Category: Literature

The Paul Brandt School Forest in Boscobel, WI

The Paul Brandt School Forest in Boscobel, Wisconsin

For Paul F. Brandt

Another death
a sudden death
this autumn of
winter in October.

Condolences pour in
your service strengthens
and your body is laid to rest
in beloved Wisconsin land.

Now the grief begins
and how else could it be?

Surely a few people
will remain with us
in our loving sorrow
like the golden leaves
left on the tree
outside my window
that will turn green again…

Paul, my cousin, died suddenly in 2006.   His significant contribution to conservation and education in Southwestern Wisconsin continues to grow.

Photo courtesy of Ruth Bauer.

 Poem published in Time of Singing (Fall 2008).

Poems from FAMILY FARM Haiku for a Place of Moons by Carol Purington – post updated 2/23/2014

Distant thunder
The patter of peas being shelled
into the dishpan


Before rain
the smell of dust
the smell of rain


Heat wave breaks
Snipping yellow roses
in the soft rain


 Goldenrod now . . .
and a monarch poised
on bright asters


Cooling into twilight –
cricket after cricket
star after star


Haiku for a Place of Moons


Carol Purington

Please see Carol’s Guest Post on March 27, 2010 for her biography and more information about Family Farm (Winfred Press, 1999).

Photo by Karl Olinger
Oostburg, Wisconsin

Update, February 23, 2014:  Here is the link to Carol’s poetry page at her family website.

You’ll find more poems by Carol, and information about all of her good books.

This link goes to the Winfred Press site.

Tree With Hosta – Psalm 1

And he shall be

like a tree

planted by rivers

of water…

From Psalm 1: 3 (KJV)

Photos of hosta
by Karl Olinger
July 2010



Translations of the Psalms

This morning I finished reading The Complete Psalms: the book of prayer songs in a new translation…and then I began again with Psalm I.   This beautiful and scholarly translation is by Pamela Greenberg.  The Foreward is by Susannah Heschel.  Published this year by Bloomsbury USA, New York.  I found this book at the Next Chapter Bookshop in Mequon, Wisconsin–a wonderful independent bookstore.

I began reading the Psalms, often aloud, in many different translations about 15 years ago.   I read in a King James Version from Dover Publications, the Contemporary English Version from the American Bible Society, and other translations.   I read from the Psalms to my mother on what turned out to be her last full day on earth. 

It’s the combination of honesty, language, and trust in God that draws me back again and again.  Usually daily, if only for a short time.  

Learning to live one day at a time…

The LORD is my shepherd…”

(From Psalm 23:1, KJV, Public Domain).

Presents of Mind: Haiku and Illustrations by Jim Kacian. Bilingual edition (2006): English and Japanese.

Today I am pleased to share a few excerpts from Presents of Mind, by Jim Kacian (Red Moon Press).

Haiku is composed of language.
It cannot be composed of silence.
But unlike most language,
haiku does not attempt to oppose silence.
It attempts to point to silence.
Haiku can set into motion
oscillations in the silence between us.
In this way haiku can be poised
between language and silence.
In this way it can suggest
the centrality of silence.
Where silence is shared,
we are all present. 
Reprinted with kind permission from Jim Kacian.
Presents of Mind (2006)
Red Moon Press

Jim Kacian is Founder and Director of The Haiku Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to archiving of the achievements of our first century of English-language haiku, and creating opportunities for our second; creator and owner of Red Moon Press, the largest and most prestigious publishing house dedicated to English-language haiku in the world; and the author of 15 books of haiku and related works.

The Wikipedia article about Jim Kacian includes additional information.

Post updated on July 8, 2015.

MOTHERS’ DAY by Win Couchman

Mothers’ Day

I knelt
on ungiving

Around me
larger backsides,
bigger shoes
than mine
loomed below
bent shoulders,
bowed heads.

My mother
and mother’s mother
and assorted saints
of their generations
were kneeling.

Fifty years
and more
have gone.
And I remember:
They prayed.

Reprinted here with Win’s permission.  From her book:  “Don’t Call Me Spry:” Creative Possibilities for Later Life.   Harold Shaw Publishers.  1990.

Photo of Lake Michigan by Karl Olinger.