The Duelists

Hi everyone,

I love it when Goose Lake challenges the sky for our amusement.
The sky, with infinite palette at its disposal,
Decorates its face in pink and blue.
The lake, knowing it can do that too,
Looks up and makes the sky a friendly proposal.

The sky, with all its glorious resources,
Accepts and turns the end of day aglow.
The lake, with placid confidence below,
Repeats each nuanced masterpiece that courses
Across the heaven’s briefly lit display.
As evening drops the curtain on the stage,
The actors, now grown bleary, disengage.
We, in grateful silence, toast the day.

(c) David L. Harrison

Asilomar SIXTY SIX, The Language Arts Conference

Hi everyone,

The co-chairs of The Language Arts Conference, October 6-8, have given us the green light to talk more about the event now that registration is open. I’ve mentioned this one before but here is some additional information for anyone who might be interested it heading to California in October to enjoy the scenery, the ambience, and the conference.

This year the theme is “Excellence Through Equity, From Powerful Vision to Everyday Reality.” Here is the link. The two keynote speakers are Pedro Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education at UCLA and Carol Jago, Editor of California English and past president of NCTE. There are more than twenty sessions presented by others over a range of subjects that in some way touch on the theme. Mine is a hands-on workshop called “The Equity of Poetry in Teaching Core Subjects.” I’m also giving an “Around the Fire” talk on Saturday night.

This past weekend I read about each of the sessions and their presenters and made an interesting discovery. Out of twenty-seven speakers I found only a couple who aren’t professors, teachers, librarians, or retired teachers. Unless I overlooked someone,Gillian Wegener and I are the only poets. If not enough teachers sign up for my session, I could wind up going to California as a tourist or staying here to gaze at Goose Lake. Might not know until June 10.

Happy Anniversary, Sandy

Hi everyone,

I can’t tell you how many years we’ve been married. She won’t even tell me! I can tell you that Mrs. Harrison (sometimes when I’ve been good I get to call her Sandy), and I have been together for a while now. And as it works so often with long-term couples, we agree more and more on just about everything. There are those rare exceptions, of course. When we’ve both been good, life is sweet. At the end of the day or the trip or the road, we’re going to have some mighty fine memories.
Happy anniversary, Sweetheart. I love you.

Tired of sharing

Hi everyone,

I think I’m a tolerant man but the toads this year are testing me. Night before last I heard a toad singing somewhere on the patio but couldn’t find it. Yesterday I was in the pool and checked the drain trap to see if it needed emptied. When I lifted the lid, there was my little culprit, clinging to the rim of the strainer.

I lifted him out and set him on the edge of the deck. He looked at me for a few minutes and then made his getaway around a flower pot and off toward the yard. Something tells me he’ll be back.

Tell me the truth, do I need a life?

Hi everyone,

Yesterday morning Sandy and I sat by a living room window to read the paper and have our coffee. Just beyond the glass, on a patio chair cushion, a small creature was at rest in the weak sunlight. I kept looking at it, trying to decide if it was a spider or a large fly. To see a fly remain in one spot so long is uncommon. I wondered if I might be watching a fly in the process of dying. Not that it mattered much but I was curious enough to invest twenty minutes of observation.

I happened to mention it to my M.O.W., who immediately got up, opened the door, said “fly,” and smacked at it with a napkin. I watched the insect zip away safely, leaving behind a tiny dark spot on the cushion. My curiosity ended just short of going out to investigate the gift. For one thing, it was on the chair she sits in, next to mine.