Saturday, February 25, 2017


devising a place
to work . . . on the front porch
of the Writer's Room
where I can see and hear
birds, squirrels and walkers

[Writer's Colony at Dairy Hollow,
Eureka Springs AR, 2009]
three birthday cards
all three names contain
the middle initial

[Fran, Billy & Barb, 2015]
of the cup
than the coffee

[Dot's pink "Friends" mug, 2015]
lone blackbird drinking
looks around as if to say
"Where are the others?"
now, a bluejay squawks and drinks
but still, no doves or thrashers

[2016, Couchwood]

doesn't the wind know
it's against the law to blow
leaves into the street?
Aha! Nature trumps
mere local, human law
[2016, Couchwood]

near the bird feeder
a crow in the redbud
calling . . . calling
still agitated
it flies to the maple

[2016, Couchwood]
yellow and black
stops by
a purple iris
around the oak stump

[2016, Couchwood]

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Still winter, but hints of spring already: poems

C. Hoggard photo

Three found poems:

Burmese pythons
captured during one week
at a Key Largo refuge. How

bus pass and two
new canes for the man who
broke his cane defending the bus

the bridge upgrade
after finding an egg
in a hummingbird nest. "Resume
when hatched."

at a bare oak,
I notice a giant
quarter-rest symbol: a "Z" with
a "C"!

bees on the pink
quince blossoms, excited
--it seems--with their new food source, warm
 I, too,
delight, exult,
and work outside: dig up
monkey grass, trim yarrow and clip

flew to the rim,
waded around the rock,
dipped its beak a couple of time,
then flew.
seems more lush
more pink this year

art: watching the circles
made by raindrops in the birdbath

Who needs
a Valentine
when leftover fudge squares
are as close as the door of the

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sticks Are For Walking - Part 1

Lynn Hoggard - PL

               You’ll never find one of Lynn Hoggard’s walking sticks in a flea market, craft show or church bazaar. UNLESS a shopper is using one—a gift from him--to get around.
                Hoggard, a retired band director who is a bassist in all the musicals presented by Benton’s Royal Players, creates walking sticks as a hobby. He began collecting interesting sticks around 1984 while working as an appraiser.
“I was working at Conway in a little subdivision,” he said. "The fence row had been cut off. I had to walk down the row to measure the property, and I ran across this stick. It had vines all over it, but it seemed about the right length, so I threw it in the truck thinking it would make an interesting walking stick.”
                Before he began working on it, however, he found a different project.
                “A cherry tree had died in our back yard and when I pulled it up, the root came out, too. The root had an interesting shape, so I whittled on it, cut the extra length off, rejoined and sanded it. I began to see a bird’s head, so I kept whittling until I was satisfied with it. It’s kind of ugly, but it’s my first one, so I’ll keep it.”
                After retrieving that first vine-covered stick in Conway, Hoggard began looking for sticks. Several years ago, he would walk from his Benton home in Hidden Valley toward Saline River’s Lyle Park, then up the hill. That was before the hill became bedrock for an upscale subdivision.
                “Once when I was walking, I came upon a really long piece that I looked at for about five minutes, wondering. I finally walked away. It was trash, really ugly, a piece of cut timber the subdivision people had pushed to the side. I went on about a mile before going back. In the distance, I saw two boys walking, and when I got back, the stick was gone. They had picked it up, but then decided they didn’t want it either. They threw it about twenty yards away. I had a little trouble finding it, but when I did, I thought that if they were interested enough to pick it up, then I was taking it home.
                “I cut out a section of it, sanded it down partially to get all the crustiness off, then I stained it and added a coat of lacquer.”
                Gnarled and thick, the deep ebony-colored wood with its cedar-red highlights is both functional and beautiful. Surrounded by two dozen other sticks of varying lengths, girths and designs, Hoggard discussed his hobby.
                “I’ve always been interested in the way wood looks when it is finished.” Picking up a delicate stick and turning it in his hands, he continued. “For instance, this wood glows when you catch light just right; it actually glows down in there. You can see the satiny insides.”