Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

May 19, 2020
by jenniferpuryear

Graduation Special: The Kingfisher

Pepper and I sat outside for a while after the rain passed. I scattered safflower seeds close by and wondered how brave the finches and cardinals might get. (They kept their distance. Ahhh, but they looked!) Pepper and I thought about how a cool green day soothes the spirit, and it came to me – if someone asked me to give a speech on graduation …

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October 1, 2019
by jenniferpuryear

October Special: The Trees

The grass in my yard crunches underfoot, yellow as straw in some places. Pepper rouses small tornadoes of dust as she chases the squirrels. Yet the trees remain mostly green heading into October – a dry green, a stubborn green – full of vitality even though some few leaves brown early and fall in the heat. Today’s poem by Mary Oliver says exactly what I …

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October 22, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Mary Oliver Saved My Life

Book Title: Devotions

  I worry myself to death over things I didn’t say quite right – in a meeting, at a party, to a friend. This is a terrible idea, sort of like having that third Krispy Kreme. But sometimes you can’t help yourself. At the unfortunate hour of 4 am, worrying, I opened Mary Oliver’s latest collection of poetry, Devotions. In this large volume, she features …

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November 26, 2015
by jenniferpuryear

A Few Thoughts on Thanksgiving (with concluding thoughts from Pepper)

Last weekend, my husband and I slipped into the back row of a Thanksgiving chapel service at the boarding school our daughters attend.  Hundreds of students loudly filled the underground stone chapel, the boys in their coats and ties and the girls in their short dresses and sweaters.  The kids had a hard time settling down:  vacation began the next day!  The air crackled with teenage …

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April 2, 2014
by jenniferpuryear

The Last Days of My Dog

Book Title: Dog Songs

These are the last days of my dog, Belle.  She remains in good spirits – at least, today – but lymphoma has caused the nodes in her neck to swell to the size of golf balls.  The vet says the time will soon come when we shouldn’t let her suffer. I am walking around with a hole in my heart already.  Mary Oliver’s beautiful new …

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April 2, 2014
by jenniferpuryear

Wednesday Special: The Last Days of My Dog

These are the last days of my dog, Belle.  She remains in good spirits – at least, today – but lymphoma has caused the nodes in her neck to swell to the size of golf balls.  The vet says the time will soon come when we shouldn’t let her suffer. I am walking around with a hole in my heart already.  Mary Oliver’s beautiful new …

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