Archive for April, 2016

Blooms and bird calls.

Spring overwhelms, reeling from so much at once.

A blurred yellow cartoon appears across the room,

fluffed out double size,

reverts to goldfinch when the preening is done
and I’ve stepped too close.

Behind the dense butt of Mr. Tom,
testing the grass, Lady Claudia Cardinal.

I’m not where they think I am.

Hornbeam fully leafed out, just in time for the hummingbird nests
of the first dozen or sixteen who’ve settled in this week.

Sugar maple seeds shower in astonishing profusion, likewise pinecones.
As every seed is sacred, we must plant them all.

Hawksbeard everywhere, a bumper bloom.

Money plants, in the pre-currency, violet phase.

Azelea not distressed at all by last week’s frost.

17 of the 20 blueberry bushes we planted 40 years ago
still flower and bear fruit.
This year we will implement some simple sharing rules
with the jays and crows and turkeys.

Dogwoods have become scarce, since the blight,
but a few young trees hang on.

Leaves ascending to the ridge.
By next week, an apparent mass of solid green,

but in the hundred shades of spring yellow greens
gradually coalescing into the grayer summer palette
of fewer darker hues.
And that will sign the end of spring.

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Here and there, the business of spring getting done.

New arbor for the remote rose,

replacing the rotting and crumbled wooden slats
with a mosaic firefly top.


The glassy glint from the gravel under foot,
was a thumb-sized hunk of mica
that sheared into a hundred pieces at a touch.


The older bloom of the kitchen amaryllis.

The new bloom.

Little violets in the grass, in patches here and there.

The queen of weeds, ruling a million sister blooms.

Plum gnarly.

Several human spirits are trapped under the bark,
rather lumpy spirits.

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Eats, shoots, and leaves.

It was a hard freeze, down to 26°F,
but just for a few hours.
A little damage, that could have been much worse.

Crab apple blooms burned, but not blasted,
abuzz today with pollinators.

Pansies in the pot, okay.

Oxeyes, or hawksbeard, is everywhere.

Swampwort, singular.

Swampwort, plural.

Early rising mayapple,
first of the millions to come.

Herb garden just after takeoff,
landing gear tucked up, and ready for the long flight.


Peat pellet hatchlings.

Hostas strangely enthusiastic,
as if they knew — something.

Camera killing azalea blossoms one week from full flower
also survived the freeze.


Cluster of pear blossoms, likewise unperturbed.

Up the orchard, all the relics that remain,

some in flower first, some in leaf first,
all accept the swell of spring.

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Spring back, fall forward.

Yesterday, snow blew down all afternoon, all night
with wind louder than jets,
like freight trains colliding overhead;
and last night the temperature bottomed at 26°F
for an hour or two.

Today it was sunny and 62°F, to make a mowing and pruning Sunday.

But for our transient little turkey clutch,
the proof of spring,
is the mating dance, display full-on.

A couple days ago, before the freeze,
Tom was grazing solo, a little shy,
hoping for a little cracked corn.


Today he’s pumped
but the three hens he brung
have drifted off to clean up under the feeders.

So, all this is for me.

You got your chest fluffed, your back ruff raised,

your wattle blood red, your whole head a rather freaky blue,

wings down, pumping and dragging, the beard atremble,

tail feathers high, wide spread and snappy

all while wings brushing the ground,
gobbble-gobbling sweet nothings.
An’ he could he would perform all these at once.
But he has to settle for two or three
rotating through his display menu.

Meanwhile a mini-Monarch moth,
about an inch each way

has lit to prove spring’s here to stay.

No more frosts, no more freezes,
no more wintery mix.

Just the spring.
April is the cruelest month,
if you don’t know,
ask the blueberry bushes.

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The boys in the band are giving it away.



from the Ellen and Geoffrey Fletcher Mystery series

For five days in April 2016, the 7th to the 11th, Thursday through Monday

Free from (the cover pictures below are links), available only in Kindle format.

If you haven’t got a Kindle Device, one will be appointed for you.
Amazon sends a drone to your home (they know when you are sleeping)
that upgrades your dishwasher, and installs Kindle-reader aps on all your computers, tablets,
and mobile phones (totally free of charge).
This modest incursion opens access to hundreds thousands of titles, not just mine.

Kindle Direct Publishing invites authors on their platform to trade income for exposure and offer their books for free every few months. It’s a simultaneous worldwide deal on all the Amazon stores (US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, India, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Brazil). The marketing idea is that people will take a chance on free stuff who wouldn’t pay for a book from an unknown author. And the theory works every time: free books in trade for free exposure.

Let me know what you think: favorable comments warm the heart,
unfavorable ones teach the necessary lessons.
Comment here, or email me at


The Asheville Story.

Heart Attack

The Williamsburg Story.

Here are a few comments from readers
from favorable reviews on Amazon

    Fit to Curve is a skillfully written mystery with complex characters and such a fascinating plot that I’m way behind on my chores.

    This series is a favorite with interesting plots and wonderfully drawn characters. Wish the author would write more of them. The type of book you don’t want to end.

    A bed and breakfast mystery. Super characters, well developed. You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. A mouth-watering, good read. Love the old lady with the sharp wit. I’d like the recipes, too.

    The plot builds very slowly. But once I got into it, I was hooked. I liked the characters, and you get a lot of insight into them.

    This is too fine a novel to be mired in the mystery/suspense ghetto. It’s a good mystery, with a complex plot, all the mystery trappings, but the characters are rounded and attractive. The theme seems to me to be a consideration of morality – not just sexual morality (or immorality), though there’s some of that too, for those who like to read such descriptions, but all kinds of morality: for how high a price might you sell your soul?

    Heart Attack is a great read!

    This couple are a great addition to the mystery genre. Sharp and interesting with a bit of humor and spice.

    Snappy dialog. Geoff and Ellen are a great team. He has a definite intuitive method of assessing info and arriving at conclusions that baffle and irk his cohorts. Ellen is more conventional and together are a great team. Unusual mystery not easily solved.


Ghost Walk sample                                                                                                                               Little Fishes sample


The Charleston Story: seeking agent


Little Fishes

The Atlanta Story, editor ready