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The latest comments that countryfog has written.


There's a quote that seems to have been written just for you -

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
― H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You

I know you intend to do exactly that.

The Sound of Sun

Ra, Horus, Shamash, Inti, Surya, Helios, Tonatiuh . . . the ancient cultures were closer to Nature and revered the sun. It's the one necessity of life that we can't rape, pollute or destroy. Given ozone depletion and global warming it's more likely to destroy us. Sorry to be so negative about such a positive and heartfelt poem written with your usual grace.


Such vivid characters . . . I can see this as a one-act play. Whom would you cast as you?

a letter

Something I've often thought about, though it makes me feel like an old curmudgeon - the lost art of letter writing, of actually holding someone's words in your hand after the long anticipation of them, as you have so well described. Now it's instantaneous snippets of words and emoticons. Where and how you then take that thought and give it a reality that seems now almost mythical is something only a very good writer could conceive and then do.

haiku | laundry

You've taken me back sixty years to days spent with my grandmother and great aunt . . . and the taste of wooden clothespins.

wintertime death

Very classic Japanese in its sensibility and brevity, the seasonality and the loneliness bordering on despair. Nicely done.

in the morning

Yes, that's exactly it. As one grows older, or at least as I've grown older, I think happiness is first gratitude for the simple things that we tended to take for granted when we were younger.

Fresh Oil

There are things one remembers fifty years later, not as more than they were then but with the certainty and gratitude for how complete and perfect they will seem now. I suspect this will be one of them for you.


I hope so.

I love your phrase "the tending song" . . . there is reverence and care and gratitude in it, the possibility and promise of Coo's wish.


Your original post was well before I came to theBay and so this is the first time I've read it, and I have no words for how moving it is, and how sad it is these years later that nothing has changed.


I did what you've done ten years ago. I miss less the house than I do the land though now I have a small woods that I didn't have then . . . I don't own it but hardly anyone ever goes there and so I think of it as mine. But home is first and last a place in the heart and is wherever we are. I think your home is your boat and wherever it will take you.

Timeless knowing

I think that this may be your best Nils, or perhaps I just relate to it on a level that I aspire to but don't often reach on my own. Your way of seeing and saying is indeed timeless.

a romance

A difficult form but it doesn't intrude on the poem. Channeling the Romantics isn't easy either but this is very nicely done. I haven't pulled out my Keats in years, time to dust it off.

Personal Battle

A fine and necessary reminder of what today - Veterans Day - means. Even if the wars were to end, the personal battles do not. Bless our soldiers.

A Poem of Santa Claus and Christmas

I'm going to share this with my young grandchildren, with a little sadness on my part because in another couple of years they will no longer believe.

Hunting Song

They are indeed beautiful multi-hued birds and apparently excellent anglers. They are referred to quite often in classical Chinese poems so you're following a theme that goes back more than a thousand years, and as with many of those old poems yours too is meant to be sung.


Ashe is right - "sensual and innocent at the same time." Your relationship poems are always sensual, but there is more innocence in this than usual. Perhaps it is the lack of any contention, or the natural settings, just unconflicted joy. This is a fully realized poem.

Digging Up Baby Doll Bones

As I've grown old I make that journey too more often. "Baby doll bones" is a wonderful and powerful image for the memories found there and one that resonates with me - as a young boy I had a doll, red hair, blue eyes, no idea what happened to her except that she is still "there." My young grandchildren often say or do something that takes me back again.

Bright Side Haiku

It's hard to feel good about laundry day . . . I'll remember this on my own. It's the folding I hate, getting the shirt arms and pants legs just so, but then I tend to be obsessive/compulsive.

Bird as Prophet

I ran out of adequate words to express my appreciation for your nature poems a long time ago. This is, as always, loving and lovely, in a way - your way - not just a trip to the woods but back in time to a classical way of seeing and saying. The penultimate stanza should be everyone's mantra; unfortunately these days so few practice it.

from the BBP Gallery (>

Maples are a predominate species here, and as the photo shows incredibly beautiful in autumn. In spring the air is filled with thousands and thousands of their little whirligig seeds and all summer little maple seedlings pop up everywhere.

Beautiful Day

You fully entered into a moment and a place, completely present in it and therefore of it. A rare thing and indeed "a gorgeous way to end my day."


I like how this begins with good and pleasant things and then recognizes that somewhere and for some there is equally the difficult and unpleasant, and the ominous warning that so it may yet be for us. Had you written of only the one or the other it wouldn't seem a complete poem or a true comment on the nature of existence.

that's it

This resonates Peter. When I was sixty I had such questions and conversations with myself . . . now that I'm seventy I find I don't have need of them, and any answers will come from those who love and survive me. I'm content with who I am in the place I am and have been all my life. Perhaps though, as you end your poem with your answer, I have as well in a way.

Quietly Jazzed

Were she still around Sappho would be reading you. This is pitch perfect.


On any given night in America there are 50,000 homeless vets, ten percent of them women. The Veterans Administration is a corrupt and abysmal failure at treating those who do come for help and often have to wait a year to receive it, and has no realistic agenda at all to reach out to those who do not seek help but need to. How we have treated our warriors since Vietnam is a national disgrace. Thank you for this necessary reminder that it us up to us to do what we can, one soldier at a time.

in the moment

Personally, and at my age, I think nostalgia is a wonderful thing, though I do agree that it can subtly change our memories and make of them what we now wish a place and moment had been rather than exactly what they had been. Your last two lines are very true.


I like relating catharsis to a storm . . . it can be both an emotional and physical process, and storms can affect us that way too, letting go of a relationship, of the constraints of what it was, the energy that had built up until it has to be released.

Welcome back.

red vinyl

I have every Brubeck Quartet LP, and later the CDs . . . I still prefer the LPs, the occasional hiss, click and skip notwithstanding. Desmond once said he wanted his playing to "sound like a dry martini." He was isophisticated yet utterly approachable, intelligent, articulate, elegant and lyrical . . . things many of your poems are.

An Autunm Memory

A wonderful memory Joe, a way of life I have no doubt had much and most to do with who you were then and have become. Those pennies and the earning of them were priceless. I find autumn a season of reverie too, though mine are rather more somber though I am no less grateful for them than you are yours.

the old typewriter

As was Joe I was 23 then and already cynical, disabused of any hope of changing the world. In hindsight the cynicism seems warranted. My hope now is that my grandchildren can change it, or they may be no world left worth saving.

Haw Jam

I've not come across haws, though this is true of blackberries too, as I've had many early autumn scars to prove. And as you say well worth the effort. I used to go down into my grandmother's cellar filled with jars of jam that glimmered even in the dark, bringing them up one by one all winter. A nice memory, as perhaps this is one of yours.

Pondering on Indian roads

Being part Cherokee (a small part but one that has grown more important as I've grown older) I relate to this very much. There are so many places here where I know my ancestors lived or passed through, where I walk now and sense who they were and my connection to them. In my late years they have informed many of my sensibilities and attachment to these places I have lived my whole life - "grass and fields and stones."

Dirty Dinner Doublespeak

A "delicious" sense of humor.

Vampire Villanelle

You've made a very difficult form seem easy. The necessary repetitions of lines really furthers the feeling of being stealthily pursued, unable to escape the inevitable. Really well done.


I suppose that in my old age I had become jaded, that there couldn't be anything in another love poem to move me, but I was wrong. It benefits from brevity yet each image is sensory and sensual, indeed an intimacy that takes me back years, especially "they cling / to each other like / salt to sweat." Really well done Dorsey.

Off the Vine

It's rare to read an utterly original and vivid simile . . . this one is.

Wayside Inn

A delight as always. There is always in your poems a gratitude and joy, respite and reminder that in a hard and harsh world there are still places and moments that ask nothing of us but to be invited into them. A pint for everyone, on me.

from the BBP Gallery (>

My kind of place, a bit of serenity on a cold rainy morning here.

for everything, a season

This is really well conceived and crafter, I relate to it. The last stanza is as fine as anything I've read in a long time and seems descriptive too of late autumn slipping inexorably into winter.

The Winter Rose

This ends beautifully Nils. Last week I brought in the last few roses, dried them and placed them in a vase that sits on my desk where they will be a small respite of color during winter's drabness.

Is Anyone There ?

I can't help being reminded of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" that begins with

Is there anybody in there?

and ends with

The child is grown,
The dream is gone.
I have become comfortably numb.

Perhaps that is how it is in the end, when we begin to accept it, grown comfortably numb.

Music of Love

Your wry sense of humor is always a delight and a unique way of looking at things.

Virtual Actual Possible

Not just a peaceful scene but a peaceful spirit. So often these past years I come to one window or another, looking out and looking in, often finding long poems in what is seen without and haiku in what can only be surmised within. In a way perhaps that is one answer to your "is the actual world in need of the virtual," how we need both what is and what may be, and both are a reflection of "this possible peace."


Simply beautiful Joe, you old Romantic. This could be the opening scene of a movie, something like "Somewhere In Time."

2 close by half

I'm with Joe . . . still smiling as I write this.

walking up the hill toward tomorrow

One of the interesting things about reading and commenting is learning what parts of a poem resonate with different people. Your third stanza stuns me in my tracks, it is a poem unto itself, perhaps because it has never happened to me and much as I say now I wish it had I wonder if I would have had the courage to see it for what it might have been.


It's a rare day I don't see a hawk, though I have realized I may have to go farther now to do so, the loss of farms and fields and prey habitat no doubt sending the hawks farther too. Many years ago I came to love hawks without ever having seen one but knowing them from the poems of Robinson Jeffers. His "Hurt Hawks" still chokes me up all these years later.

My son

You are a very fortunate man, not in the sense of lucky, which implies something not necessarily earned or deserved, but because I have no doubt that in your years and his you have both earned and deserved that "I love you." You didn't say what you replied, and don't have to.

Ode to My Landlord

There is a refreshing sort of sly innocence and wry whimsy about this one doesn't come across much these days, and a sense this is someone who loves her life and appreciates the people in it.