• Autumn on the Lake by J.Rocket Ibanez

    Autumn Colors and Other Miracles

    When it rains here in Autumn, the bleary dreariness of the sky has a fascinating, complicated relationship with the tree leaves. It is simultaneously true that the blue-gray of the rain and sky and air both dampen the colors and enhance them. I’m currently sitting in a comfy chair in our front room, my feet propped up on the old trunk I’ve lugged around for decades now, pointed and looking occasionally out the broad window that takes up so much of our front wall like these old NC houses tend to do, looking at the Crepe Myrtle tree right in front of me, and how among the dying, fading green…

  • Love (and Poetry) in the Time of Covid

    I live in North Carolina, where a state-wide shelter-in-place order for the month of April started yesterday. (Can we talk about that phrase, by the way? Every time someone uses it, it brings up hurricanes and tornadoes for me. Maybe it’s metaphorical? Maybe we’re giving the powers that be less credit for creative thinking than they deserve? Is there a ‘phrase maker’-in-chief? There should be..maybe the poet laureate can do double duty?) However, my wife and I have already been “sheltering-in-place” for two weeks today due to an overabundance of caution as I have ridiculously bad asthma. So by now, in that middle ground of getting cabin fever when the…

  • Poetics Online and Indulging One’s Passions

    By trade, I am a web developer and graphic designer, in addition to an illustrator. But my first love, now and always, is poetry and writing. And because of my nature and I imagine an upbringing by two intellectuals and scholars, I have a deep affection for research, deep thought, and contemplation for its own sake. As a related side note, I’m a part of a poetry community in Florida that, every April, decides to throw sanity to the wind and write thirty form poems, with 30 distinct forms, in 30 days in celebration of National Poetry Month. This, earlier this year, gave me an idea. As my community, which…

  • The Importance of Ritual

    To make the point that is the point of this post, I need to illustrate with a personal story. My sweetie and I, in an effort to cold turkey clean up our health in a desperate gambit against sloth, stress and age, and joined in by my mom and sort of by my dad, have decided to go for a month without any alcohol, fried foods, white grains, or white sugar, and drinking an approximate crap-ton of what they call ‘sassy water’ which is water with cucumber (bleh), lemon, mint and ginger. Added to this, I decided to lean into this whole thing, and I added a rather radical screen…

  • Happy New Years, Arctic Freezes and Other Surprises

    Hello from 20 degrees. Which I suppose isn’t nearly as bad as some of you are experiencing (looking at you, New England). (well I would look at you if you weren’t buried in snow. My sympathies. Compared to that, a couple of chilly toes and a frozen pond isn’t terrible…) Friends, I just want you to know that one of my few resolutions is to keep up with this blog. Which I imagine might be a recipe for not keeping up with it, depending on how cynical you are about resolutions, but I am cheerfully confident about my plan. That said, I would like for you to know that I…

  • Travel Diary: Macedonia

    Being abroad is always an adjustment. No matter how cabin feverish you get at home, looking forward all year to getting out and stretching your legs, it's always hard to adjust to the language, the customs, and the different culture.