Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

In Memory of my friend, Olin Davis, author of “Flashbacks”

May 30, 2013

 Olin was the first to tell you that writing of poetry was surely some ingenuous form of torture, and the practice of poetry writing only gifted to a certain few. That said, Olin was a fine poet when the spirit moved him. At my gentle insistence (we shared everything writings-wise, genres, forms, stories, and poems through the magic of cyberspace in wee hours when insomnia struck us both) he worked and revised this poem and entered it in the 2010 CNY Chapter Penwomen annual poetry contest. He was extraordinarily funny and could write light rhyming verse as well, but this poem to my eyes was simple and beautiful. He did not win or place, but I remember his face in the audience as that year was one of my first on the judges’ side of the table. He knew I was new to the penwomen and thus, nervous, so he was also there to offer moral support.  I ‘ve lost two dear friends in one month this spring of 2013. One too young, to a debilitating illness, one, an elder just beginning to fail and to grieve for doing so, who missed his beloved spouse.  They both were midnight email correspondents with me. They both were extraordinarily accepting and tolerant. Both knew things about me that nobody else does. There is something magical about the boundlessness of the cybersphere, deep in the night, when it stretches before your fingers like  magic while the rest of the world is asleep.

I will always remember the year I met Olin. I had fallen in love, or so I thought, with a neighbor woman. It was destined for disaster, but my life was filled with upheaval when I first came to the Canastota Writers group for the first times 2004. When the brief affair flamed out as it was destined to do from the very start, I wrote a poem about it. I brought it to writers group and read it aloud, knowing full well that the poem was clearly about one woman grieving the loss of another woman’s love. I had no idea who would think what of me nor did I really care. I was in too much pain. When I finished reading,  silence stretched respectfully on. Then Olin spoke. He said, looking into my eyes with his  wonderful warm gaze, “I imagine there is not a person sitting here at this table, who has not had a heart broken. We can all relate.” With those simple words, I knew he accepted me. Immediately he took up residence in my heart.

I was proud of this work of his that I am publishing to follow.. I am happy to own copies of his memoirs. I loved how he read his piece this Tuesday past about huckleberries, assuming the voice of a querelous and whining twelve year old with as much as gusto as I assume the creaky ancient tones of a retired warrior dragon.

Thank you for working on this longer than you would’ve without my friendly bothering, Olin. Thank you for your friendship and support. Thank you for all the manuscripts and short stories and poetry you read and commented on through the years. Thank you for your honesty. I have only one regret, that we never did take the time to share that cup of coffee at Friendlys or Dunkin Donuts that we’d spoken of since 2008. With much love, I give you “Holland in April” by Olin Davis, guest poster on writer raebeth’s weblog.








Riots of color

burst over landscape;

flower field hectares

reach toward horizon.

A rainbow bouquet:

gold, crimson and plum

rows framed by canals,

Dutch farms in blossom—

tulip, daffodil

and hyacinth hues

shape a visual feast

and mental keepsake.

Olin Davis

Jan. 2011   

Bloemakkers near Haarlem,

The Netherlands 4/2001





Sorting Through Grass, early Spring

March 28, 2012

My fingers part their roots like hair, tangled green tresses, curling in on themselves, subtle insinuations toward the flower bed, mulch hot-housing them instead of suffocation.
Knotted tight so that I can never pull them. Pulling breaks the fragile necks, stimulates bleeding rootlets to heal into new growth.
Tenacious, grass. Desert, drought, rains, no matter. Grass walks the planet, clings with monkey toes.
Earth smears my pink sweatshirt, my bare hands, the handle of my spade. Blades crackles as it severs roots from soil. Grass-stained me.