Wistful for Wisteria
Peeper frogs choir symphony at night
Birds singing in the crisp morning air
Loons cruising on the pond in synchronized natural movements
A collidascope of motion as cutting winds make designs on the surface
Pen’s potential energy released if only for a line a day
Spring comes slower in my new northern home
Surrounded by forest, hills and mountains
Ice out on the shallow pond April 24th the last pushed under by a day of gusts
In mind’s eye a clear view of the prospects as buds grow and change in color
I find myself Wistful for Wisteria which grew in beauty each year at my old abode
Pictures now memories
A scent I will never forget
As a polar vortex winter fades
and nature comes alive
Here April comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb
and May showers bring late May and June flowers
All the more wonder after a first spent northern winter
Hope and Faith have brought me here
where I belong
[click on any image for a sharper view]
Ernest Hemingway and Donald Murray
What I continue to learn! Why I am inspired by these giants of writing.
I have experienced 6 weeks of Monday night classes at Donald Murray’s home in Durham. I sat in as a want to be writer with writers of varied experience in his living room. I worked on a Friday night deadline for 6 weeks and held to it. The secret Don said was to write. He did not believe in writers block. He said to start with a word and go from there.
I have experienced 7 weeks of a class: Ernest Heming way: The Paris Years. It has been an ever changing and interesting experience. I only knew of Hemingway from his book The Old Man and the Sea and the short stories The Hills of Kilimanjaro and The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber. I was amazed and inspired by all three works.
So I have gone from The Paris Years to the Portsmouth Ideas and enjoyed the ride. As Sir Robert said on the first night of class, that it is ‘’Like a river ever flowing, ever changing.” I have discovered that the more I read of EH and DM the faster the river flows, quickening the pace of change. There is so much to learn so much to mine for the craft of writing.
Mr. Wheeler also quoted Donald Murray, “I have to fight the tendency to think I know the subject I teach.” Ernest and Donald were now forever intertwined in supplying inspiration after that first night of class. I left that night enthused and looking forward to my readings and the next class.
I read of generations passing and searching for meaning in “The Sun Also Rises” and immediately realized a connection between EH and DM. They were both great observers of what is happening all around them. Murray had said in class that to be a writer one must see what others do not and craft a way to let them see what they missed.
I learned that there have been countless biographies on EH since his untimely 1961 death and that as a Journalist, Travel Writer, Short Story Writer and Writer of novels that he had squirreled away lots of writing. He did this despite being a womanizer, a drinker, a sportsman and a husband and father.
As a Journalist Hemingway covered stories for the Kansas City Star and then as an expatriate freelance writer covering post war Europe. I found that he learned valuable lessons there about writing in a concise manner. From the 1954 book, The Apprenticeship of Ernest Hemingway the Early Years by Charles A. Fenton much was gleaned. Ernest Hemingway was a working newspaperman both intermittently and for long intervals during the years Oct. 1916 and Dec. 1923. Other influences were War, Travel, and Sport. His work habits were extensive, sustained and purposeful. He wrote expatriate fiction in 1922-3. In a very real sense his apprenticeship never ended. Hemingway had durability, he was demanding, always growing and had rigid discipline when it came to writing. He said to a friend in 1949, “I’m apprenticed out at it until I die. Dopes can say you mastered it. But I don’t know nobody ever mastered it, nor could not have done better.” [At it]
Hemingway only worked at the Kansas City Star for 7 months but the rules from the papers style sheet book had 110 rules which stayed with him for live. Language and words could never from this point be lightly regarded (pg. 32). In 1940 Hemingway said, “I’ve never forgotten them, no man with any talent, who feels and writes truly about the thing he is trying to say, can fail to write well if he abides by them (pg. 34). Some rules were simple; like never use old slang, avoid use of adjectives, and use short sentences. The only way to improve your writing is to write. The English language yields to simplicity through brevity (pg. 43). Charles Fenton an English Instructor at Yale said, “It wasn’t the literary hothouse of Paris in the 20’s that shaped Hemingway so much as fledgling High school journalism in Oak Park, Ill. and the newsrooms of Kansas City and Toronto.”
Journalism was writing for the moment; as such it was doomed to the death of topicality but the fiction writer by adding invention to experience gave his work the possibility of enduring life. Hemingway granted that it was okay to begin in journalism because it lumbers you up and gives you a command of the language, it was good practice. [Read Paragraphs pg. 232 and 225]
Hemingway peaked early, burned out early, copped out and exited early missing a head, yet left a body of work. He lived his time fully but not a full life because you must finish the journey and he up and quit. He left a mess for others to decipher. He was another casualty of another lost and searching generation.
“Old’ man take a look at my life, I’m a lot like you. I need someone to love me the whole day thru. Ah! One look at my eyes and you can tell that’s true” (Neil Young). I am not Hemingway but I do write. I am only alive because I put up a fight to survive. I mine for the words and a heart of gold. Pray I do not lose the spontaneity. Did EH become so tough because his name was Ernest or because he was? EH and DM were both bears of a man. Their paths may have crossed. DM knew of EH’s work and work habits and quoted them in his writing notes. DM went out with his writing boots on dying a day after submitting his last column for the Boston Globe. EH left us too early after burning out. Both lived full and humanly complete lives of observing and learning and writing it all out. Each part of the story gleaned from focused observation and from attempts at learning lessons. The jumbled beginnings of a journey jotted down from viewing another lost generation. From Donald Murray, “Ass in the Chair is the only rule of Art.”
(Weber) (Fenton) (Phillips) (Murray)
Fenton, Charles A. The Apprenticeship of Ernest Hemingway-the Early Years. NY: Viking Press, 1954.
Murray, Donald M. Welcolm to the Writer’s Craft. Writing Guide. Durham, NH: Donald M Murray, 2006.
Phillips, Larry W. Ernest Hemingway on Writing. NY: Scribner, 1984, 2004.
Weber, Ronald. Hemingway’s Art of Non-Fiction. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1990.
Out there in the atmosphere that surrounds this world we live in there are connections which emanate, propagate and reach back to us. I believe that we are all connected somehow and call this intangible ‘string theory.’ How we live our lives and the decisions we make can strengthen or weaken these connections. I believe that the connection of communication through music is one of the strongest bond builders we can find. Live music is ‘truth’ and you can not fake it. Something happens when musicians play their trade for an audience. We become one with the beats, rhythms, sound, lyrics, and emotions in motion. Each in our own way yet sharing this musical truth.
Jam bands starting with ‘The Grateful Dead’ nationally and ‘Max Creek’ local to the East Coast developed a faithful following of fans with their own magical connection in ‘playing with the band.’ The gathering of music loving clans grew up with this music and connected to it as often as possible. Some followed the bands around on their tours. They all came for the real true connection and communication of live music. The music was shared as groups of friends and acquaintances bonded in ‘Rock and Roll’ moments which became marking points on the long winding crazy road of life. The constant was the music, the band, and connection. The faithful followers gather still as new generations join in the groove.
The Mike Gordon Band is now finishing up a tour with Scott Murawski the long time guitarist from ‘Max Creek’ as his prime sidekick. The road continues on as these Gurus of groove spread the truth of live music and expand the connections in a gathering of the clans of faithful jam band followers at each stop. The Neptune Theatre in Seattle and the Flying Monkey Theatre and Performance Center are old theaters reclaimed and renovated for such gatherings. I was fortunate enough to score a couple of song lists where you can see the abbreviations used for the songs played. The lists are always on stage for each performance. A small reminder that the intangible connections did occur and will continue into the future.
Mike Gordon, Scott Murawski, Tom Cleary, Craig Myers, Todd Isler
Saturday, Mar 29, 2014
Doors at 6:30PM, show starts at 7:30PM
Flying Monkey – 39 S. Main St, Plymouth, NH 03264, Plymouth, NH venue website
Only A Dream
Twists And Bends
Just A Rose
Long Black Line
Walls Of Time
Soul Food Man
MAR 21 2014
Mike Gordon, Scott Murawski, Tom Cleary, Craig Myers, Todd Isler
Friday, Mar 21, 2014
Doors at 8PM , show starts at 9PM
The Neptune – 206-467-5510 – venue website
Babylon Baby >
Long Black Line
Pretty Boy Floyd
Are You A Hypnotist??
Tiny Little World
Dig Further Down
MIKE GORDON – OVERSTEP (2014)
PRE-ORDER ‘OVERSTEP’ NOW ON 2-LP BLUE VINYL OR CD: bit.ly/mg_overstep On February 25th, ATO Records will release Overstep, Phish bassist Mike Gordon’s fourth solo studio album (joining 2003’s Inside In, 2008’s The Green Sparrow, and 2010’s Moss). Most artists have a fixed ritual or routine that they rely on to inspire their efforts from concept to fruition. Gordon tends to establish general goals, and then eschew routines for creative experiments. One of his goals for Overstep was to trust himself to relinquish control, which he accomplished by sharing songwriting duties with guitarist and longtime collaborator Scott Murawski (who also tackles lead vocals on three of the album’s eleven tracks), and by handing over the producing reins for the first time in his solo career to Paul Q. Kolderie (Radiohead, Uncle Tupelo, Pixies). Gordon invited a few new players into his sandbox, including legendary drummer Matt Chamberlain (Jon Brion, Fiona Apple), who fleshed out previously-recorded drum machine parts on actual drums. The result is a diverse but tightly knit family of sturdy rock numbers that manages to sound grounded but sophisticated at the same time, and raw but carefully considered. Overstep’s opening track “Ether,” which begins as distant industrial noise that’s gradually replaced by lush guitars and welcoming vocal harmonies, serves as an invitation to the listener to set aside current preoccupations and come along for a 49-minute “reality check.” Gordon draws inspiration from an astonishing variety of sources, from the natural world to the emotional world to his often persistent visions. Like Gordon himself, the album is full of contradictions, juxtapositions, and surprises – which is exactly what his fans expect. Mike Gordon will celebrate the release of Overstep with a North American headline tour that will kick off at the Westcott Theatre in Syracuse, NY on February 28. The run will include shows at New York City’s Webster Hall (March 1), the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles (March 17) and the historic Fillmore in San Francisco (March 18). The bassist/vocalist will be joined on the road by his band – Scott Murawski (guitar), Craig Myers (percussion), Tom Cleary (keyboards) and Todd Isler (drums). A new repertoire is augmented by hints of secret synesthetic mad scientist gadgetry on and around the stage.
. 1. Ether
• 2. Jumping
• 3. Tiny Little World
• 4. Yarmouth Road
• 5. Say Something
• 6. Face
• 7. Paint
• 8. Different World
• 9. Peel
• 10. Long Black Line
• 11. Surface
2/28 – Syracuse, NY @ Westcott Theatre 3/1 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall 3/2 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer 3/4 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club 3/6 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel 3/7 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE 3/8 – Chicago, IL @ Park West 3/9 – Madison, WI @ Barrymore Theatre 3/11 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theatre 3/12 – Lawrence, KS @ Liberty Hall – NEW DATE ADDED 3/14 – Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theatre 3/15 – Park City, UT @ Park City Live 3/17 – Los Angeles, CA @ The El Rey Theatre 3/18 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore 3/19 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom 3/21 – Seattle, WA @ The Neptune 3/22 – Vancouver, BC @ Rio Theatre 3/28 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues 3/29 – Plymouth, NH @ Flying Monkey – NEW DATE ADDED 3/30 – Woodstock, NY @ Bearsville Theater – NEW DATE ADDED 4/4 –
Photos and the write up of the new album are from Mike’s website. Neptune and Flying Monkey logos are from those websites.
Yet another rain is coming tonight so I strapped (the old term), stepped into cross country skis as our golden ‘Mari’ picked out the ball of the day and we set out down lake. Conditions were good, slick not wet. We followed the first outlet which fills a small pond to and across a dirt road and into the woods on an old logging path. The path soon disappeared into new growth with an uneven obstacle filled journey ahead. The golden can go under and around small bush tree fallen log bramble and briar where the rabbits can go.
There is a feeling of freedom in leaving known path. I shift in zigzag moves looking for the (easiest), less difficult way forward. A sense of direction and fondness for a feeling of motion in emotion my guide.
The woods are silent but for our breathing, snap of breaking branch, crunch swish of skis traversing snow. Perfect circles of brown under the evergreen trees, a dry place to stop, gather thought and bearing, to feel the freedom in this live free or die state I am in. Fully alive, partially lost, physically strong and breaking trail in woods and wetlands seldom tread by man. A half hour in I find remnants of what was once a field property border, an old stone wall. Built boulder by rock by stone in clearing a field which is now reclaimed by the forest wood growth it was before man attempted to tame it.
The nature of this place laughs this day on my clumsy country crossing. Direction change from South to South West as the wall which appears to have cornered the field disappears with my tracks. Sense of direction and feeling for light penetrating clouds now carry me toward a grand wetland depression in forested hills. I know it as a continuation of the water flow from lake to pond to steam to trickles that drain to wetlands. Until today it was only a view from an old fire lane that traverses conservation land.
Find the filtered sunlight and search the distance for the open space beyond the wood. It is there wetland lives and when I find it I will follow North East from trail breaking toward broken trail I know.
A flash of white on a hill ahead and above me is followed by another as I focus. I halt and signal the golden to stay quiet for it is a family of deer on one of their familiar trails. We had seen tracks, rabbit deer perhaps moose but there is magic in the meeting! Our silence allowed them to move calm and free, our scent lost in light breeze.
We climb the hill and follow tracks to the SW end of the wetland. A break in the trees frames the view. Home to the deer, to me it is a dear moment in viewing. With no easy way down I remove the skis and use the pole straps to bundle them. Now hiking in 4 to 12″ of snow I can follow a more direct route. We move up and down hill to gully to hill, jumping across streamlets and slow and careful on the weak ice of pieces of wetland.
Joys in the movement, the sights, the feel, the physical cost paid back ten times in sore satisfaction. My mind map of the woods and wetland expanded. The view from the road is now a topographical memory of depth sound sight and feeling and on this day it feels like home.
U2 No Line On The Horizon_Review_Entertainment
U2-Bono, Adam Clayton, Edge, and Larry Mullin Jr., released a new CD in multiple formats on March 2, 2009. The image of the album, No Line On The Horizon, is one of hope and optimism in a time of chaos, (interview on Good Morning America 3/6/09). U2 has always been a band of the people, both on and off the stage. Thirty years of twists and turns on the road took them to the Good Morning America Show (ABC) broadcasting from Fordham University Friday.
These singer, songwriter, musicians for the world, dedicated a song to college students; which is where U2 got their start as 17/18 year olds, and it is where generational change begins. The song, ‘I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight,’ could be a college party anthem, however, the lyrics-“Every generation gets a chance to change the world/ Pity the nation that will not listen to your boys and girls/ ‘Cos the sweetest melody is the one we haven’t heard,” seduces with the beat, to change the world as well as enjoy youth in going crazy. Later in the song there is a call of, “shouting to the darkness, squeeze out sparks of light.”
U2 still has plenty to play and say. Bono said in an interview with Kate Snow that they have many songs written and hope that they will remain a line on the horizon with no end in sight. “When we came out with our first record, Boy, we couldn’t get played on commercial radio,” Bassist Adam Clayton recalled. “And it was the colleges that kept that record alive, and we would go to every college and do interviews (, MTV interview 3/6/09).” Snow mentioned that the way music is listened to now is in a downloading of selected songs. Bono said; “that the recording is designed as an album and works as a beginning to an end.” People can listen any way they want, however, the nuance which can be heard and felt in lyrics and music would be missed in just sampling the CD.
Robin Roberts from GMA told the band that in turbulent times their music helps us to get thru difficulty. Bono expounded on the music saying; “the music is honest, rock and roll is a mixture of blues as well as the gospel highness.” The recording was done in N.Y. City, Dublin, London, and Morocco. The Morocco work was the spiritual heart of the album with the songs Magnificent, Unknown Caller and White as Snow done there in a place known for tolerance…
U2 is back and you too can go into the sound. Paraphrased from some of the lyrics, “I am gonna’ shout it…the future needs a big kiss…get on your boots…laughter is eternity if joy is real…let me in the sound…flowin’ down…wanna’ drown… let me in the sound. The reviewer went in, felt it, and it felt like blues, gospel based honest rock and roll. Roll with U2!
© Captain Ken Pothier 6/9/09
Up until the beginning of winter I lived in Raymond, N.H. and saw turkeys everyday. On day early in the morning the Tom jumped out into the road and I stopped. To my amazement he proceeded to fluff up all of his feathers and produced an imposing figure to see. He then told his brood of hens to cross the road. He yelled at the last couple to hurry, closed up his feathers and followed his entourage into the woods. Weeks later the following article appeared on the first page of the UNION LEADER newspaper. I had not seen TOM in awhile and was saddened by the thoughtlessness of those involved. We must respect other living things and allow them to live in peace!
Vehicles go off-road to run over turkeys in Raymond, Kingston
By JASON SCHREIBER Union Leader Correspondent
RAYMOND — Two recent cases of wild turkeys intentionally being run over by vehicles have ruffled some feathers.
“Unfortunately, it’s more common than we’d like to see,” Fish and Game Conservation Officer Chris McKee said.
McKee is investigating separate incidents in Kingston and Raymond that left four wild turkeys dead.
Two people were recently charged in connection with allegedly mowing down three wild turkeys with a vehicle on Hunt Road in Kingston. McKee said the vehicle was driven off the road to strike the turkeys.
In mid-November, a neighbor told authorities that he saw a man in a sport-utility vehicle drive onto a private field on Harriman Hill Road in Raymond and attempt to run down a turkey flock.
“He tried to chase it down, but was unable to catch up to it,” McKee said.
One of the turkeys was struck and killed near an area along Harriman Hill Road where a school bus drops off students. McKee said the man who witnessed the incident picked up the dead turkey so the children wouldn’t be startled when they arrived at the bus stop.
The turkey killing has angered Harry and Sally Richard, who own the property where the turkeys were chased.
“It’s very frustrating. I love the turkeys. They’re like pets to me,” Sally Richard said of the flock of nearly 50 turkeys that often hangs out around their property.
Intentionally killing wildlife with a vehicle can result in a charge of “unlawful method of take,” McKee said. The charge is a violation-level offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. A person could also be charged with reckless operation, he said.
Last year, Ian Gamble of Francestown was issued two violations for taking a turkey with a motor vehicle and for hunting without a license after he allegedly raced through a flock of turkeys along a road in Greenfield. One of the turkeys was killed in the incident, which was captured on video.
McKee said he sees incidents like these about once or twice a year.
“Apparently they’re just getting their kicks out there,” he said.
Harry Richard doesn’t think it’s funny. He said the tire marks from the turkey chase are still visible in his field.
“I’d like to see them caught and punished,” he said.
According to Fish and Game Department statistics, there are 40,000 wild turkeys in the state.
From 1854 to 1975, wild turkeys were extinct, but a flock of 25 turkeys released in 1975 restored the population. In 2012, hunters took 3,873 wild turkeys.
Till The Sun Turns Black–Review of the Music and Wisdom
Of RAY LAMONTAGNE
By Ken Pothier–Southern New Hampshire
It is not often that a work of music captures your ears and then steals your heart in touching emotions and feelings on first listen.
Ray Lamontagne with his CD Till The Sun Turns Black drew me in on the first song and I found myself sitting up to hear the wisdom of the lyrics in this work by an artist that is a Wizard of Words, capturing deep feelings and channeling them thru music.
Music that is haunting, ambient and tranquil at times and rises when needed as high as the depth of this mans feelings. This is a man who captures the singer songwriter musicianship that Jackson Browne and Dan Fogelberg did on their breakthrough albums years ago. I also felt the depth that the Beatle’s Rubber Soul and Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water made me feel on first listens to those works of art and music. This is Enya on testosterone with real musicians capturing lyrics and feelings that take balls to touch.
Drawn in on first listen, better and more nuanced each time. It is good as background or as a place to tap feelings and emotions. Ray goes deep in palpating words and music perfectly blended as if channeled from the wisdom of the ancestors.
From BE HERE NOW
“Don’t let your mind get weary and confused- your will be still don’t try”
“Don’t let your heart get heavy- child inside you there is strength that lies”
“Don’t let your soul get lonely- child its only time it will go by”
“Don’t look for love in faces places- it’s in you that’s where you’ll find (it)
“Be here now- here now- Be here now- hear now”
Writer and musician–lyrical art study that helped me touch feelings of my own.
From EMPTY: “I never learned to count my blessings- I choose instead to dwell in my disasters”
“Somehow it’s still hard to let go of my pain- will I always feel this way so empty so estranged”
“of these cutthroat busted sunsets cold and damp white mornings I have grown weary”
“If thru cracked and dusty dime store lips I spoke these words would no one hear me”
And how about these killer lines from the same song: “Well I looked my demons in the eyes laid bare my chest said do your best to destroy me- said I’ve been to hell and back so many times I must admit you kind of bore me”
The real musicians including Ray play; acoustic guitar, piano, strings, violins, celli, bowed bass, percussion, viola, B3, Wurlitzer, electric piano, electric guitar, trumpet, sax, dobro, flute, uke, acoustic bass, mellophone, euphonium, Spanish guitar, French horn, reed organ,
See if such strength in word and music draws you in and hauntingly channels wisdom while touching your feelings.
Blank Canvas of paper
Frosty early December Day
Sun is out
Shines light without warmth
Like emotion without thought
Jazzy tune on the sound system
Female vocalist Marisa Monte
Emoting warmth and joy
Song and coffee
Wake and Warm
A Weary soul with Wounded Spirit
Davis Square busies with Everyday People
On missions and quests of their own
Bundled against cold, eyes blinded by morning light
Lost in thought without emotion
Caps, Lids, Hats, Covers, Hoods, Scarf
A Bad Hair Day for all
In the eyes of a follacly challenged man
They are fortunate to have a hair day at all
Any Port in a storm, Hat in cold weather
All is relative in the missions of people everyday
Warmth on this side of the window glass
Looking glass on the world
Seen behind Blue Eyes
That have already viewed
A lifetime never imagined
We dream of how it would be
Take Paths from the Crossroads of Time
People passing the looking glass
May never cross paths again
Tufts University Student 22 will never see 23, never be fabulous again
Yesterday was his last
A fifth year Liberal Arts Student, heading for educated unemployment
Would welcome: a cold sun, light of day, emotion
With or without thought
Warmth, coffee, joy, song.
Blank canvas of paper
A Frosty December Day
Sun is out
Siren sounds piercing the cold
No one looks up
The Rescue crosses their path
But does not stop at their door today… sanctuary found
they raise their cups
Safe at the Someday Cafe
The Touch of winter
A Crystal water caress of snow
The sunny silence of a cold winter day shines in a new coat
Icy wind crystallizes dreams of warmth
A dusting that covers the ice surface
A country skating rink marks a spot where the shore kisses a hill
Near a lake inlet which drains from frosted wetland
A wondrous place in natural flux of seasonal changes
A sacred place where giant granite boulders hold sway against manmade hand and the storms of nature
Mark the passing of glaciers past
The tick of a wall clocks seconds break the silence
The only reminder that this perfect land at waters’ edge has been touched by human
Dreams of ownership
Nothing but a single frozen vaporous breath or a seconds tick
In this lands grand timelessness
Yet winters icy grip cannot stop a heartfelt spirit or dissipate
The crystal dream of touching the infinite