Category: Great Lakes

April to May

Snowdrops are beginning to fade. They lasted a long time this year. Small flowers, strong and resilient.

Green perennial plants are growing. The green is so beautiful, and we can wait for the flowers: daffodils, primroses, daylilies, hosta. Each their own schedule.

Listen To The Green by Luci Shaw is a book by my computer. My copy is the third printing; October 1978 (Harold Shaw Publishers; Wheaton, Illinois). Copyright 1971 by Luci Shaw. I still remember being so inspired by the thought of listening to a color.

Lake Michigan waves were powerful last night. Lake levels are at record highs. Karl said not to be surprised if the wood deck is washed away. It is still there today. Not afraid – our home is secure – higher up from the water and reinforced with rocks by a previous owner. We’ll add more protection too, along with neighbors. Such an unusual time, though, in many ways.

Today the water is a brown color, because the sand was stirred up by the waves. Reflections of clouds too.

So good to work in the kitchen, wash my hands often, and take care every day.

I posted two verses from Psalm 67 at Poems From Psalms And Nature. This phrase to share again here: “thy saving health among all nations.”

Tomorrow is May.

Grateful for snowdrops and the healing beauty of the gardens.

Trees

This morning I looked at our cedar tree and thought of my poems about trees. Some of the weathered trees are images of strength and beauty for me. The hard years show, and then new growth.

weathered trees
strong and beautiful
my time of healing

branches viewed
in the corner windows
beloved old tree

looking at trees
I remember prayers
of friends

We reprinted “looking at trees” in our large print chapbook, Quiet Christmas Poetry.

Some of you may remember that we lost an ash tree. The tree fell during a major storm at the end of summer 2018. We are very grateful for how it fell – no one hurt, not on the house. The hosta plants grew around the tree stump again, and the flowers were especially beautiful last summer. We also put a red begonia planter on the stump.

Photo by Ellen Grace Olinger, 2019

Ash Firewood Done – work and photo by Karl, 2019

By Lake Michigan – photo by Karl, 2019

And then a pumpkin in November 2019 – photo by Karl

Always hope
Creative at home
Ellen Grace Olinger

Poem And Photo From 2011

Last week was another year since my father died. He was a veteran, and then taught history.

sunrise
after the storm . . .
glistening lake-waves
branches coated with ice
and a crow cawing

after the storm
driftwood washes to shore
from other places . . .
what we let go
what we keep

Karl took this photo on March 24, 2011. I wrote the poem the same day.

Lake Michigan
Oostburg, Wisconsin

I remember

I remember
learning the small roads
and then the smaller roads
the ones not used by many
to reach the freeways

where in the Spring
sometimes
I hear the red-winged
blackbirds again

Lake Michigan
Oostburg, Wisconsin
March 29, 2014
Photo by Karl

Ellen Grace Olinger

Books, Poems, and Photos

Today as I sat quietly for a time, I began thinking about the new book we hope to create from the blog. When new ideas occur to me this way, I know the creative process is at work once again. A slower pace now. No deadlines. This is just to share and be creative.

One idea I have for the print book title is Poems From Oostburg, Wisconsin: Selected Poems and Photos From Our Blog. Another idea may seem better as we work. The title says clearly that this is content readers may have seen before. And if they like the book, they can visit the blog for similar content that may be new for them.

I envision a longer book this time, different from the large print chapbook, Quiet Christmas Poetry (2014). I am still happy with this book, and it was good to promote it again in 2019.

Today I thought about feedback I’ve received over the years and want to remember to include a few old favorite poems.

The daylilies in the vase
Are ending

       Petals drop on wood

I leave them
They express something poignant

       That words never could.

“Petals On Wood” was published in ARTS ALIVE:  A LITERARY REVIEW (1988, The Tinley Park – Park District; Illinois).

birds perch
in sheltering branches
a grain of mustard seed

Matthew 13: 31 – 32

Published in Time Of Singing (1995).

shoveling . . .
scent of mint
through snow

Time Of Singing
25th Anniversary Volume
1998

Sheboygan County
Wisconsin State Park System
September 8, 2018
Photo by Karl

Kohler-Andrae State Park
Sheboygan County
Wisconsin State Park System
August 23, 2019
Photos by Karl

Ellen Grace Olinger