Sunday, September 13, 2009


An apple: basic, even pedestrian. Yet essential. I love bike riding on the rail trail in the apple orchard, sailing through a curtain of apple scent. What is better than biting into the first apple of the season? Crisp and fresh and juicy, all of the past summer squeezed into one bite.

I know. I sound like Martha Stewart. Unlike Martha, I do not care to pick my own apples or cook them or decorate the house with them. On the other hand, I eagerly and gratefully eat the ones people pick and cook for me.

The peanut farmers want you to believe that peanuts are among the most versatile foods: they go with chicken and chocolate. But apples are even more versatile. They go well with other fruits, vegetables, all meats, alcohol, sugar, butter, flour, eggs, and peanuts.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Door Rust

Doors--they are so standardized today, plucked from a bin at Home Depot. Home Depot could be a synonym for homogeneity. Nowadays, once a door starts to show wear, it gets carted off to the dump and then it's back to Home Depot for a new one. These doors belong to an old barn at Mohonk Mountain, in the Shawangunks. They are working doors, at a working farm there.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

August Rain

Yet another rain falls today, filling the moat around my castle. I went out to the garden and picked a bunch of zinnias for my wife and left them all over the house for her to discover. What else can one do on a day like this?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Central Park Pond Moment

The duck in this picture is not thinking "A last look at summer" or "Fall is just around the corner" or "Summer went by so quickly." Clearly, this duck is enjoying the scenery, having a very present moment before plunging in for a paddle around his pond.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Get Behind the Eight Ball

To be behind the eight ball means to be put in a difficult position. But the sign in this photograph appears to be more in the motivational vein, such as YOU CAN DO IT! Or, NEVER GIVE UP! Or maybe it resembles a political ad. On the other hand, some might read as a suggestion to get into a difficult position, such as getting in front of an onrushing bus.

Speaking of motivational phrases and politics, when you mix them together Martha Washington appears and speaks the following (remember, they buried her alive):

“I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.”

Monday, August 24, 2009

Central Park Lovers II

The forms
of the emotions are crystalline,
geometric faceted. So we recognize
only in the white heat of
understanding, when a flame
runs through the gap made
by learning, the shapes of things--
the ovoid sun, the pointed trees

lashing branches

The wind is fierce, lashing

the long-limbed trees whose
wildly toss--

William Carlos Williams "April" from Della Primavera Trasportata al Morale (1930)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Central Park Lovers

A New York City thunderstorm sounds like God and his/her cohorts are whipping around huge pieces of sheet metal in the air and rubbing together live electric wires that are fifty feet in diameter. Closer to earth, the rain and wind flatten pedestrians against the buildings. An umbrella? Don't bother. Even I want to wait out the storm under the bed with the cat.

A few days ago, New York City's Central Park was hit by one such storm. Hundreds of trees, more than a century old, were knocked down. For many New Yorkers like myself, it is devastating to see these uprooted behemoths. I grew up with those trees. It is kind of like losing a bunch of old, experienced friends.