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Category: Nature

Meet Gulliver

Meet Gulliver. (UPDATE BELOW) I’ve said for many years that it’s not good for someone to be the only living thing in their home, whether that means having a partner or a pet or a plant. Gulliver is a wandering dude, aka silver inch plant, aka tradescantia zebrina. He was mailed to me all the way from Texas by my friend Amber, who cut him from her own plant. After many weeks and one additional trim, he’s tiny but he has roots. His dad plant has been around since 2004, so he’s got good genes. What you’re seeing in this photo isn’t the tip of the iceberg — it’s the whole iceberg. He’s got about a 1/2″ of stalk and some little root filaments in the pot, which I put him in yesterday. I named him Gulliver because of the wandering connotation, and because he’s tiny now but will hopefully get big, and there are many size and perspective shifts in Gulliver’s Travels, which is one of my favorite books. Send him — and his caretaker — good vibes, because I definitely don’t know what I’m doing.

(UPDATE: I took a photo of Gulliver in the Picture This app and it turns out he’s not a wandering dude [tradescantia zebrina] but instead a purple heart [tradescantia pallida]. But I’m keeping the name.)

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haiku: 10 May 2023

I wrapped myself
in a tent made of sky
floating in the half-light

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10 May 2023
Charlottesville VA

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haiku: 13 April 2023

the aroma of a nearby fire
fades in the steam
of my morning tea

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13 April 2023
Charlottesville VA

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haiku: 8 April 2023

we fight the monsters
with little streams
& viburnum plicatum

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8 April 2023
Charlottesville VA

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haiku: 6 April 2023

today I watched a bee
generate enough breeze
to move little clumps of dirt

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6 April 2023
Charlottesville VA

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POEM: A Winter Poem

A Winter Poem

Winter is more insidious than summer.
The low-angled sun is a dull blade,
sheathed in bitter grey.

In winter I play old music.
The music my grandparents listened to
as they took me to Friendly’s or to

a clarinet lesson in the next town over.
It’s the music of nostalgia and longing
and emptiness. Winter music.

Winter creeps into my thoughts,
warns of the approaching holidays,
sets a single place at the table.

In these months my fingers are always cold.
I sit hunched, arms crossed,
conserving what little heat I can muster.

Not every place has a winter.
At least not the way I mean it.
I’ve spent Christmases by the pool,

New Year’s Eves under warm, soft skies.
A friend says, “You’re a real New Englander.”
I say, “Only in disposition.”

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14 November 2022
State College PA

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haiku: 13 October 2022

a hyperactive squirrel
gets the nuts in under the wire
another sad country song

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13 October 2022
State College PA

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haiku: 10 October 2022

the wind turns the trees
into dancers / the curly-haired man
looks down at his phone

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10 October 2022
State College PA

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haiku: 4 October 2022

look out into a field of stars
the salt at the bottom
of a bag of pretzels

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4 October 2022
State College PA

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haiku: 1 October 2022

tiny people on a tiny screen
even through headphones
I can hear the rain

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1 October 2022
State College PA