Improvised Reeds

Improvised Reeds

It was my mother who taught me to cradle a

Blade of grass between my thumbs

Cuticles aligned and haunches pressed together

Creating the reed chamber

 

The first time she fashioned this magic

We sat by our hickory tree

The rock-hard nuts would sound off on any car

Parked too close to the cinderblock wall

 

My mother and I shared a penchant for silence

When we were among the fall leaves and branches

She plucked a broad grass from between us, blowing

Setting it loudly aquiver, shrill as a clarinet

 

Startling miraculous sound!

Please, yes! Show me how it’s done

It was then my mother taught me

The pleasant nature of patient curiosity.

 

Last Day Of Summer, 2016

cutleaf-maple_for_poem

slowing maples

Last Day Of Summer, 2016

So now I write of the end of a season

Orchids, finches, late morning dew

Seated outside in the shade I watch

My tabby lolling in a dirt patch near

The grasses, rolling and pawing at

Insects; then suddenly preening –

Then suddenly; napping

 

The goldy feline queen has decided today

That the screen porch is close enough

To the real outdoors –

She languishes on the padded wicker while

I entertain my morning guest –

The southern breeze

 

She is seated next to me, wearing light blue

Facing the direction from which she came

In a chair soon destined for the storage barn

We discuss any subject that suits the day –

Ferns in the garden, slowing maples

Gray silver dollar packets of seeds

 

Empty feeders hang nearby

The birds are all quiet just now

Babies have fledged and now they nest

Exhausted, just as the sun is flagging

 

Soon the earth will pitch that sun

Across the horizon each day

A lazy bright stone skipped across a graying pond

Frow where my companion once came

finch-and-orchid

 

My wife will fill the feeders soon enough

Marching through a knee deep snow –

I will watch her fulfill this labor of love

From the finch and orchid bay window

Facing the shadowy southland

Contemplating a new winter poem

~TH~

Archy and Don Marquis

On the tail of yesterday’s entry, I continued to dig deeper into the lives of Archy, Mehitabel, and Don Marquis.  I downloaded a book of poetry written by D.M. –  for free!  The poetry is quite good, especially when you keep in mind the era from which it was written.

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Here for your enjoyment is Sam Waterston reading a delightful poem by Don Marquis, regarding an assignment that Archy (the typing cockroach) was covering.  ~TH~

Archy, Mehitabel, and Me

Our beautiful Blasco Library in Erie PA (featured in this months The Atlantic magazine) will be hosting an event tomorrow night, a one-man show by Gale McNeeley presenting poems, songs and essays of Don Marquis, the creator of the characters Archy & Mehitabel.

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Don Marquis wrote for the The Evening Sun newspaper and created the character of Archy in 1916.  Archy is a cockroach who types by jumping from one key to the next.

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This era fascinates me because so many new technologies were being introduced to more and more homes and businesses.  Automobiles, telephones, phonographs, electricity, and of course – the typewriter.  These ideas seem quaint to us now, but one hundred years ago these were awe inspiring technologies.

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If you live in (or near) Erie PA, I hope you’ll plan to attend this free event.  I know I’ll be there!  ~TH~

Eighty? I’m just getting started!

Spent some time typing on my 1936 Underwood 6, and decided I didn’t want to put up with sluggish action anymore.

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It appears that autumn will include cooking and cleaning up some typewriters.  Sounds glorious to me.  ~TH~

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ROYAL Citadel, part 2

Back in December 2015 I promised an update on this little guy.  Don’t wanna rush these things.196x-royal-citadel-ct5602339_1

Here we have the ROYAL Citadel from the 1960’s.  Haven’t been able to pin down a specific manufacture year – serial number CT5602339.  I did find information that puts it as produced before 1967.  [Now confirmed from a knowledgeable typospherian as a 1963 critter]  

As you can see, I have loaded it with a pink ribbon.  The ribbon reverse is a little wonky, but it’s in fine condition and I do enjoy typing on it for short missives.  The platen is slick so I find it necessary to load it with an extra page for grip.

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I really like the two tone action on the paint job.  This model from Holland was also released under the name Dart, Lark, and Scholastic (under the Singer moniker).  A fun, light portable.  ~TH~

The AlphaSmart 3000 Gambit

I’ll admit it- I do find computers exceedingly distracting, one of the many reasons I enjoy typing on a typewriter.  After attempting to write longer stories on the typewriter, then scanning them – well, it was just not working out for me.  Hence I have taken the dive into older digital technology- namely the AlphaSmart 3000.

as3000

Someone labeled this one SUPER!

I enjoyed researching the backstory of this critter.  Since you can still get them cheap on Ebay, I took the plunge.  This one even has a ‘Super’ sticker on it, from its time as a classroom unit.

I have used it for about two weeks now for poetry and for short story writing.  It’s definitely distraction free.  If you want to know more about this “sort of” typewriter, follow some of the links.

Any other writers or typists out there still using one?  Let me know!  ~TH~