Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

August 13, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

On Awakening

“It was a couple of springs ago. I was driving into New York City from New Jersey on one of those crowded, fast-moving turnpikes you enter it by,” writes Frederick Buechner. “It was very warm. There was brilliant sunshine, and the cars glittered in it as they went tearing by. The sky was cloudless and blue. Around Newark a huge silver plane traveling in the …

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August 6, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

The Art of Losing Isn’t Hard to Master

This Sunday finds me in Atlanta helping a daughter move into a new apartment. Unpacking yesterday, she couldn’t find an Important pair of black jeans. Her favorite pair. It’s kind of a disaster! (They’ll turn up, of course; surely they will.) Her loss – and some of my own – brought to mind this half-remembered poem by Elizabeth Bishop… One Art by Elizabeth Bishop The …

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July 30, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

Envy

What do you yearn for? Here’s a little poem by Louise Glück that made me think twice… Lament Suddenly, after you die, those friends who never agreed about anything agree about your character. they’re like a houseful of singers rehearsing the same score: you were just, you were kind, you lived a fortunate life. No harmony. No counterpoint. Except they’re not performances; real tears are …

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July 16, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

Think of Poetry as Fishing

“Think of poetry as fishing. What really pulls is the fascination of touching a deep, unseen world with monofilament line. It’s wonderfully dark down there, so I can’t see what might be coming along that I can possibly hook and bring up,” writes poet Rod Jellema. A sunset at Lake Michigan let him “catch” a glorious and strange poem I’d love to share with you …

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May 30, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

a morning stroll

Students have left campus following the end of the term, and summer classes have yet to begin. An eerie quiet holds in the early morning…  The daylilies think about greeting the day, the last of the columbine ring their tiny bells, and Virginia spiderwort continues to regret her name but not her looks. A small rabbit browses in the aster, a robin works on a …

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May 7, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

A Prayer for the Table in May

Book Title: Thirst

Mary Oliver, as always, says it best…. When I Am Among The Trees When I am among the trees, especially the willows and the honey locust, equally the beech, the oaks and the pines, they give off such hints of gladness. I would almost say that they save me, and daily. I am so distant from the hope of myself, in which I have goodness, …

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April 16, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

Because The Mower Did Not Come

Because the mower did not come the wild things grew and sang wild songs and the tulips remembered the melodies. A grandmother’s bluebells (long since forgotten) woke up, looked around, told some jokes because the mower did not come. Because the mower did not come the field balm threw a party and invited everyone even the outliers and introverts. Tulip and wild thing, bluebell and field …

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April 9, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

The Turkey Hen, the Bobcat, and the Peanut Butter Toast

Each year, come spring, a turkey hen appears in our neighborhood. She browses and grazes with a calm demeanor and kind-of acts like she owns the place. Where does she live the rest of the year? Not telling. Come spring, she comes home. I’m worried about what she might find this year.  In her absence, a bobcat has taken up residence in the area. Just …

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March 19, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

“Talking to Grief”

I’m a slow learner. Or another word: stubborn. Pain is a patient teacher. I love the way Denise Levertov imagines a gentle conversation with grief… Talking to Grief By Denise Levertov Ah, grief, I should not treat you like a homeless dog who comes to the back door for a crust, for a meatless bone. I should trust you. I should coax you into the …

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March 12, 2022
by jenniferpuryear

Winter’s Last Bloom

  While winter’s last bloom graced flower and tree, the cardinals in my yard kept singing their song of Spring. The coyotes kept to their usual path, shortly after dawn. The doves found the seed I put out for all comers. And I found this poem…  Spring Snow By Linda Gregerson A kind of counter- blossoming, diversionary,  doomed, and like the needle with its drop  …

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