Cho, with sweet drawings by Spanish illustrator Marta Alvarez Miguens. The littles are given Bible verses along with info on the constellations, dwarf planets, and all 100 billion galaxies in the universe. (WaterBrook, scheduled for release Feb. 20, 2024, 40 pages, all ages, $12.99.)
  • “Go Forth and Tell: The Life of Augusta Baker, Librarian and Master Storyteller,” is the newest release from Breanna J. McDaniel and April Harrison. Augusta Baker’s story needs to go in all the school libraries, asap. You know how I feel about librarians, especially the ones with big personalities and huge spirits. This was Baker, who was the first Black coordinator of children’s services at all branches of the New York Public Library, and a champion of books, always. Beautiful work from McDaniel, who also wrote “Hands Up!” and “Impossible Moon,” and Harrison, who is a 2023 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award winner.
  • “Algo, algun dia” (“Something, Someday”) is a lovely new book by Amanda Gorman, author, and Christian Robinson (Viking/Penguin Random House, 2024, ages 4 and up, $18.99). The translation was done by Jasminne Mendez, and the book is also available in English. The Presidential Inaugural Poet has a done a deft job, with a light hand and confidence, in giving us this tale of a child, who with the help of his friends, sees hope and growth where others see brokenness and trash.