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Other Creative Pursuits

 

 

Writing is my first love but I also practice music and visual arts. Watercolor, mostly, along with woodcuts and drawings. A couple of my books feature photography, another of my favorite art forms. 

 

I think when you get stuck on a writing project there is nothing like dropping it for a moment and doing something else. Non-verbal creativity fits the bill for me.

 

A composite photograph of moss in dormancy

 

Safe Deposit Box

 

In a folded Ziplock bag,

under deeds to cars we no longer own 

a household inventory in need of update, 

the only contents of value are two wedding bands 

from the turn of the 20th century. Old gold, 

heavy and simple, no inscriptions or stones, 

rings made for hands that worked.

 

I imagine those hands, his life

in the forests of Wisconsin

cutting the last virgin white pine

milling it tossing it onto freight cars

into rivers going back for more

hunting whitetails to feed the camp— 

He must have married later.

 

The woman's ring slides off my thumb,

could hold my pinkies like a handcuff.

She kneaded lumps of dough

enough to cover the long floured table

enough to feed the camp

she wrung laundry hung it under

a sheltering pine to keep it out of the rain.

 

She might have married later

but her work remained the same.

 

At night their fingers entwined

loosely, like the ring around my thumb

as they slept after another long day's labor.

 

slm 2020

6x6-inch field sketches, watercolor